Philadelphia Named America’s Most Bikable Large City

Philadelphia, December 21, 2012 – The website www.walkscore.com, in collaboration with researchers at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, announced this week that Philadelphia ranks as the ninth most bikeable city United States and the best city for biking with a population more than one million. The rankings are based on four factors: bike lanes; hills; destinations and road connectivity; and bike commuting mode share.

 

“I am pleased to see Philadelphia recognized as among the nation’s most bikable cities,” said Michael A. Nutter.  “The work of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities to coordinate agencies across City government has led to major strides in making biking a safe and convenient option for traveling around Philadelphia,” Nutter continued.

 

More than two percent of Philadelphians bike to work according to the 2011 Census Bureau’s American Communities Survey, this is a full percentage point higher than the next American City with a population more than one million; Chicago.  The Census Bureau data also ranks Center City Philadelphia and South Philadelphia as among the top twenty five biking neighborhoods in the United States.

 

In the past five years the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and Streets Department efforts have significantly expanded bike infrastructure in high demand and key employment areas including Center City, University City and around Temple University. In 2010, the City was awarded a $17.2 million US Department of Transportation TIGER Grant to fill critical gaps in the regions biking and walking trail network. By the end of 2013, nearly five and half miles will be added to the trail network knitting together a more that 50 mile network of cycling and walking trails, with a focus on the ability of the trails to be used for transportation.  By the end of 2014, the City expects to complete another five trail projects creating more than ten miles of new trail that leverage the existing network.

“We have been working hard for five years to make Philadelphia easier to get around, however you travel. The latest survey shows that our efforts are working. Perhaps most importantly, our streets and trails have never been safer for cycling, with bike commuting up by 150 percent since the year 2000 and the number of accidents involving cyclists down 50 percent,” said Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler.

ship in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, and it was a pilot site for a city-wide effort to employ more women and minority contractors in public projects.  Site-specific artwork was commissioned for inclusion in the PJJSC as part of the City’s ‘Percent for Art’ program.  Two Philadelphia-based painters were chosen to decorate the lobby, the community room and the second-floor waiting area.  A documentary by Greenhouse Media featuring the artists’ creative process will be displayed in the building.

 

 

More than 15 City departments, agencies and programs are affiliated with the PJJSC, and major tenants of the facility will include the Department of Human Services, the Juvenile Justice Division, Family Court, the School District of Philadelphia, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender Association, and the Department of Public Property Facilities Division.

MAYOR NUTTER SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER; CREATES THE PHILADELPHIA FOOD ACCESS COLLABORATIVE

Philadelphia, December 18, 2012–  Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed an Executive Order creating the Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative, the coordinating body that will address the recommendations of the Mayor’s Task Force on Outdoor Serving of Food to improve access to free meals for individuals in need.  The Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative will convene appointed community leaders, meal providers, volunteers, City officials and residents who use community food services to increase access to healthy, safe food and vital social services in an indoor setting.

 

“No Philadelphian should go hungry when resources and dedicated volunteers who are willing and able to help are present,” said Mayor Nutter.  “The health, safety and dignity of individuals who utilize emergency food services has to be the key consideration as we work together to increase access to meals and services.  I look forward to the great work that the Philadelphia Food Access Collaboration will do for our most vulnerable citizens.”

 

The initial goals of the Collaborative are:

 

  • Increase the availability of meals at existing indoor meal service sites– Inventory existing indoor meal service organizations and assess their needs in order to increase the number of indoor meal options;
  • Coordinate meal schedules to eliminate gaps in service – Support the coordination of meal schedules for both indoor and outdoor servers to ensure there is adequate coverage throughout the week for individuals seeking food, and make this information widely available;
  • Identify opportunities for new space for meal service – Look for potential new space where outdoor servers can provide meals in a safe and healthy environment with indoor and outdoor space available to those being served food;
  • Connect individuals to meals and other social service resources – Work to ensure that information on resources for meals and key social services are provided at meal service sites;
  • Raise the visibility of these issues – Release an annual report on the work of the Collaborative towards advancing these goals, and the overall state of emergency food in Philadelphia; and
  • Fundraise in support of these efforts – Identify additional resources to advance the work of this group.

 

“The Food Access Collaborative is positioned to be a game-changer in Philadelphia’s ongoing quest to alleviate the trauma experienced through hunger.  By assembling proven leadership from diverse sectors and gathering a range of expertise, the Collaborative is positioned to drive our city toward new solutions to this vexing problem. This is a roll-up-your sleeves kind of group and I am proud to be a part of it,” said Bill Golderer, Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative.

 

Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative Members

 

Kevin Barr

Executive Director, St. John’s Hospice

John Barrett

Vice President, Logan Square Neighborhood Association

Adam Bruckner

Director, Philadelphia Restart

Bill Clark

President and Executive Director, Philabundance

Andre Cureton

Daytime Program Supervisor, Bethesda Project, Former Outdoor Food Consumer

Kim Fortunato, Esq.

      Director, Childhood Obesity and Hunger Program, Campbell Soup Company

Brian Jenkins

Executive Director, Chosen 300

Samantha Matlin

Special Advisor to the Commissioner for Policy Development and Research,Department of Behavioral

Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Dick McMillen

Executive Director, Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission

Carey Morgan

Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger

Joe Pyle

Executive Director, Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation

Joseph Rogers

Chief Advocacy Officer, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Former Outdoor Food Consumer

Nilda Ruiz

President and CEO, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha

Jay Spector

President and CEO, Jewish Employment and Vocational Services

Salomon Vazquez

Outdoor Food Provider, The Connect Church

 

Collaborative Co-Chairs

 

Bill Golderer, Convening Minister, Broad Street Ministry, Pastor, Arch Street Presbyterian Church

Mary Horstmann, Deputy Director, Policy Planning and Coordination, Mayor’s Office

 

The Collaborative will be adding additional members to ensure broad representation from key constituencies on this issue.