The street is an archetypal space. Its concept has a genetic trace. People used to play there. It was a territory where the feeling of joy and the everyday life coexisted, with corners where public meetings were improvised to unravel contradictions.
With primal spirit, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office announced that the Philly Free Streets program will return to North Broad Street on Saturday, August 3, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on its fourth edition.
Broad Street is a major arterial street in Philadelphia which runs 13 miles long. It begins at the intersection of Cheltenham Avenue, at the border of Cheltenham Township and the West/East Oak Lane neighborhoods of North Philadelphia, to the Philadelphia Shipyard in the South.
This year, Philly Free Streets reserved a round-trip route of almost 8 miles, between City Hall and Erie Avenue on North Broad Street. It will create a car-free connection between Center City and the heart of North Philadelphia. A route map is available at www.PhillyFreeStreets.com.
The Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (oTIS) is responsible for all the strategy to ensure the success of this initiative. OTIS directs policies and practices that improve the quality of life in the Philadelphia communities through a safe and sustainable infrastructure.
A beautiful vision
Without the possibility of having the common-use spaces available, it is difficult to enjoy community recreation. Based on this premise, the Mayor’s Office has had the vision of using the street as a great center for entertainment and leisure.
The city’s main civil authority has described the last Philly Free Streets. Jim Kenney said that on his way to North Broad he saw people of all ages and dissimilar physical abilities enjoying the street. He stated that he was delighted to announce that they will bring the Philly Free Streets program back to North Broad Street.
A positive spirit
According to Philly Free Streets records, the temporary closure of streets to cars has been an invitation to walk, bike and play. These active transportation options, as well as the ability to walk around the neighborhood, have positive impacts on public health, the environment, businesses and the community.
Since the inauguration of Philly Free Streets in 2016, the program has welcomed more than 120,000 people to enjoy car-free streets in several Philadelphia neighborhoods.
According to Mike Carroll, Philadelphia’s Deputy Administrative Director for Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, “At its core, Philly Free Streets promotes livable streets—streets that are safe and comfortable for people of all ages and physical abilities to walk, bike, and meet their neighbors.”
Participants from the free streets of Philadelphia are invited to join the route without cars at any point; there is no formal departure or arrival. Organizers encourage participants to use SEPTA or Indego to join the route.
Translated by: José Espinoza