Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator
City of Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure & Sustainability
How long have you been at this company/organization/agency?
In this position for 3.5 years, with the City of Philadelphia for 9 years
What are your main responsibilities of your job?
My main responsibility is to assess the pedestrian and bicycle networks in Philadelphia and make sure they are expanded and maintained in a thoughtful and organized manner. I coordinate network expansion, seek funding, and reach out to communities and agency partners to advance the goals of the bicycle and pedestrian networks. In short, I make sure non-motorized transportation is considered and included in both private and city projects as much as possible.
What are you working on now? Can you tell us about a recent or ongoing project or initiative that you are excited about?
Recently, I’ve worked on building the protected bicycle lane network in Center City, including Market & JFK, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 10th, and 13th Streets. I’m excited to move these from concepts to reality and make bicycling a realistic and safe transportation choice for all Philadelphians. See more information about these and other projects in the Office of Complete Streets here: http://www.phillyotis.com/portfolio-item/complete-streets/
What is your favorite part of your current job?
My favorite part of my current job is to bring together the public in a conversation about a safety and identify things that will help their community. I enjoy hearing about safety challenges, identifying potential solutions, and finding funding for the fix. The Chestnut Street protected bicycle lane in West Philly, the Market & JFK Vision Zero Safety Project, and a package of complete street projects in Parkside in West Philly are a few examples to date that I’m very proud of.
What advice do you have for people just starting out in the field?
Informational interviews and real-life experience are key to moving forward and figuring out what you want to do in planning. The classes and professors are great resources to learn the technical skills. However, working on a real-life project and identifying the steps needed to move forward and communicate with a community is a whole new experience.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice I’ve ever received is to look at all angles of an issue from the start. Though I work on bike, trail, and pedestrian projects, I grew up in Ohio and can drive a truck and a tractor. Thinking about all types of household and transportation needs from the start helps me to understand where each type of stakeholder is coming from.
Where can we find you when you are not working?
You can find me with my husband, Jamie, and two kids, Amelia and Thomas, tooling around our neighborhood in Mt. Airy or in the Wissahickon Park.
What are the greatest planning challenges facing our region? What are they greatest opportunities?
This is a general challenge that isn’t specific to Philadelphia. It’s important for decision makers and planners alike ton clearly communicate how planning decisions impact everyone. Most people are not going to dedicate 2 hours of a weekday evening to hear about a planning project that may impact them a few years down the line. I think we need to figure out a better way to succinctly communicate planning issues with stakeholders, as well as gather the feedback we need to make important decision.
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