Pedestrians of Philadelphia: Lex Powers

What is your experience as a pedestrian? How long do you walk? Why did you decide to walk as your commute?

Philly is one of the most walkable cities in the country, and I’ve always walked as my primary mode of transportation since I’ve lived here. I don’t mind walking 30 or 40 minutes as long as I have some music and there is enough to look at. Walking for me is a big part of this city’s quality of life, and every time I find a new route or explore a new neighborhood, I’m reminded why I love living here so much.

What is your average commute? Where do you start and finish? Make any stops along the way?

Right now, I live in Northern Liberties and work near City Hall, and I try to walk that distance as much as I can while the weather is nice. When it rains or snows I will take the MFL or the 47 bus, but even then walking is still a significant part of my commute.

Have you ever experienced a dangerous or problematic intersection? What happened?

Absolutely! Every day I have to cross the Vine Street Expressway to get to Center City. There is really no good way to do that. Right now, I cross near Chinatown, but even the local part of Vine Street resembles more of a highway than a city street. In that area, I am always very careful, but the street design doesn’t really encourage city driving. But as bad as that area is, it’s no comparison to walking by 6th, 7th, and 8th and Vine. That area needs to decide what it wants to be, because its current design serves no one.

What would you suggest to make walking in Philly safer?

Every street in Philly should be easily and safely walkable. I shouldn’t have to walk blocks out of the way because a certain intersection is dangerous. That shouldn’t be acceptable in a city where with such a high percentage of walkers, bikers, and transit riders. In a city where walking, biking, transit, and other space efficient modes are so essential, we shouldn’t be giving such priority to car-only infrastructure.

Why do you think walking is important?

Because you’ll improve your health, help the environment, make the streets safer, meet your neighbors, and interact with your community. Walking through this city, I can’t help but feel like I’m a part of something much bigger than myself.

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