Walking is a convenient mode of transportation with a wide range of benefits. For one, it’s cheap—all you need is a decent pair of shoes, and you’re set to walk wherever you need to go. Walking is excellent for your health, and it’s great for the environment, too. Walking burns calories and strengthens bones while alleviating feelings of depression and anxiety, and it may reduce the risk of illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. Finally, walking produces zero greenhouse gas emissions, making it a great alternative to the car to reduce air pollution.
Accommodating pedestrians is not a lofty aspiration; provisions to protect pedestrians are required by the city code. Philadelphia has made it a top priority to increase walking and to make it safer and easier, improving the city for residents and visitors. The city’s comprehensive plan, Philadelphia2035, contains many objectives to “ensure that the right of way will provide safe access for all users” by providing adequate pedestrian infrastructure through its complete streets policy. The Get Healthy Philly Initiative is a part of this plan that intends to improve the health of city residents by encouraging healthy practices, including walking. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan outlines the city’s goals, strategies, and standards for biking and walking.
Photo credit: Matthew Petrillo