Philadelphia now has its first director of Complete Streets.
Merging vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic is the mission for Kelley Yemen, who has worked in both New York City and Minnesota. She says Philadelphia has great potential to be a multi-modal city.”I think incredible land use and grid density is such as asset,” Yemen said. “I think here in Minnesoda we try to narrow up our roads, while in Philadelphia it’s mission accomplished already.”Bob Previdi of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia says they can’t wait to talk about the issue of all modes of transportation working together in harmony.”What we want to see done first is to take a look at the enormous number of crashes that we’re having in the city and do a little triage on the worst areas,” Previdi said. “We want to look at where bike lanes make sense, we want to calm traffic down.”That will make things better for everyone — including drivers, he said.
Yeman admits she has not seen Roosevelt Boulevard (one of the city’s most deadly roads) firsthand, but coming up with ways to make all the city’s streets safer will be among her charges in the new job which begins November 7th.
“Philadelphia has more than 2,500 miles of streets, and finding ways that all residents can safely share them is a growing challenge,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement.
In her newly created position, Yeman will “oversee the expansion of programs and initiatives that have a direct impact on safety throughout the city’s transportation systems… and assure that all street projects, programs and maintenance incorporate concepts and strategies that promote safety across all modes of transportation.”