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Philadelphia resident sparks debate after calling for ‘mandatory’ change to city: ‘What a miss’

“Imagine how much economic activity American cities would generate if we allowed this volume of foot traffic every weekend, at minimum.”

“Imagine how much economic activity American cities would generate if we allowed this volume of foot traffic every weekend, at minimum.”

Photo Credit: u/RoughRhinos / Reddit

A Redditor drummed up support for a more walkable Philadelphia, citing bustling activity on Trenton Avenue during the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival in May.

They called for “mandatory pedestrianization.”

The City of Brotherly Love recently made over parking spots into native habitats. The pollinator-friendly curbside gardens beautify the area, improve drainage, and reduce the urban heat island effect created in part by pavement.

Those are just some of the benefits cities can garner by prioritizing more environmentally healthy modes of transport over cars. Others include improved health, cleaner streets, and even a stronger economy, according to American City and County.

Creating a walkable city “involves the strategic closure of streets to facilitate outdoor dining, the establishment of pedestrian plazas for live entertainment, the connection of various downtown areas through walkways, and numerous other measures,” Melissa Lee wrote.

Hurdles to clear include pedestrian safety and accessibility. But other avenues — public transit, for example — can help boost these initiatives and create jobs while connecting people and businesses.

“Imagine how much economic activity American cities would generate if we allowed this volume of foot traffic every weekend, at minimum,” one commenter wrote. “Like think of 2nd Street between Girard and Spring Garden. What a miss.”

If Philly — named the most walkable city in the United States by USA Today — has this much room for improvement, other cities can dream big, too.

“I really wish Main St. Manayunk would close to cars on the weekends. Or maybe even once a month,” one user said. “It’s a great use of the space when festivals are happening. Wish it were more common.”

Another wrote: “It’s what I miss the most from Europe after my last trip — cities made for people, not cars. Life would be so much better with constant access to this level of city planning.”

Someone else noted: “It’s almost like cars are bad for cities.”

Philadelphia maneto.

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