Thursday, January 12, 2012

Philadelphia Installing City-Wide System of Bike Direction Signs

Sign at 13th & Pine
Have you noticed the green bicycling direction signs going up around Philadelphia? Spiffy, no? There are more on the way.

The City of Philadelphia is putting up more than 400, in an innovative collaboration between the Dept. of Public Health and the Planning Commission. Directional signage is typically installed by transportation agencies. Here in Philly, these other two city agencies are encouraging active transportation while making the city more explicitly bike friendly. Big kudos to them.

We had a small hand in the initiative, working with the Planning Commission and Mayor's Office of Transportation to identify locations for the signs. (*puffs on fingernails, rubs fingernails on shirt*)

We asked Clint Randall from Get Healthy Philly about the project, and he provided the following information:

  • Initial budget allowed for roughly 300 signs, but positive feedback and tweaked funding will bring total installed to over 400.
  • Between 150 and 200 have been fabricated thus far.  They are either installed or soon to be installed.
  • Based on feedback, the signs yet to be fabricated will use larger text for the mileage information.
  • Signs are intentionally simple.
  • Signs are funded through the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's Get Healthy Philly initiative (which also works with our Safe Routes Philly program).
  • Came about through collaboration between multiple City departments: Planning, Health, Streets, and Parks and Recreation, all of which see benefit from the new signage.
  • The city has been tackling the project more or less in sections, with Southwest, West, South, and Center City already mostly completed. The Northeast, North, and Northwest signage will complete this first round of the project.

Sign at 47th & Paschall in West Philly
Philadelphia's sign poles are already teetering under the weight of a Kaftaesque number of signs restricting parking. But we are pleased to see this new infrastructure. The signs reinforce the current bicycling network, emphasize connections between green space, and may introduce residents to nearby routes they were unaware of. They also remind all street users that bicycles should be expected on city streets.

Parking signs are basic communication tools from City to street users. Establishing a network of bike directions is a tangible and lasting gesture that Philadelphia views itself as a place to ride a bike.


Andrew J. Besold said...

Looks great!

The bicycle amenity work being done in Philly continues to impress. I can usually find some nit to pick with most bike projects done elsewhere but have yet to find anything of concern with any of the bicycle facilities I've seen done in Philly!


Credit must go to the great people working for the City and to all of you at BCGP for making sure its done right.