Safe Routes Scoop

10 Questions With Charles Carmalt

City is at a real premium, so we are installing 1,400 new bike racks to supplement the ones that are already filled. We need to start developing bike stations so that commuters will have more secure options for parking their bicycles and will have a place to change clothes and store their bike equipment.


We are also developing a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan. We are almost starting from scratch and are working to get concepts, such as the sidewalk corridors concept, included.  In the sidewalk corridors concept, there are four sidewalk zones and we need to identify how each one of these zones should be treated (Editor’s note: The City of Portland, Oregon developed the four-sidewalk zone system which includes curb, planter/furniture, pedestrian and frontage zones.) Philadelphia has a problem with assuring that pedestrians have adequate space -- street vendors with wide carts sometimes don’t leave enough walking space for pedestrians. We need to make sure that the vendors interact with the pedestrians better. We want to ensure that the vendors have a place, but we also need to make sure that the pedestrian zone is left intact.


We are also examining the bike-sharing concept. We are currently working to identify an appropriate business plan for bike-sharing so that we can secure consensus

regarding an approach to pursue here in Philadelphia.


I am also looking forward to working and interacting with the public in my new position.


8.) What do you think will be most interesting about your job? What do you anticipate as the most challenging aspect of the job?

It’s hard to pick one, there are many interesting things about my job, such as seeing new development and making sure that it accommodates and enhances bicycling and walking in the city. Witnessing the continued growth of the trail network will also be interesting. All the easy trails have been built already, so it’s going to be a challenge to finish the network by connecting the existing trails.


The most challenging aspect of my job will be working on achieving “civility in the transportation system.” Conflicts between motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are all too common. We need to make sure that all groups respect each other and respect that others sometimes make mistakes. Increasing civility will definitely be challenging.


9.) What is the current state of bicycling and walking in Philadelphia and what will be your top priorities?

The Center City and University City neighborhoods are very walkable,

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