SEPTA’s New Pilot Program Offers 24 Hour Weekend Service

SEPTA

Night owls rejoice! Starting at midnight on June 15th, SEPTA will be offering 24 hour service for late night riders of the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays. The pilot program, which has launched in response to Philadelphia’s increasing night-time activities and flourishing restaurant and night-life scene, will run through Labor Day Weekend.

Depending on how successful the pilot program is SEPTA may choose to extend late night service past the summer months.

Here are some of the main details:

SAFETY: Extra police officers will be present at all stations to ensure the safety of all passengers.

FARES & ENTRY: At major hubs and high ridership locations, riders can purchase fares at the entrance gate. At all other stations, riders will be able to go through the turnstiles and pay their fares to the train operator at the head of the train before entering. Exact change only, please!

FREQUENCY: Trains will run every 20 minutes between midnight and 5:00 a.m.

You can get more information, including tips and schedules here.

The parklets are back!

Parklet on S. 44th St.

Stop by and enjoy the city’s nine beautiful parklets! Now in their third season, Philadelphia’s parklets temporarily–from April through November–convert one or two on-street parking spaces into patios with tables, seating, and greenery. Although small businesses often sponsor parklets, parklet seating is open to the general public.

Parklets at the following locations are now in full swing:

  1. 128 N. 10th Street, sponsored by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation;
  2. 1511 South Street, sponsored by the The Quick Fixx and the South of South Neighborhood Association;
  3. 2311 Frankford Ave, sponsored by Little Baby’s Ice Cream and the New Kensington Community Development Corporation;
  4. 4360 Main Street,  sponsored by Federal Realty Investment Trust and the Manayunk Development Corporation;
  5. 4903 Catharine Street, sponsored by University City District;
  6. 810-814 S. 47th Street, sponsored by University City District;
  7. 261-263 S. 44th Street, sponsored by University City District;
  8. 43rd and Baltimore, sponsored by University City District;
  9. 4040 Locust, sponsored by University City District.

To learn more about the evolution of the city’s parklet program, check out some of our earlier blog posts here, here, here, and here. Is your business or neighborhood association interested in sponsoring a parklet? If so, contact us at completestreets@phila.gov.

CyclePhilly App Launches

CycleApp-2014-05-06

Calling all cyclists with smart phones! With a new app called CyclePhilly, you can record and report your biking routes, travel times, and trip purposes. The aggregate data, which will include a map showing your and other participants’ rides, will help planning agencies and their partners improve area bike infrastructure.

The CyclePhilly app was developed by volunteers with Code for Philly, a branch of Code for America, in partnership with DVRPC, the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and SEPTA. It is the first bike route mapping mobile application for the Philadelphia area.

The CyclePhilly app is available for free in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Visit http://www.cyclephilly.org to learn more.


June 26, 2014 Update: Preliminary results after two months indicate that the app has collected data from more than 5000 bike rides in Philadelphia. WHYY’s NewsWorks recently wrote about the app here.

Twitter Roundup from our Bike Share Announcement Yesterday!

Yesterday we had a huge bike share announcement! The City of Philadelphia has selected “Bicycle Transit Systems to plan and operate the system, and B-cycle to provide the bicycles, stations, and technology platform” and is looking to roll out in Spring of 2015.  See the official press release here: http://bit.ly/1rrgax8

Below are some tweets from yesterday’s press release in front of the Art Museum –

We can’t wait for Spring 2015!

You’re Invited: Artist-Designed Bike Racks Display & Reception

Artistic_BikeRacks_invitation_revised

Mark April 9th on your calendars to join us and our favorite new bike racks for an afternoon reception featuring the winners of the Bicycle Coalition’s Artistic Bike Rack competition.  The reception will be held from 5pm-7pm in the Art Gallery at City Hall, in room 116 B, and is hosted by the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OCCE) and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.  New York City may have David Byrne, but we think that Philadelphia’s  artists can hang with the best of ‘em.  Come see what all the fuss is about.

From OCCE:

“The City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy introduces two exhibitions in celebration of Philadelphia’s growing bicycle culture.  Artist-designed Bike Racks and Bike p’ARTs combine two great local passions: cycling and art. The exhibits are located on the 1st and 2nd floors of City Hall, NE corner in the Art Gallery at City Hall and display cases near the Mayor’s Offices.  An artist reception is scheduled for April 9, 5-7 pm.

Last summer, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy in partnership with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia launched an open competition inviting artists and designers to create unique and creative bike racks for Philadelphia.  The project was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. Over 100 entries from 83 individuals and firms, representing 21 states, as well as the Netherlands and Poland; 35 entries came from the Philadelphia area were reviewed by a panel of arts professionals and bicycle enthusiasts.  Selections were made based on creativity, appropriateness to Center City, and functionality as a bike rack. 
 
Nine design finalists were selected:
Peter Everett Brown and Barbara Ann Sprague AIA, of Brown Sprague LLC, Kathleen Fruge-Brown, Warren Holzman & Iron Studio, Carin Mincemoyer, Joe Norman, Collin Robinson, Nathaniel Ross, Ralph Tullie and Juliet Whelan.

A
rtist-designed Bike Racks features all 9 of the winning bike rack designs in the Art Gallery at City Hall. This is the only remaining opportunity to see all the designs in one location.  Afterwards, the bike racks will be installed throughout Center City in such locations as the Cira Centre, Sister Cities Park, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for widespread public use.  Prior to being exhibited in City Hall, the fabricated designs were part of this year’s Flower Show.
 
To complement Artist-design Bike Racks, artists from the region were invited to submit art that utilizes bicycle parts, exploring themes of sustainability, health and the urban environment. Bike p’ARTs features the work of 11 local artists: Regina Kelly Barthmaier, Robert Barabos, Charlize Katzenbach, Jennifer Lynn, Gerry Marron, Eric Mozes and Donnell Powell of Color My Sidewalk, Elicia “Eel-Eye” Avenue, Scott White, Kendal Wilkins and Raphael Xavier
 
The exhibits run through June 13th.” 
BikeP-Arts Announcement_revised

Philly’s Snow-Fighting Efforts Benefit from Brine

Briningphoto

The benefits of brining are visible during snowfall in late February.

We posted previously about what it takes to keep Philadelphia’s streets clear and safe during winter weather. It turns out the story gets saltier— in a good way.

To reduce the amount of rock salt applied to roads while still effectively combating ice and snow, the Streets department applies brine. Just like the brine used for pickling and other culinary feats, the brine applied to roads is a solution of salt and water. Brine can be applied to roads up to two days before a snow event. As the water in the solution evaporates, a coating of salt remains on the asphalt. In contrast to dry rock salt, which is often swept from travel lanes to gutters by vehicular traffic, brine residue stays in travel lanes where it is applied. The Streets Department applies brine proactively to prevent ice or snow from adhering to road surfaces. Brine can melt up to the first two inches of snow that falls in a storm.

The Streets Department estimates that brining reduces total amount of salt required for wintry city streets by over 30%. Less salt used on roadways means less salt enters the urban ecosystem and area watershed. Less salt also means reduced corrosion and deterioration of the city’s bridges and streets, resulting in fewer potholes and needed repairs.

The City has been brining for about 15 years. To address challenges caused by aging brining equipment, Streets Department Commissioner Perri recently directed the Highway Division to revitalize the City’s brine operations. As a result, the Street Department’s Bridge Maintenance and Central Maintenance Units, along with Fleet Management, rehabilitated two brine stations. The Streets Department plans to expand brining operations as conditions permit. The primary focus for brine treatment at this time is roadways in elevated regions of the city and on Roosevelt Boulevard.

The challenge this year, of course, has been the intensity snow and icy conditions we’ve experienced, which mean brining can’t be the only solution deployed. Not including this year’s winter snowfall, 75% of the snow events in Philadelphia result in a snowfall accumulation of one inch or less. In the future, the Streets Department will continue to invest in this cost effective treatment technique for use in most storm events.

Thanks to the Streets Department for all of this information!

City of Philadelphia Reaches Agreement to Sell PGW to UIL for $1.86 Billion

Originally posted on City of Philadelphia's News & Alerts:

Agreement must win approval from City Council and PUC

March 3, 2014 – The Nutter Administration announced today that it has signed an agreement to sell the assets of the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) to UIL Holdings Corporation for $1.86 billion. The sale, which would inject at least $424 million into the City’s pension fund, must still win approval from City Council and then the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), prior to closing.

“When I announced nearly two years ago that the City would begin exploring the sale of PGW, I pledged that I would sign an agreement only if the terms benefited Philadelphia taxpayers and PGW customers,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “This agreement accomplishes those goals and much more. UIL submitted the highest bid for PGW and agreed to contract terms that were important to the City. Our agreement keeps rates frozen for three years, maintains PGW’s discount…

View original 827 more words

Join the SEPTA Citizen Advisory Committee

CAC-Poster-Feb2014

SEPTA is looking for Philadelphia residents to join its Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC)!

The CAC is a forum for regular SEPTA riders to work with the Authority to advocate for public transit.  SEPTA invites you to apply (by April 4th) to join the committee if you feel strongly about transit and are interested in representing other riders. To join, you should have the following qualifications:

  • Committed to collaborative engagement;
  • Proven track record of community volunteerism;
  • Familiar with Philadelphia neighborhoods and transit;
  • Able to commit to no less than 12 hours per month to the duties of the position, which include attending a monthly general meeting, a monthly subcommittee meeting, as well as a quarterly meeting with other City representatives;
  • Attend or host, in conjunction with SEPTA, local community meetings to discuss transit and transit related issues;
  • Have no outstanding back taxes.

To learn more and to apply, go to http://septa.org/partners/cac/membership-application.html. Applications can also be requested via the Philly 311 line. Submit applications by April 4, 2014.

Introducing Philadelphia’s New Green Streets Design Manual

Stormwater planter, from the Green Streets Design Manual

Stormwater planter, from the Green Streets Design Manual

The Philadelphia Water Department has announced the publication of Philadelphia’s Green Streets Design Manual!

Streets account for 38% of Philadelphia’s impervious surfaces, and are therefore an integral component of the City’s Green City, Clean Waters green stormwater management initiative.

The new design manual is a compilation of green stormwater infrastructure design standards that have been customized for Philadelphia. The manual also includes downloadable images and design files to aid green street projects at all stages, from planning, design, and engineering to construction.

The manual draws on the City’s experience with over 250 green street projects that are either in the ground or underway, and is the product of collaboration between PWD, the Streets Department, Parks and Recreation, the Planning Commission, MOTU, and other partners.

For more information, check out PWD’s press release:  CityofPhilaGreenStreetsPressRelease-2014.

PWD Issues RFP for Residential Stormwater Management Programs

rainbarrel_barbndc“rain barrel” by barbndc is licensed under CC BY 2.0                
The Philadelphia Water Department has posted a request for proposals (RFP) for the management of two of its residential stormwater programs: Rain Check and Rain Barrels. This represents a unique opportunity to get involved in implementing one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of Green City, Clean Watersthe city’s innovative watershed protection and enhancement plan.
 
PWD is seeking a Philadelphia based team with education and outreach experience that can also provide professional engineering support to administer the implementation of residential stormwater management tools on properties throughout the City.  
 
To view the full RFP, visit http://secure.phila.gov/econtract/ and search for opportunity # 21140123172141. Responses are due February 21 and there will be a pre-proposal meeting on February 4
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