The City of Philadelphia has a Streets Department responsible for paving and maintaining roadways, but the City leaves sidewalk maintenance to property owners – many of whom cannot afford to make sidewalk repairs on their own. Philadelphia has over 230 miles of sidewalks in poor condition, which decreases the quality of life and makes walking and rolling difficult. Sidewalks are a part of the city’s transportation network, and should be a safe path for pedestrians to get from point A to point B.
The City and Mayor Kenney need to fund sidewalks for numerous reasons:
- Accessibility and Mobility – 32% of Philadelphia households do not have access to a vehicle and depend on sidewalks to get to public transportation.
- Safety – 27% of Philadelphia households have school-aged children, and broken sidewalks encourage walking in the street which increases the likelihood of a crash.
- Health and Environmental Sustainability – Sidewalks provide recreational walking and running space that support healthy lifestyles.
For these important reasons, we are asking Mayor Kenney to #FundSidewalks in this year’s budget proposal. The City must invest in the improvement of the places people walk, the same way they maintain the places where people drive. Pedestrian fatalities continue to rise, and sidewalks a critical piece of safe infrastructure, as broken or missing sidewalks have resulted in the loss of life.
For the City to #FundSidewalks, the first step is a very modest investment, less than 1% of the Streets Department’s budget, to:
- Hire a sidewalk coordinator
- Launch an ADA transition plan or a sidewalk master plan
- Leverage existing programs and develop a strategy for funding to actually repair and replace sidewalks.
This small step will allow the city to plan on how to access increasing federal resources to improve pedestrian infrastructure. Investing in a city-wide sidewalk repair program is key to reaching the City’s Vision Zero goals.
Mayor Kenney and the City of Philadelphia must ease the burden on low-income property owners, and fund sidewalks in the upcoming City budget. Send Mayor Kenney and City Council an email below and demand that the City #FundSidewalks like they do streets.