Philadelphia has been honored as a Walk Friendly Community for its efforts to encourage walking and make it safer.
The designation comes from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, which is part of the University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx, Walk Friendly Communities is a nation-wide program that gives bronze, silver, gold and platinum honor designations to applicant communities. So far, 21 communities have won the designation. Philadelphia, one of 10 communities honored this time, got a silver award.
Philadelphia adopted its first Pedestrian Plan last fall, and a second phase is in progress. In recent years, the city streets department has converted 535 signalized intersections to all-way stops, an effort that resulted in a more than 50 percent reduction in injury related crashes, according to a city press release. The streets department has also expanded the use of countdown pedestrian signals across Philadelphia.
With 1.53 million people, Philadelphia is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. and has one of the most walkable downtowns in the nation. One fourth of all trips in the City are made on foot.
“Philadelphia is a great place to walk for residents, commuters and visitors,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I would like to thank The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center for recognizing our city’s ongoing commitment to creating a great walkable city. A more walkable Philadelphia makes for a healthier, safer and more sustainable city.”