Bike Share Open Houses


Maybe you’ve never heard of bike share. Or maybe you are one of the 5,824 people who submitted one of 10,535 online, text, and paper surveys about a potential bike share station between September 17- October 20. Either way, you’re invited to attend MOTU’s Bike Share Open Houses!  Bike share representatives will be on hand to discuss Philadelphia’s future program as well as survey findings. Come stop by! The details:

Open House #1

Date: Tuesday, November 18

Time: 8:15am-6pm

Where: The Gallery at Jefferson Station (formerly Market East), in the Atrium and Food Court (enter from 9th/Market)

Open House #2

Date: Thursday, November 20

Time: 8:15am-6pm

Where: 30th Street Station, west side of main waiting area

Can’t make the Open Houses?  Don’t worry; materials and survey results will be posted online at following the events. You’ll be able to see the breakdown of support for each potential station posted on the map at

What’s next for bike share?  Bike share planners are using survey results to guide site visits and are continuing to meet with property owners and community groups to identify good locations for bike share. If you would like to host City reps for a discussion of bike share at your next community meeting, please e-mail and



MOTU Announcements | It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science


The City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) is pleased to announce the implementation and expansion of its traffic and pedestrian safety program It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science. Join us today, October 15th, at 1:30pm at City Hall for the formal announcement.

Funded through the Spring of 2016 by a competitive grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science, is a no-nonsense, multi-faceted program which seeks to reduce the number of pedestrian involved crashes, injuries and fatalities in the City of Philadelphia.  The educational, enforcement and engagement aspects of this program will concentrate along high-crash corridors.  Aspects of the program include:

  • The issuing of warnings and citations to drivers and warnings to pedestrians who are engaged in unsafe behavior;
  • The creation of a police pedestrian enforcement training video;
  • A pedestrian safety advertising campaign on targeted transit bus shelters and transit vehicles;
  • The implementation of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Safe Routes Philly school curriculum at 25 schools, which teaches students how to walk to school safely;
  • An innovative social media campaign which will engage Philadelphians city-wide about how to employ safe pedestrian and driver behavior.

The general timeline for implementation of the different facets of this program are as follows:

  • October 2014 – April 2016 — Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Campaign
  • October 2014 – June 2015 — Safe Routes Philly Programming for the 2014-2015 School Year
  • March 2015 – May 2015 — Spring Safety Advertising Engagement Campaign
  • September 2015 – November 2015 — Fall Safety Advertising Engagement Campaign
  • October 2015 – June 2016 — Safe Routes Philly Programming for the 2015-2016 School Year

For more details regarding this program please click here.

See the original press release about the Pedestrian Focus Cities Grant by clicking here.

Where should bike share stations go?

english bikeshare poster hi-res

A map of potential bike share station locations is now live for comment via, and we want to hear from you! We are collecting feedback on almost 100 potential locations and plan to launch with around 60. Your feedback will help us prioritize, relocate, and eliminate locations as we gear up for initial program launch this coming spring.

You can comment not only online, but also via text message. MOTU has partnered with the Mural Arts Program and artist Eurhi Jones to create a bright red vinyl decal marking the locations of potential bike share stations. When you see one, text your thoughts to the number you see. Philly-based tech start-up Textizen is powering our text survey, and the interactive map was created by OpenPlans using their Shareabouts platform.

What does it mean if a station is on the map?

The map represents potential station locations, not definite plans. We identified potential stations based on analysis of factors such as:

  • population density
  • employment, cultural, and recreational destinations
  • transit stops
  • bike lanes
  • a crowd-sourced bike share station map that many of you commented on
  • site visits
  • meetings with property owners and community groups
  • meetings with agency partners, including SEPTA and Parks & Recreation

In most cases, the online map marks locations where we think bike share could make sense and could physically fit (stations are around 6.5′ wide and between 45′-75′ long). In other cases, the map shows an area that we think should be served by bike share, but in which we haven’t found a good spot. Look at the location description online to identify these (hint: the text begins with “HELP!”). Another insider tip: these locations don’t have decals.

What will we do with the feedback?

We will be using community feedback, in conjunction with meetings with property owners, community groups and other partners, to prioritize, relocate, and eliminate stations from the map. The goal is to identify a network of 60 stations that make the most sense for potential users and for system operations.

We will be presenting the findings of this initiative along with resulting recommendations at a series of public meetings later this fall.

Why isn’t bike share in my neighborhood?

The system will initially comprise 60 stations in Center City and parts of North, South, and West Philadelphia. We adopted this phasing plan as the result of last year’s strategic business planning process. Launching with only 60 stations means that we won’t initially be able to reach all areas that might be well served by bike share. We plan to expand the system in spring 2016 with an additional 60 stations, and will be using lessons learned from initial program launch and from the first year of operations.

We look forward to your feedback!

MOTU Announcements | New Sharrows in Philadelphia

This summer, the Philadelphia Streets Department installed 13 miles of sharrows on Philadelphia streets. Shared lane markings, or ‘sharrows’, were initially developed as part of an experiment to help control traffic in several cities across the United States. The findings of this experiment were that sharrows helped to guide bicyclists away from the door zone — the area adjacent to parked cars where bicyclists could potentially be trapped or hit by a door. These findings led to approval of sharrows by the Federal Highway Administration in 2009.


Philadelphia first began identifying streets where sharrows could be installed in the 2012 Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan for Philadelphia. As shown in a map of current bike facilities in central Philadelphia below, the streets marked this summer include portions of 13th and 15th Streets between Spring Garden Street and Temple University; Memphis, Tulip, Columbia, and Malborough Streets; Sansom Street; and 18th and 21st Streets between Washington and Fairmount Avenues.


How does the Streets Department determine which streets should have sharrows? The main requirement is that streets be part of the city’s Bicycle Network Plan. Bicycle planners and traffic engineers then identify places where installing sharrows would help provide a clear, continuous, and safe path for bicycles to ride on. The chart below outlines more specific reasons for installing sharows.

Sharrows-01 You can read more about some of the new installations here and here.

MOTU Announcements | New Green Conflict Zone Markings


Bicycle Conflict Zone at Logan Circle/19th/Race

Bicycle Conflict Zone at Logan Circle/19th/Race

Have you seen Philadelphia’s new green bicycle conflict zone pavement markings?

Green conflict zones highlight locations where bicycles and motor vehicles must cross paths.  Bright green pavement draws motorists’ attention to these areas while providing cyclists with a clear place to negotiate a crossing.

MOTU and the Streets Department have been working to install new green bicycle conflict zone pavement markings as part of the City’s ongoing Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements Program, which is funded through the Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) program.  Certain green conflict zone areas also include improved white bicycle lane pavement markings as well as two-stage-left-turn boxes, to help facilitate left turns for bicycles at busy intersections.

Keep your eyes out for new green conflict zone markings at:

  1. 5th & Race
  2. 6th & Market
  3. Logan Circle & Vine
  4. 6th & Wood (I-676 ramp)
  5. 19th & Race
  6. 7th & Oregon
  7. 34th & Grays Ferry
  8. 54th & Christian
  9. Columbus Blvd & Morris
  10. Columbus Blvd & Oregon
  11. Columbus Blvd & McKean
  12. Columbus Blvd & Dilworth
  13. Columbus Blvd & Mifflin
  14. Columbus Blvd & Snyder
  15. Grays Ferry & Washington
  16. Penrose & Pattison
  17. 20th & Belfield
  18. Belfield & Wister
  19. Umbria & Domino
  20. Henry & Wigard
  21. Henry & Gates
  22. 19th & Ogontz
  23. 20th & Ogontz
  24. Champlost & Ogontz
  25. Kemble & Ogontz
  26. Olney & Ogontz
  27. Walnut Lane & Ogontz
  28. Byberry & Academy
  29. Woodhaven & Thornton
  30. Langdon & Oxford
  31. Kensington & Allegheny
  32. Cumberland & Aramingo
  33. Westmoreland & Aramingo
  34. 52nd & Parkside
  35. Washington & Water
  36. Washington & Moyamensing

Conflict zone at Logan Circle/19th/Race in action


Tidbit Tuesday | The Navy Yard Shuttles & Public Transit

On Tuesdays, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

Do you, or does someone you know, work at The Navy Yard? The Navy Yard is located at the waterfront in South Philadelphia where the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers meet. While most of the area is dominated by businesses, it also includes a port and many parks and fields that are open to the public. Though The Navy Yard is accessible to both bikes and cars, The Navy Yard’s shuttle buses also provide transportation to and from the area with stops at Market East in Center City and the Broad Street Subway’s AT&T Station.

The Navy Yard gates 2014 shuttle

To better service The Navy Yard shuttle users, Parsons Brinckerhoff, on behalf of The Navy Yard, conducted an anonymous survey of 765 individuals who travel to the campus on a regular basis. Of these individuals, 327 were regular shuttle riders. This week, we are examining some of the survey results regarding commuters to this area.

The charts below show the residences and ages of shuttle users versus those who do not use the shuttle. Based on these visualizations, the majority (96%) of people who take The Navy Yard shuttles are from Philadelphia or other regions of Pennsylvania.

Navy Yard2-01

To get some further insight into each of these groups, Parsons Brinckerhoff collected information on how riders arrive to the shuttle and what the barriers to use are for non-shuttle users. As can be seen below, a majority of shuttle riders arrive to the shuttle via regional rail, walking, or via the Market-Frankford or Broad Street SEPTA lines (the chart shows the number of respondents who took a particular mode to get to the shuttle).

The second chart on the bottom right focuses on barriers to transit use. Why don’t non-shuttle users use the shuttle or other public transportation to get to work? Based on this chart, convenience and time are the two main barriers to use of shuttles or other transit.

Navy Yard 3-02

For more information about The Navy Yard or The Navy Yard shuttles, please visit

MOTUnes Monday | Watching Airplanes

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities showcases a song related to transportation, energy, or sustainability. This week, we’re looking up the sky with Gary Allan.

MOTU Missives | Philly’s Novel Approach to Urban Forest Management

This past spring, several MOTU staff members and interns had the opportunity to tour one of Philadelphia’s largest forests, 30-acre Haddington Woods, located on Cobbs Creek in West Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s forests provide a number of benefits to the city, e.g., storm water retention, localized cooling, and recreational opportunities. The Department of Parks & Recreation recently launched a multi-year forest management pilot in Haddington Woods, which is consistent with broader efforts to make the city more resilient in the face of a changing environment. Haddington Woods is open to the public. Check it out, and before you go, read about what MOTU learned on its tour:

It is well known that ecosystems around the world have been drastically altered by human activities. Many of these changes stem from climate change and the introduction of foreign species into ecosystems. In some cases, such as that of the Asian beetle, which is destroying ash trees across the U.S., invasive species compromise the growth of local species and create environmental imbalances; however, in other cases, the foreign species are harmless. This observation, along with the difficulties of eradicating alien species from compromised ecosystems has led to a change in the way that some conservationists and ecologists are approaching restoration.

Rather than attempting to remove all invasive species from an area, which is costly and in many cases ineffectual, some experts have shifted their focus to removing only foreign invasive species that are causing destruction to the compromised area. Importantly, this requires a great deal of management; the proliferation of an alien species that was not previously considered destructive can cause imbalances which later require its removal or reduction. Nonetheless, this novel approach to conservation is considered to be one of the most economically viable and realistic among conservationists in the long term. Rather than spend resources continually removing certain species, this approach acknowledges that because of climate change, species that will be assets to our urban forests today and in 20 years may not be those that were here 100 years ago.


Our experts at the Ecosystem Management Group of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR) have adopted this theory and are putting it into practice at three large forest restoration sites in the park system. Together with the US Department of Forestry, local universities, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and other partners, PPR is conducting experiments to better understand how the forest management approach can improve the state of Philly’s urban forests. The effects of these experiments will be measured and monitored to better understand which management and decision-making processes are the most beneficial.

One of the main sites of this research is the 30 acre Haddington Woods at Cobbs Creek, which came into the Philadelphia park system in 1910. The plot includes forest areas, or “stand types”, of various qualities, which include (1) high quality forest; (2) intermediate quality forest; (3) degraded forest; and (4) an area of Black Alder, a tree species native to Europe.

Haddington Woods -01

The high quality forest area has multiple layers of vegetation, including trees, shrubs, and a thick layer of leaves on the ground. The intermediate quality area features Buckeye and Catalpa trees, as well as Knotweed plants, which are an invasive species that will be removed. The degraded forest area is overgrown with vines which are severely compromising the trees and must be removed. For now, the area of Black Alder will remain as-is. Through these efforts, PPR is not only improving existing PPR assets, but also ensuring that Philadelphia’s park infrastructure remains resilient and sustainable.

MOTUnes Monday | All Aboard

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) brings you MOTUnes Monday, a selection of some of our favorite transportation related songs. This week, we’re boarding the train with Chuck Berry. *MOTU does not endorse any of the imagery associated with this video.

Research Rest-Stop | How does the public feel about higher taxes for transportation?

The transportation funding crisis has recently made the news (see here and here), although it is not a recent phenomenon.  For the past several decades, revenues from both the state and federal gas taxes have declined in relation to inflation, while transportation infrastructure continues to age and major upgrades become increasingly pressing (MTI, 2014). Faced with failing infrastructure, governments are forced to seek new means of funding transportation. The question is how?

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), based in San Jose,  recently published research investigating public support for increased taxes to fund transportation. Researchers surveyed the public’s reaction to three tax scenarios: (1) raising the federal gas tax rate, (2) creating a new mileage tax, and (3) creating a new federal sales tax. They surveyed 1,503 randomly chosen individuals nationwide in spring 2014 to test public support for the three tax options.

In general, the researchers found that a majority of people would support higher taxes for transportation. There are, however, some conditions. Respondents favored a gas tax increase over all other options, but only if they believed that revenues would be used for projects related to transportation maintenance, safety, and improvements such as upgrading to a newer technology. A gas tax to fund transportation improvements with environmental benefits, such as addressing local air pollution and global warming, was also well supported. When a gas tax increase was proposed without a clear purpose or with implications to driver’s annual costs explicitly cited in the survey questionnaire, researchers saw support for the tax decrease. In addition, a phased tax increase received more support than a one-time increase when no other information about tax purposes was provided to survey respondents.

MTI researchers found that in response to a proposed mileage tax, respondents much preferred variable rates tied to a vehicle’s pollution level over a flat-rate. In fact, a flat rate mileage tax was the least supported option of all. Interestingly, support for a new federal sales tax fell in the middle.


The Mineta researchers also investigated whether certain characteristics made individuals more likely to support higher transportation taxes.  They found that people who use transit and consider transportation as a key priority are more likely to support higher transportation taxes.


The study also suggests that the demographic subgroups most likely to support higher transportation taxes are Asians/Asian-Americans and blacks/African-Americans, registered Democratic voters, youths (18 to 24 years).

Additionally, the research explored public opinion on three options, shown below, for funding expansions and improvements specifically to public transit.


Research revealed that not all respondents were familiar with how transit is funded. In fact, only half of them were aware that fares do not cover the full costs of running public transit.

During the five years that MTI has been conducting this annual survey, it has found that support levels have not changed much. Public support for transportation taxes has generally risen slightly, with the largest boost in support for a variable-rate mileage tax.

Key implications of the study are that the basic concept of a gas tax increase or a mileage tax is not popular, but that modifying tax structures and linking taxes to safety and environment benefits can increase support. MTI highlights the fact that respondents of the youngest age group (18-24 year old) were much more supportive of any transportation tax option. They suggest that if this is reflective of a generational shift, rather than views at different life-stages, increased taxes for transportation could receive more public support in the future.

MTI’s questionnaire asked about support for tax proposals described in only general terms. Therefore, the results cannot indicate support for or against any specific proposal that may be put forward to fund transportation. The research instead indicates the public’s likely preferences and patterns of support vary in relation to how new taxes are both structured and how their benefits are described and “framed” in public debate. For more details about the research findings, visit here.


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