Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a Complete Streets executive order yesterday, June 4, at noon, establishing Philadelphia as the first city in Pennsylvania to adopt a complete streets policy. Mayor Nutter remarked, “The signing of this Executive Order is just one in a number of steps that we are taking to make Philadelphia an even better place to walk, bike and take SEPTA. Making it easy for residents, commuters and visitors to choose to not use their cars is among the most meaningful contributions the City can make toward our goal of becoming America’s number one green city.”
The Complete Streets policy will balance the needs of all users on Philadelphia’s transportation network, be they pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation users, or motorists. It emphasizes the many benefits of complete streets, from cleaner air to more efficient use of road space, and pays special attention to the safety of its most vulnerable citizens: children, older adults, and those with disabilities.
Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities, Rina Cutler, who spearheaded the effort to have Philadelphia adopt a Complete Streets policy added, “Our adoption of a Complete Streets policy builds on Philadelphia’s history of being a great city for walking and biking. We expect every City agency to incorporate this policy, constructing a future where it is easier than ever before to walk, bike or take transit. This will enable Philadelphia to really focus on becoming a more livable community.”
The National Complete Streets Coalition was represented at the event by Bill Johnston-Walsh, the senior manager for state operations at the AARP Pennsylvania office, and Andy Clarke, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists. Clarke did double-duty, as he also presented Mayor Nutter with the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community Award. The City is the first in Pennsylvania to receive the honor, making yesterday’s event a particularly important landmark in moving toward a more livable Philadelphia.