This SimCity-type game will help players understand urban planning via Philly open data - Technical.

With a grant from the Knight Foundation, the new game being developed through Drexel University's Entrepreneurial Game Studio allows players to act as city managers in West Philadelphia's Mantua. With a grant from the Knight Foundation, a new video game out of Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio (ESG) will help players better understand urban planning in Philadelphia. Simulated Interactive Management of the City of Philadelphia (SIM-PHL) was one of seven projects selected among thousands of applications for funding from the Knight’s open data initiative. With development led by educator and game designer Frank Lee and supported by Gossamer Games, a local game dev studio that got

SEPTA Board Approves Fare Changes; $2.2 Billion for Operating, Capital Budget - Philadelphia Inquire

SEPTA riders will notice changes next week following board approval Thursday of the authority’s latest fare plan, a $1.53 billion operating budget, and $640 million capital budget for the coming fiscal year. The authority introduced the fare proposal in March, but not all of its elements will kick in Wednesday, the start of its 2021 fiscal year. SEPTA has planned for a 50-cent hike to the SEPTA Key’s base fare, as well as increases to weekly and monthly passes. Fare increases are postponed until at least January to provide riders relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Last-minute tweaks that will kick in Wednesday include free fares for children under 12 and an additional half-hour for ride

Bike it: Trails near Philadelphia worth exploring - Philadelphia Inquirer

You can’t go to the gym, or to the movies, or bowling. Not yet. That’s expected to change by July 3. But bike trails? They’ve been open and are perfect for the pandemic, whether you want to de-stress, work out, keep your kids occupied, or just get out of the house. The Greater Philadelphia region is home to hundreds of miles of trails. Some greet you with riverside views. Others are scattered with historic attractions. Cruise through any of them, and you’ll find ample sunshine, fresh air, and picnic stop-offs to enjoy. We’ve rounded up a few options to check out, both within city limits and beyond. For more places to explore, visit The Circuit Trails (, a network of trails

The High Cost of Bad Sidewalks - CityLab

The critical role that good pedestrian infrastructure plays in city life has been exposed by the coronavirus lockdowns. Why can’t cities fix their sidewalk gap? Stuck at home because of the coronavirus, millions of urban residents suddenly became acutely aware of an easily overlooked element of urban infrastructure: their neighborhood sidewalks (or lack thereof). “Maybe when this is all over we can widen the sidewalks,” mused Dan Rather in an April 2 tweet that garnered over 26,000 likes. The retired newscaster was on to something: During the lockdowns, as walking provided a critical antidote to cabin fever, sidewalks become crowded, contested space. Many are too narrow to provide the requis

Philly proposes $43 million Schuylkill trail extension to include bridge with scenic overlook - Phil

Philadelphia has applied for a federal permit to build an extension to the Schuylkill River Trail with a bridge along the eastern bank of the Schuylkill that would allow runners, walkers, and cyclists to go over railroad tracks that have long blocked access to the river. It would also allow for an uninterrupted trail from Valley Forge to Bartram’s Garden. The $43 million project, adding more than a half-mile of trail, is to be paid for through a mix of federal, state, city, and private funding. The section would start at Christian Street and run south into the Grays Ferry Crescent trail park, and include a pedestrian bridge with two overlooks similar to the Schuylkill Boardwalk at South Stre

How Mobility Messaging Can Inject Confidence Into a COVID-Changed Society - Mobility Lab

COVID-19 and the devastation it has caused has made people uneasy about spending time in shared public spaces like buses and trains. And by continuing to go out in public during the pandemic and perform face-to-face work, transit employees, like all essential workers, are risking their lives and health to keep society functioning, a selfless act illustrated by sobering statistics. But despite stereotypes that buses and trains are akin to petri dishes, research findings regarding how transportation systems might affect the spread of disease are mixed. For example, while an MIT economist’s working paper uses data on known infections to make a case that New York City’s subway “seeded” that reg

MBTA Rolls Out Real-Time Crowding Data for Nine Bus Routes - StreetsBlog

The MBTA has started broadcasting real-time bus crowding information for nine bus routes on its website, digital signs, and on the Transit smartphone app, making it the largest U.S. transit agency to share real-time crowding information available to riders. A screenshot from the Transit app shows the MBTA's new real-time crowding information for a Route 23 bus on the afternoon of Friday, June 19, 2020. Initially, the new data will be available on nine routes: the 1, 15, 16, 22, 23, 31, 32, 109, and 110. “We’re excited to offer this new real-time feature as a pilot to our riders to help limit crowding as customers begin to return to the MBTA system,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak in

Three Signs This Might Be Micromobility’s Big Moment - Streetsblog

Micromobility is in the midst of a major COVID-19 comeback — and it’s raising questions about how advocates might use this historic opportunity to make our whole mobility system better for non-drivers. After months of bleak news about pulled fleets and mass layoffs in response to the coronavirus pandemic, countless urbanist op-eds opined that the scooter- and bike-share industry was rolling towards an early death. But as states and cities begin to re-open, riders are beginning to emerge again — as are questions about what the trends mean for our broader transportation landscape. Here are three signs that the micromobility industry may be having a moment — and three questions sustainable tran

Cities Have a Small Window to Save Themselves From Cars - Slate

Everyone is reconsidering their transportation mode right now. Automobiles don’t have to win. We are all commuters of habit. Barring a major life event, most of us will keep riding the bus, driving a car, or riding a bike when we head to work or run to the grocery store. We don’t even think of doing this as a choice; it’s just how we get around. It takes a powerful shock to break these habits, but the coronavirus could do it. As lockdowns are lifted around the country in the coming months, many urban residents may think twice before using the same transportation modes they previously did. That’s especially true for those who relied on public transportation, which requires proximity to strang

Cities Rethink Their Use of Public Space - Commercial Observer

From bike lanes to car-free cores, cities are preparing for recovery and a post-COVID future. The skies were blue in Los Angeles. Bluer than they had been in a while, maybe even a century. And cleaner than the air in any major city in the world. It was April 6, 2020. Three weeks earlier, the world had stopped. A global pandemic had emptied the streets of cars, the cities of people, and the skies of pollutants. As a result, carbon emissions had dropped by about 17 percent worldwide, 32 percent in Southern California, 30 percent in the Northeast, and 70 percent in India. “We could see the mountains,” said Andy Cohen, the co-CEO of architecture firm Gensler. “We could see for miles and miles an

House transportation bill could give electric buses a big boost - U.S. PIRG

The transportation status quo in the United States needs to change. With congested roads, high rates of air pollution, and alternatives to driving that are inefficient, expensive, or both, we need more than just state and local action to tackle this problem. We need federal action to help bring transportation into the 21st century. Fortunately, House Democrats recently took some bold steps toward investing in a new transportation future. Last week, the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act (or INVEST Act for short). The act authorizes nearly $500 billion to spend on transp

Denver's trash, Houston's treasure: How a bike fleet deal saved a trip to the scrapyard - Sm

When Denver Bike Sharing shuttered its BCycle program, Houston Bike Share saw an opportunity to expand its own fleet, saving thousands of dollars along the way. Bicycle advocates across the nation expressed anger and disappointment last month when videos and photos depicting thousands of JUMP e-bikes at a scrap recycling facility circulated. Former JUMP operator Uber — which moved operations under Lime in an investment deal just before this incident — cited "maintenance, liability, safety concerns" and other issues for its decision to scrap the bikes, instead of donating them to those affected by the current national bike shortage. Yet not everyone is sold on this response, including the tea

SEPTA Riders Required to Wear Face Coverings

Designed to Help Prevent Spread of COVID-19 as Region Moves to Yellow Phase; Riders Encouraged to Check New 'Reopening Guide' Online for Travel Information With ridership expected to increase as the region moves into the Yellow Phase of Pennsylvania's COVID-19 recovery plan, SEPTA will require all riders to wear a face covering starting Monday, June 8. The face-covering requirement is consistent with policies put into place by the Commonwealth, the City of Philadelphia and local businesses. SEPTA employees will engage customers to remind them about the requirement starting Monday. SEPTA will also continue its robust program for cleaning and sanitizing stations and vehicles, as part of the e

E-Bikes Are Having Their Moment. They Deserve It - NY Times

Many of us are entering a new stage of pandemic grief: adaptation. We are asking ourselves: How do we live with this new reality? For many Americans, part of the solution has been to buy an electric bike. The battery-powered two-wheelers have become a compelling alternative for commuters who are being discouraged from taking public transportation and Ubers. For others, the bikes provide much-needed fresh air after months of confinement. So it’s no surprise that e-bikes are now as difficult to buy as a bottle of hand sanitizer was a few weeks ago. In March, sales of e-bikes jumped 85 percent from a year earlier, according to the NPD Group, a research firm. Amazon, Walmart and Specialized are

Debate Begins Over the Next U.S. Transportation Funding Bill - Streetsblog

Yesterday, House Democrats released a draft bill that establishes a $494 billion, 5-year plan for the nation’s transportation infrastructure – but in spite of language to address climate change, and significant funding increases for rail and transit programs, the lion’s share of the bill’s funding would still go to roads and highways. The proposed legislation, the INVEST (Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation) in America Act, would replace the current FAST Act, which was passed in 2015 and expires later this year. In a press statement, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said that the new bill w


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