In Philly complete streets are a priority and we’re seeing more precious street space given over to projects that make the city more hospitable for people on foot, on bike, and on transit. But in the wide world of transportation spending there is no disputing that cars are still king.
In Pennsylvania 94% of planned transportation projects don't include pedestrian or bicycle infrastructure, according to a new report by Advocacy Advance, a project of the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists.
The new Advocacy Advance report is a state-by-state look at spending on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure (individually, as shared-use projects, and as part of road projects) by comparing State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), each state's a federally-mandated transportation budget produced every four years. The report also measured each state's open data record when it comes to the clarity and availability of information about transportation projects.
Pennsylvania’s current Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) anticipates $16.7 billion in transportation spending, of that $717 million is slated for projects that include pedestrian/bicycle facilities. That places Pennsylvania below average for the amount of money slated for pedestrian/bicycle projects.
In terms of data transparency, Pennsylvania earned a C-. Among the reasons for the mediocre score: complete data sets are not easily available in any form online, descriptions of projects are unclear, and there is no individual point of contact at PennDOT for Transportation Improvement Program information. Where the Pennsylvania did earn high praise is for PennDOT's nifty online map of projects statewide.
Ashley Hahn is an independent writer with a background in historic preservation and city planning. She started Eyes on the Street for PlanPhilly in 2011 and was PlanPhilly's managing editor from 2015-2017. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York. She is a Philadelphian by choice.