This year, Feet First Philly is celebrating a decade of pedestrian advocacy. With preventable traffic deaths and serious fatalities still occuring, car-centric infrastructure investments, and no plan to fix Philadelphia’s sidewalks, our work is not yet done. But, this year we would like to celebrate the volunteers and partners who have supported us along the way and to engage more people in our efforts to improve roadway safety, create and protect pedestrian spaces, and promote walking across Philadelphia.
In 2012, Feet First Philly was formed by a group of passionate pedestrian advocates who attended Clean Air Council’s Walkability Forum. Identifying insufficient intersection crossing time as a top pedestrian concern in Philadelphia, Feet First Philly’s first initiative was to analyze the signal timing for 15 intersections to determine whether the time allowed for pedestrians to cross safely.
Since 2012, Clean Air Council staff and Feet First Philly volunteers have worked together through public education and outreach, advocacy, and offering technical assistance to communities in order to advance walkability in Philadelphia. Today, we are Philadelphia’s only pedestrian advocacy group. We have grown from a steering committee to three active subcommittees. Our Not A Parking Spot campaign brought attention to the dangerous practice of illegal parking across the city. Recent initiatives include walk audit training for community groups, advocacy for Recovery Streets, the development of a pedestrian advocacy guide, and the Public Space Enhancement Mini-grant.
Partnerships are critical to Feet First Philly’s advocacy and outreach. Over the past 10 years, Feet First Philly has partnered with organizations like ADAPT, Liberty Resources, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the American Public Health Association, People’s Emergency Center, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Temple University, Tacony/Tookany Frankford Watershed, Cobbs Creek Neighbors, Park(ing) Day, and many more.
As Feet First Philly looks toward the next ten years, we envision a future where all Philadelphians benefit from a safe and healthy pedestrian environment. In 2022, we hope that you join us in celebration of our 10-year anniversary and in our pedestrian advocacy work. Stay tuned for walks and volunteer opportunities by subscribing to our eNewsletter and following us on social media (Facebook and Twitter: @feetfirstphilly and Instagram: @feet_first_philly).