Tidbit Tuesday | Breakdown of Bicycle Parking Spaces in Center City

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.

Did you know that Center City Philadelphia is home to more than 5,000 bicycle parking spaces? This week we graphed data describing bicycle parking in Center City which is available on OpenDataPhilly here.  We graphed the percentage of bicycle parking spaces available in Center City by the type of bicycle parking (we only included formal bicycle parking, a structure whose purpose is only for bicycle parking, and did not include informal bicycle parking, a structure whose initial purpose is for something other than bicycle parking, such as a sign post).  For a more detailed understanding of the different types of bicycle parking available in Center City in this data set, please check out the data’s metadata located here.

As can be seen in the graph, 50% of all bicycle parking spaces in Center City are made available through staple racks (sometimes known as inverted u-racks).  In addition, converted parking meters make up an additional 32% of all bicycle parking spaces.  School yard racks, wave racks, and on-street corrals make up the remaining 18%.  We did not include hitchpost style bicycle parking and miscellaneous bicycle parking (examples of which can be seen here), as both provide too few bicycle parking spaces in Center City to be able to be seen on this chart.  That being said, we did include the total bicycle parking spaces provided by these structures in our overall counts.

Breakdown of Bicycle Parking Spaces in Center City-01

Please note that breakdown is the percent of the number of parking spaces available, not by the total number of bicycle parking structures are available.  A quick summary of the data is as follows:

Total Number of Bike Parking Spaces
Converted Parking Meter 1,640 32%
Hitch Style 12 0%
Other 8 0%
School Yard 630 12%
Staple or Inverted-U 2,612 50%
Street Corral 110 2%
Wave 210 4%
Total 5,222  100.0%

What is your favorite type of bicycle parking?

Tidbit Tuesday | Vehicle accessability between Philadelphians who rent and own their own homes

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.

This week we took American Community Survey data (2013 1-year estimate) and calculated the number of Philadelphia householders who own their own vehicle by whether they own or rent their homes.   According to the data, approximately 20% of home owners do not have access to a vehicle and 48% of home renters do not have access to a vehicle.

Vehicle Availability_Home renters v owners-01

 

Tidbit Tuesday | Median Age of Philadelphia Commuters by Transportation Mode Choice

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.

This week we took American Community Survey data (2013 1-year estimate) and graphed the median age of the commuters who use each mode.  Please note that all ages are rounded to the nearest whole number.  As you can see below, driving alone and carpooling tends to skew older and walking and biking (or taking another mode) tend to skew younger.

MedianAgebyMode-01

Note: We know that it is a little strange the bikes and taxis are grouped together, unfortunately this is how it is grouped for this question category on the American Community Survey.

Tidbit Tuesday | Recycling Reminders

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

Did you know that disposing of some everyday items—such as batteries, mothballs, cell phone batteries, computer chargers, and aerosol cans—may require a special set of regulations due to the potential damage they can cause to people, pets, and the environment?

Not sure how to recycle household hazardous waste (HHW)? Review the City of Philadelphia Streets Department’s Hazardous Waste page for a list of HHW, as well as for the details on safe disposal.

The following places also make recycling easy:

  • Best Buy accepts most electronics
  • Home Depot and Ikea accept compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
  • Most auto-service centers accept engine oil, anti-freeze, and other automotive liquids
  • Whole Foods accepts batteries, Brita water filers, cork, plastic bags, and #5 plastics

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 www.navyyard.org.

Tidbit Tuesday | Philadelphia Emergency Routes

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 know which route you would take in the (very unlikely) event that you were asked to evacuate the city? Emergency management organizations generally recommend knowing nearby emergency evacuation routes to enable efficient and speedy travel in case of a city-wide emergency. This week, we took Emergency Route GIS data from OpenDataPhilly and looked at which evacuation routes in Philadelphia are designated for different transportation modes.

As some background, the Philadelphia  Managing Director’s Office of Emergency Management (MDO-OEM) began its planning process for evacuations in 2007. Working with more than 100  stakeholders, including the Streets Traffic Division, MDO-OEM designated evacuation routes for four mode types. These routes are illustrated below.

PhillyEmergencyRoutes-01

What would travel conditions be like during an emergency evacuation when people are leaving at once? Using 2008-2012 American Community Survey data, we cross-referenced the evacuation routes for private vehicles with private vehicle ownership data (see below, left). We also cross-referenced non-separated surface transit evacuation routes with private vehicle ownership data (see below, right). The thickest lines in the two maps below represent where the highest volumes of traffic are expected for drivers and transit riders if people are leaving at once to their nearest roads or emergency transit services.

PhillyEmergencyRoutesDemand-01

You can find more details about your specific evacuation routes and close-ups of the map here.

While a city-wide evacuation has (thankfully) never occurred, the City generally experiences one “snow emergency” each winter season. Last winter, there were several snow emergencies. The record for the maximum snowfall during a 24-hour period earlier this year was the third highest during the last 15 years.

During a snow emergency, 110 miles of City Snow Emergency Routes, shown in blue below, receive priority for snow removal. These routes are plowed the fastest, ensuring that critical routes are opened as soon as possible. Snow emergencies also mean that vehicles and dumpsters on snow emergency routes must be relocated so the City can clear snow from curb-to-curb.

PhillySnowRoutes-01

Remaining streets will be plowed after priority routes are serviced. More details about snow emergency routes can be found here.

Tidbit Tuesday | Residential Recycling Diversion Rates

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.

To build on last week’s post about litter, we decided to take a look at residential recycling diversion data provided by the Streets Department. One of the main ways we can reduce the amount of waste going to Philadelphia’s landfills is by recycling.  But have Philadelphians gotten better at recycling over the years?

Tidbit Tuesday_Recycling [Converted]-01

The maps above show the residential recycling diversion rates for each recycling district during fiscal years 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013.  A residential recycling diversion rate indicates the ratio of material recycled (in tons) to material sent to landfill (in tons) by residents in a given fiscal year. This means, for example, that in the recycling districts shaded the darkest blue above, over a year residents recycled roughly a third of what they threw away, by weight. Importantly, these figures do not include any commercial or construction & demolition recycling in the public and private sectors. They also do not include any waste to energy processing. As the maps show, in the past 13 years, residential recycling diversion rates have increased throughout the city. In 2001, only residential districts in the Northwest and Northeast had recycling diversion rates above 7%; in 2013, almost every recycling district had a rate of at least 14%.  Of course, these data tell only part of the story of waste management in the city. To dig into these data, and others on city waste, check out the recent EcoCamp data release here.

Tidbit Tuesday | EcoCamp Streets Litter Index

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.

Clean streets are one of the key factors that promote walkability. How clean are our streets? This week, we looked at Streets Litter Index from EcoCamp data recently released by the  Philadelphia Streets Department. West and North Philadelphia have among the highest street litter indices in the city, as do other highly populous areas, as seen by the similarities between the Street Litter Index map and population maps below.

Over the past 5 years Philadelphia’s streets have generally become cleaner, as shown by a comparison of litter indices collected in the autumns of 2008 and 2013.  Read more about the Street Department’s UnLitter Us Campaign here.

PhillyLitterScoreMap

To get a better idea of where litter ends up, what types of litter are most common, and who pays for cleanup, we took a look at the 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study. As illustrated by the charts below, transitional areas, such as train stations, accumulate the most litter, since they often require that people discard items such as cigarettes and food prior to entry. The most prevalent form of litter is cigarette butts. Nationally, the cost of cleanup mainly falls on businesses, who contribute 79.5% of the funds required to remove litter.

Trash Talk-01

More Streets Department EcoCamp data can be found here.

Tidbit Tuesday | SEPTA Daily Ridership

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.

This week, we looked at the most recent transit ridership data published by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) this spring. The graph below illustrates SEPTA’s daily average weekly ridership by mode. Buses, with over a hundred routes across Philadelphia, constitute the majority of transit mode share. The two subway routes — the Market-Frankford Line (MFL) and Broad Street Line (BSL) — account for one-third of total daily ridership.

Let’s take a look at routes and ridership spatially. The city’s trolley lines and some bus routes, such as Route 23 and Route 47, have very high ridership and are depicted with thicker lines in the third map. The two subway lines, which have an average daily ridership of 320,000, are similarly prominent. The Market-Frankford Line has the highest ridership per day of any route in the city, with almost ten times as many daily riders as Route 23 bus, which has the third highest ridership (after the Broad Street Line).  Not surprisingly, these high volume routes correspond spatially to the SEPTA routes that provide 24 hour service, shown in the middle below.

More SEPTA route statistics can be found here.

Tidbit Tuesday | Green Buildings in Philadelphia

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.

How can we produce less waste, conserve energy, and minimize our carbon footprint? One way to do this is by constructing “green” buildings, such as those that meet LEED standards. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was established by the US Green Building Council in 1998. Buildings earn LEED certification by demonstrating that they are constructed using responsibly-sourced materials and practices and that they are maintained and operated in a resource-conscious way.  Some strategies for achieving LEED certification, available in grades from certified to, silver, bronze, gold, and platinum, include using recycled building materials, installing green roofs, using efficient shading devices on windows, and incorporating efficient plumbing fixtures which use less water.

Today, we are taking a look at the number of LEED Certified buildings in Philadelphia, using data from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The graph below shows that the number of green buildings has been steadily increasing in Philadelphia since 2005. A zoning code adopted in August 2012 further encourages the construction of green buildings by offering density bonuses for projects that meet LEED Gold or Platinum standards.

Leed Certified Bldgs Philadelphia-01

The second chart shows how Philadelphia compares to the most populous cities in the United States. What do you think of these results?

Leed Certified Bldgs Philadelphia-02

More information on LEED Certified projects across the country can be found here.

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