Feet First Philly

In order to improve regional air quality the Council has long advocated for a more sustainable transportation system. This includes supporting greater public transit use, bicycling, and walking. Ultimately the goal is to get as many folks as possible out of their single-occupant-vehicles and instead using more sustainable modes of travel.

Following up on its multi-purpose trail work, the Council realized there was a need to both encourage walking itself and advocate for infrastructure improvements that make walking safer and more attractive for everyone. The fact is almost everyone walks for a portion of every trip and Feet First Philly, a project of the Clean Air Council, intends to ensure that portion of the trip is both pleasant and safe. The Council wants to ensure walking is included in any transportation plans that affect Philadelphia.

Feet First Philly was organized following a Council-sponsored pedestrian-oriented program at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University that attracted over 200 participants. Governed by a steering committee of volunteer advocates including a retired city planner, the retired city pedestrian-bicycle advocate, a SEPTA representative, and several private citizens, Feet First Philly publishes a bi-monthly newsletter Footnotes and continues to work with local government to improve conditions for pedestrians. The Council provides Feet First Philly with staff support.

Feet First Philly has surveyed center city intersections for adequate pedestrian walk-time and for the past year has been working with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities on minimizing the inconvenience caused by closing sidewalks at construction sites. It monitors bills introduced in City Council that affect sidewalk access or condition and serves as a voice to protect the rights of pedestrians. Beginning in 2016 Feet First Philly will campaign for improvements in sidewalk condition throughout the city and advocate for new sidewalk construction where needed but not currently present. Feet First Philly also supports and advocates for Vision Zero programming in Philadelphia, with the goal of reducing traffic-related injuries and fatalities. This includes red-light cameras and electronic speed enforcement, as examples.

Feet First Philly maintains its own website feetfirstphilly.org where you can find copies of Footnotes and become a supporter of Feet First Philly. If you have any specific questions, comments, or concerns, please email feetfirstphilly@cleanair.org.

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