(Philadelphia, June 27) – Flanked by Mayor Kenney at a news conference above the Vine Street Expressway, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that Philadelphia is one of four cities to win his department’s “Every Place Counts” design challenge.
Philadelphia and the three other winners — Spokane, WA; Ramsey County, MN; and Nashville, TN – will each receive a U.S. DOT-hosted design session that convenes elected officials, urban planners, designers, and a cross-section of local residents around a key transportation issue. Philadelphia’s session, to convene on July 14-15, will focus on issues related to the Vine Street Expressway.
“I’m thrilled that of all the cities that submitted proposals, Secretary Foxx has chosen Philadelphia as one of just four winners for these design sessions,” said Mayor Kenney. “While the Vine Street Expressway successfully connected I-95 to the Schuylkill Expressway, its construction managed to split three communities. Solutions are needed, and we welcome the expertise and ‘fresh set of eyes’ that this design session can bring.”
“Through this Challenge, we have the ability to rethink some of our nation’s past transportation choices and improve upon them to design a better future,” said Secretary Foxx. “I’m excited to work with these communities on creating inclusive and context-sensitive infrastructure solutions that reflect and incorporate the input of the people and communities they touch.”
Following the announcement, Secretary Foxx convened a private roundtable discussion with members of the Chinatown community at the nearby Holy Redeemer Chinese Catholic School. Mayor Kenney, in his remarks, noted that every day hundreds of K-8 students are forced to cross the bridge over the expressway to get to that school or the neighboring FACTS Charter School.
The Every Place Counts Design Challenge was launched in May following Secretary Foxx’s ‘Bridging the Divide: Connecting People to Opportunity’ presentation and the release of his Guiding Principles for Connecting People to Opportunity. In addition to the design session, winning cities will each receive on-site technical assistance from the Department and design experts in the field.