Earlier this month, the City of Philadelphia’s office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) released their updated traffic calming request process. For almost a year, OTIS and the Streets department have been working to make the existing request process more transparent and focused on communities where traffic calming is most needed.

We are excited to see these changes prioritized in the Operations Transformation Fund (OTF), as over the last few years we have made this request of the City both privately and publicly in our Better Mobility platform. From the City’s memorandum about the changes:

The traffic calming program update had the following goals:

  • Boost Efficiency — Boost staff efficiency and continuously improve the program workflow.
  • Be Transparent — Create a fair, transparent, timely, citizen-driven speed cushion request program. City programs work best when residents can see, feel, and touch the processes of change.
  • Slow Traffic — Reduce speeding and crashes on as many eligible city streets as possible.
  • Serve Communities — Make traffic safety improvements near pedestrian generators and community locations the top priority. Becoming a greener city is only possible when the safety and accessibility of all modes of transport are supported.

The city worked with multiple departments and a consultant team to evaluate data from various sources. The team interviewed past applicants, staff members, and Council Members about the program’s challenges and studied what’s working for other cities.

Read more about the program here.

Throughout the updating process the City also considered the existing traffic calming eligibility and changed it to include narrow and smaller sections of residential roadways. State roads and intersections are still not included; however, PennDOT has begun to get more involved with traffic calming (for example, along Lincoln Drive).

This process update is just one part of what is needed to make our roads safer for all users. We hope to see more funding for traffic calming and paving in Mayor Parker’s upcoming proposed budget. Until then, you can use this link to request traffic calming your neighborhood today.

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