Washington Avenue Safety Project: September 3 Public Meeting

The City of Philadelphia is committed to making safe streets for people who drive, walk, bicycle, deliver, load and unload, and use public transit—Washington Avenue is no exception. Join MOTU, the Streets Department, and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission on Thursday, September 3 between 6 and 7:30pm at the Rock School for Dance Education for an evening of discussions and activities that will help us to develop a re-striping proposal for Washington Avenue.

Washington Avenue - September 3 - Public Meeting Announcement


Frankford Avenue Transit Improvement Project

You’re invited to join SEPTA and MOTU at the Holmesburg Branch Library on August 3rd from 5:00 – 7:00pm to learn how new technology will support the service of SEPTA’s Bus Route 66 along Frankford Avenue. Representatives will be available to discuss the improvements and to answer your questions.

For more information on the project, visit SEPTA’s website.

August 2015 Abandoned Bike Sweep

On Wednesday, August 12th and Thursday, August 13th, MOTU and the Streets Department’s Sanitation Division will be conducting an abandoned bicycle sweep. We will remove abandoned bicycles that have been identified through Philly-311 and tagged by our office. Specifically, we will be doing our best to remove abandoned bicycles. Removing abandoned bicycles is an important part of maintaining the streets for all Philadelphians as it frees up our sidewalks for pedestrian use and it clears existing parking areas that are designated for cyclists.

All abandoned bicycles will be donated to local charities that specialize in refurbishing bicycles.

To report an abandoned bicycle, submit a request by calling 311 or by the 311 website. Remember to include a description of the bicycle, its location, any damage, and what the bike is locked to (a tree, parking meter, etc.). If we are unable to remove the abandoned bike during this sweep, or if the reported bike is located outside of our priority zones for the Papal visit, we will address the request at a later time.

If your bicycle has been identified as abandoned inadvertently, simply remove the yellow tag and relocate the bicycle to a nearby bike rack, or call the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities at 215-686-4421.

Curious about what defines an abandoned bicycle? Review Bill No. 150287.

MOTUnes Monday | Philadelphia Freedom

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) brings you MOTUnes Monday, a selection of some of our favorite transportation and utilities-related songs. Today, we are listening to a Philadelphia-themed song with Elton John’s 1975 “Philadelphia Freedom”.

Regional Safety Task Force Meeting | Reducing Impaired and Distracted Driving

In Pennsylvania, one out of three traffic-related fatalities is due to impaired driving. In Philadelphia, impaired driving was a factor in at least 22 crash fatalities in Philadelphia between 2010 and 2012. In effort to address this important issue, staff from MOTU and the Philadelphia Streets Department attended the March 3rd Regional Safety Task Force (RSTF) meeting on reducing impaired and distracted driving.

At the RSTF meeting, Judge John Kennedy of York County Courts and Criminal Justice presented an innovative, highly effective approach to reducing DUIs and DUI recidivism called Target 25.

As we all know, improving road safety requires everyone’s participation. You can save your life or a life of someone else by not driving while under the influence—and that means of legal or illegal drugs as well as alcohol. We also encourage you to learn more about the issue and to get involved by:

It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science

In April 2014, the City of Philadelphia was honored as the recipient of a Focus Cities grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to expand our pedestrian safety advertising campaign, It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science. And, yesterday, we kicked off the campaign in unexpected ways!

Using the same tagline as our previous campaign, “It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science,” we brought unsafe driver and pedestrian behaviors to life. Throughout the city’s highest crash corridors, we held #notrocketscience pop-up road safety events. At LOVE Park, Reading Terminal Market, Temple University, and the Olney Transportation Center, three distracted individuals dressed in “safety attire” (read: two over-the-top bubble wrap safety suits and a techy safety suit equipped with flashing lights and a scrolling marquee) in order to safely be distracted walkers.

Of course, distracted walking is not itself horribly hazardous; pedestrians don’t hit themselves! We dressed individuals in “safety gear” to illustrate a ridiculous world where we ask pedestrians to protect themselves against drivers engaged in unsafe behavior, when in fact it would be easier if everyone– especially drivers– just put their phones down and paid attention.

Pedestrian safety hard at work in the City of Brotherly Love

Throughout the day, It’s Road Safety’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts were updated, and people passing by were invited to join the conversation using #notrocketscience. As the selfies attest, the safety suit characters were a hit!

SelfiesWe’ve also launched a dynamic It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science website that has animated safety messages, safety tips, a safety kit, and “Heads Up” pictures that users are invited to share in order to warn others about the dangers of distracted driving and walking. The website’s animated characters, as well as their safety messages, debuted as advertisements on bus shelters, buses, trolleys, and subways yesterday, too.

Yesterday’s excitement certainly will not conclude It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science. Beginning next Tuesday, MOTU will be posting weekly safety tips to its Tidbit Tuesdays page. Yesterday’s pop-events were filmed and will be aired in a series of Public Service Announcements in April. And in April, we also will be hosting pedestrian/driver safety workshops in the city’s three highest crash corridors.

To make this campaign a success, though, we need you to promote safer streets for everyone! We invite you to use the resources we’ve provided to get the word out about the importance of pedestrian and driver safety in Philadelphia.

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.

City Departments Release 15 Environmentally-Themed Datasets for Hackathon

MyPark, an app built at the EcoCampPhilly Hackathon Stormfighter, an app built at the EcoCampPhilly Hackathon

What can we accomplish with a little collaboration? A lot. Last week five City departments released a total of 15 new data sets in support of Azavea’s EcoCamp event. Among those contributing were the Streets Department, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP), Parks and Recreation, and the Water Department.

EcoCamp is a series of events “promoting sustainability and the environment through technology.” Held June 20-22, the events included workshops, an “unconference” (where sessions are led by conference attendees), and a hackathon, a contest for teams of civic hackers to develop software or other technology-driven solutions to the city’s challenges.

The departments’ new datasets were all environmentally-themed. City departments worked hard to release data for EcoCamp. Mining, scrubbing, and releasing data for public consumption are tedious tasks but these efforts are important. Not only does releasing data work…

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From One Second to the Next, Werner Herzog Reminds Us of the Danger of Texting While Driving

The latest work from the prolific documentarian Werner Herzog is a powerful half-hour portrait of the danger of texting while driving. From One Second to the Next was created as part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” project, a campaign aimed at urging younger drivers to stay focused on driving and wait until arriving at their destinations to text.

Herzog detailed the circumstances of four crashes caused by texting while driving, and he asked both victims and perpetrators to describe at length what happened leading up to the crash and how what happened afterward. Each time, lives were changed in an instant as a result of these drivers’ decisions. The film will be shown in thousands of high schools and by organizations dedicated to safety. Already viewed over 2 million times, Herzog hopes to convince drivers to make the responsible decision and remember that texting really can wait.

h/t Slate and NPR

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