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Philadelphia Introduces Connect, Strategic Transportation Plan

Mon October 29, 2018 - Northeast Edition #22
City of Philadelphia


Over the next seven years (2018-2025), Connect will set priorities for implementation and serve as the administration's transportation framework. 
(Wikipedia photo)
Over the next seven years (2018-2025), Connect will set priorities for implementation and serve as the administration's transportation framework. (Wikipedia photo)

On Walk to School Day at Gideon Elementary School Oct. 10, a city of Philadelphia designated community school, city officials and partners announced the release of the city's Strategic Transportation Plan, Connect.

Over the next seven years (2018-2025), Connect will set priorities for implementation and serve as the administration's transportation framework. Informed by insights from data analysis and community engagement, Connect is based on the fundamental values of safety, equity, opportunity and access, sustainability, and health.

“Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate among the ten largest U.S. cities.” said Mayor Jim Kenney “If we are to thrive as a city, we must take steps to ensure that growth benefits the lives and daily experiences of all of our residents — especially those who have been historically underserved and live in neighborhoods that have been disconnected from jobs and opportunities for far too long.”

Connect contains five goals and accompanying strategies to reach its vision of a transportation system that benefits everyone:

  • Goal 0: Vision Zero — Working toward the goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030.
  • Goal 1: Transit First — Moving people equitably, affordably, and reliably around a growing city.
  • Goal 2: Great Streets — Investing in well-maintained streets to serve people using all modes of transportation.
  • Goal 3: A Competitive City — Supporting communities and commerce with a reliable and efficient transportation system.
  • Goal 4: Efficient Government — Delivering transportation services and projects efficiently and transparently for residents.

As Philadelphia's population and economy continue to grow, driving new housing and commercial development to more parts of the city, technology, travel and transit preferences are changing. In this dynamic environment, the administration is reconsidering the role of transportation in shaping the future of Philadelphia as a competitive, inclusive, world-class city.

“We have listened to the concerns of Philadelphians and have evaluated the data to better understand the transportation challenges and opportunities facing the city,” said Michael Carroll, deputy managing director for transportation of the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS). “Connect provides a framework for OTIS and our partners to save lives, connect residents to opportunity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build livable communities with great streets, strengthen the economy, and increase the efficiency of government.”

“Philadelphia's new Transportation Plan embodies my vision for how we move people and goods on our statewide highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian systems,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards. “The early stakeholder involvement both in the city of Philadelphia and across the state is now the norm for my PennDOT Connects program whenever we initiate new projects with our local governments.”

“Improved mobility benefits everyone,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “SEPTA plays a key role in keeping the city moving by serving the residents and jobs that are here today, and we look forward to supporting more growth and economic activity in the future. The Connect plan is a crucial step in Philadelphia's continued progress, and SEPTA will be an integral part of this initiative.”

“Accessible, affordable, and inclusive transportation is critical to the way our city moves, but also to our growth individually and collectively,” said state Rep. Donna Bullock. “Transportation initiatives like the Connect Plan isn't just about smart and targeted investments in infrastructure. It's also about a community-driven process that focuses on equity, inclusion, and economic growth. Affordable bike share programs, extended bus lines, and more frequent trains can connect residents to family, recreation, better jobs and schools, medical care and other resources.”