Walking and rolling are a fundamental right and all Philadelphians deserve access to safe city sidewalks. Walking is the least expensive, most reliable, and most sustainable way to travel in Philadelphia. Sidewalks provide economic, mental, physical, and social benefits, and they must be in good repair to facilitate safe travel between neighborhoods and to access public transit. Low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are especially at risk for traffic violence and most in need of safe sidewalks to access education, transit, and jobs. Sidewalks form the foundation for all people to travel safely, including the most vulnerable populations, children, elderly, and people with disabilities.
Feet First Philly calls upon Philadelphia City Council and Mayor Kenney to allocate $500,000, less than 1% of the Streets Department budget, to begin to address the more than 230 miles of sidewalks in “poor” or “very poor condition”.
Funding should be used to hire a sidewalk coordinator, create a sidewalk master plan and strategy, and create inspection and compliance guidelines. In addition, sidewalk funding should be used to create and promote an education campaign to spread awareness about the importance of sidewalks. Residents and neighborhoods rely on sidewalks to travel safely and the cost of ignoring our city’s sidewalk infrastructure is too high.