The Center City District’s (CCD) recent report, “Keep Philadelphia Moving,” issued in March 2018 outlines many of the mobility challenges facing Center City.
We concur with many of the recommendations in the report, including the need to collect more data by installing the necessary equipment necessary to monitor traffic continually. In addition to the CCD recommendations which we concur with, we recently offered some additional recommendations to the head of the Streets Department, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and SEPTA. Our additional recommendations include:
- Transit fare free zone
- Dedicated bus lanes to speed service
- Limit on-street parking to loading/unloading between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM
- Triple the number of loading zones
- Significantly increase fees for loading/unloading in No Stopping zones
We believe a bus fare free transit zone would be an efficient way to manage travel demand and take greater advantage of existing bus services provided. We also believe more dedicated bus lanes are needed to increase bus speeds and improve reliability of service.
Second, There is simply not an adequate amount of short term parking for ride hailing and delivery vehicles, which encourages many to load and unload in bike lanes.
The congestion mitigation measures that gets implemented must improve how deliveries and ride share services use the streets. CCD’s report highlights (on page 9) how UPS and FEDEX have seen a 19 percent and 44 percent increase in the average daily package volume respectively. This combined with the introduction of ride hailing service in 2012 has worsened the problem of “Parking with Impunity,” our catch phrase for illegal parking.
We believe the city should reduce the amount of available on-street parking, especially between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM in Center City on weekdays and repurpose that space for loading zones.
CCD’s report also recommends learning from traffic management and enforcement in other cities. We concur that the introduction of Civilian Traffic Enforcement Officers to manage traffic flow through chronically busy intersections would significantly help reduce gridlock and improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists trying to move through the intersections themselves.
We encourage the city and the Mayor to work through the obstacles to enable the hiring of similar traffic agents in Philadelphia.