Holly Otterbein at Citified reports that Philadelphia is getting its first “Complete Streets Commissioner” courtesy of Mayor Jim Kenney. The context:

“The National Complete Streets Coalition was founded more than a decade ago to ensure that roadways are not only designed for automobiles, but also for cyclists, pedestrians and transit users.”

Where does the idea of “complete streets” come from? I think it grew out of so many efforts of bicyclists particularly, but also pedestrians, to emphasize human scale development. What does this mean in practice? It means the difference between New York’s fantastic Hudson River Park:


Versus Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing:


Where Complete Streets gets us is the sort of Penn’s Landing that some Philadelphian’s want to build, which is park land over highway connected with subways and the waterfront:


And a closer look at what we hope will cover Penn’s Landing’s barren wastes:


It’s not about bikes, in other words. But bike infrastructure has been a great way to broach the issue of whether cities are going to be built for and around cars that travel through them, or for the people who live in them.

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