This first step in sidewalk management would require less than 1% of the Streets Department Budget and allow the City to get the ball rolling on creating a long overdue repair and replace strategy that works for residents in every neighborhood. The City must act immediately and set aside this funding in order to capitalize on the billions of dollars earmarked for pedestrian improvements in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
What will the funding be used for?
$500k per year for two years will allow the City to:
- Hire a sidewalks coordinator
- Launch an ADA transition plan or sidewalks master plan process
- Establish sidewalk repair standards
- Analyze 311 data on “dangerous sidewalks”
- Launch an education and outreach campaign
- Leverage existing programs
- Develop a strategy for funding
Why is this funding so important?
- 32% of Philadelphia households do not have access to a vehicle. Sidewalks are essential for safe walking and provide critical access to public transportation, jobs, services, shopping, and recreation.
- 16% of Philadelphia residents have some kind of disability, including mobility and vision disabilities. Obstructed sidewalks, sidewalks in poor repair, or even relatively minor defects can make it nearly impossible to walk for basic needs.
- 27% of Philadelphia households have school-aged children. School-aged children depend on well-maintained sidewalks for walking to school, playing, and an overall active lifestyle.
Philadelphia has not had a functioning sidewalk repair and replace program for nearly 20 years and it shows. More than 230 miles of sidewalk are in poor or very poor condition, and as a result Philadelphians are cut off from resources, transportation, and jobs. Residents who try to navigate sidewalks in disrepair can be forced to travel in the street at the risk of being hit by a driver. Sidewalks not only provide safe pedestrian spaces, they are good for Philadelphia’s economy and encourage spending along economic corridors. Setting funding aside now allows Philadelphia to tap into federal funding and help our City’s recovery from COVID-19.
Philadelphia has an entire city department dedicated to paving and maintaining streets where people drive, but zero resources dedicated to maintaining the places people walk. Sign the petition below and demand City Council and the Mayor fund sidewalks like streets!