Cities across the world are faced with the unprecedented task of keeping the public safe and finding ways for businesses to survive the economic challenges caused by the global health crisis. Cities are also seeing unprecedented opportunity to repurpose street space in creative ways for people, with less demand from vehicles during the pandemic. Feet First Philly, Clean Air Council, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and 5th Square formed a coalition and created the Recovery Streets proposal to guide the city toward better use of public space to accommodate recreation, exercise, commuting, and travel to essential businesses during and after COVID-19.
The coalition recently held an informative virtual discussion on Recovery Streets with a panel of special guests. The webinar was hosted by Patricia Madej, the Transportation Reporter at the Inquirer, and the following guest speakers were key voices in this vibrant discussion: Kelly Yemen, Director of Complete Streets at City of Philadelphia; Philadelphia City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier; Job Itzkowitz, Executive Director of Old City District; and Beca Wolfson, Executive Director of Boston Cyclist Union.
The Recovery Streets webinar explores pedestrian issues highlighted in the proposal including accessibility, safety, better public transportation, open spaces for recreational activities, and how businesses are transforming the public right of way including parking spots to support outdoor dining. In addition, learn more from Beca Wolfson of the Boston Cyclist Union on Boston’s similar Healthy Streets initiative and the challenges and success of implementing this plan.