Get Healthy Philly shows up on the streets

    A new bike lane on your Philly block? That’s the fruit of a two-year collaboration between city agencies to make Philadelphians healthier.

    Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in Philadelphian will continue to see the fruit of the health initiative go up this year, as funding for the project winds down. More than $24 million from the federal stimulus went into Get Healthy Philly. The campaign aims to reduce smoking and encourage Philadelphians to eat well and be more active.

    That second goal requires bringing in partners front outside the health department.

    Get Healthy Philly included projects as simple as adding bike lanes, say Debby Schaaf, of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.

    Schaaf oversees the development of project Philadelphia’s new Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan.

    “There have been a lot of initiatives related to active transportation that were funded by the Get Healthy Philly program,” said Schaaf. “That’s coming to an end but things will continue in terms of implementation this year.”Besides bike lanes, Schaaf says funds have paid to educate cyclists, pedestrians and drivers about the rules of the road. More directional signs for bicyclists will continue to appear around Philadelphia in the coming months as they come off the presses.  The stimulus dollars awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services have to be spent by March 13.

    Disclosure: WHYY received funds from the city’s “Get Healthy Philly” initiative for the “Fit” project on healthy eating and for a series of community forums on tobacco policy.

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