In appreciation: Among Happy Fernandez’s many contributions to the City of Philadelphia, we at Feet First Philly are particularly grateful for her interest in pedestrian issues. As chair of City Council’s Transportation Committee, Dr. Fernandez held hearings in 1996 on pedestrian safety with testimony from dozens of witnesses including a spokesperson from PhillyWalks, the precursor group to Feet First Philly. A major complaint at the hearings was that drivers and cyclists did not comply with traffic laws intended to protect pedestrians. Subsequently, Councilwoman Fernandez worked with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and the Police Department on an education and enforcement program called Operation Crosswalk. Operation Crosswalk included flyers and posters explaining pedestrian and traffic safety principles and laws, as well as a ticketing campaign focused on infractions that endanger pedestrians.
More information about the life and work of Happy Fernandez can be found in her obituary at philly.com.