Plan Philly enters the mayoral election-coverage realm

 Four of the six candidates in the Philadelphia mayor's race have formally/ceremonially launched their campaigns. (Nat Hamilton/for NewsWorks)

Four of the six candidates in the Philadelphia mayor's race have formally/ceremonially launched their campaigns. (Nat Hamilton/for NewsWorks)

Our friends over at Plan Philly sent word that they’ve kicked off their Eyes on the Street “land-use election coverage” this week. This hyperlink represents your pathway to its Agenda 2015 page.

Early posts on the page include “What kind of city should Philly be?” …

As part of PlanPhilly’s election coverage, Eyes on the Street is going to spend time at the intersection of advocacy and policy with folks who know a thing or two about working to make Philly a better city for all.

… and “How the Next Mayor Can Save Lives and Money” in which the Bicycle Coalition’s Sarah Clark Stuart argues in favor of Philly adopting traffic-safety initiatives via the “Vision Zero Initative,” a mission on which NinetyNine has already touched.

From Plan Philly:

Vision Zero … is a set of policies that governments use to reduce and ultimately eliminate traffic deaths. Vision Zero has been adopted by countries, states and cities to address the problem of traffic violence head on. And Philadelphia should be next.

Vision Zero grew out of Sweden in 1997, when the country’s parliament adopted the goal to fully eliminate all highway deaths and injuries. Since then, it has spread to other jurisdictions. Most recently, New York City and San Francisco. And already, New York City has made headlines with its Vision Zero legislation, like when it lowered its speed limit last year to 25 miles per hour.

The scale of Philadelphia’s traffic deaths is important to put into context. In 2013, 89 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Philadelphia. Homicides claimed 247 lives and fire claimed 23. So, motor vehicle crashes are claiming three times as many women, men and children as fires and is one-third the number of people who are murdered.

But, what is the level of resources being devoted to these three types of fatalities? The City currently budgets at least 30 times as many resources into the departments that address murders and fires as compared to the department that needs to be retrofitting city streets to make them safer. It’s gotten so bad, we at the Bicycle Coalition reported recently that the Streets Department has a paving backlog of more than 900 miles—more than a quarter of all the city’s streets.

Please take a second to bookmark the page, dear readers.

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