Submit your Feedback on DVRPC’s Connections 2050 Long-Range Plan
Authored By: Patrick Monahan | Regional Organizer for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
Right now, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is in the process of updating the region’s Long-Range Plan. The Long-Range Plan for Greater Philadelphia was last adopted back in 2021. The Plan sets the vision and goals for the region, strategies to achieve them, and allocates $67 billion in state and federal transportation funds through the year 2050. Per federal requirement, the DVRPC is updating it again, and they need your input.
he Long-Range Plan is a critically important document because it lays out how the region will spend transportation funds, which in turn has a dramatic impact on the region’s transportation infrastructure, future growth patterns and land use, and the concomitant impact on the environment including: greenhouse gas emissions, air quality and water quality for our region.
The members of the Circuit Trails Coalition believe that it is imperative that Greater Philadelphia’s 2050 Long Range Plan move the region toward significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. In order to achieve this, we recommend that you take the Update 2050 Plan – Full Survey and use the Circuit Coalition’s suggested responses, which only takes 10 minutes to complete. The DVRPC will enter participants into a raffle for one of 20 gift cards, valued at $50 each.
Below are the survey questions with the recommended responses that we encourage you to submit to the DVRPC for consideration as they update their Connections 2050 Long-Range Plan.
We recommend the following response to question 3: The Vision plan states “maintain a safe, multimodal TRANSPORTATION network that serves everyone.” However, the region does not yet have a safe, multimodal transportation network to maintain as there is a strong need for a robust active transportation system that includes high quality trails, side-paths, improved and new sidewalks and bicycle lanes to reach destinations throughout the region. The Greater Philadelphia Region committed itself to the goal of completing the 800+ miles of the Circuit Trails network in the Connections 2050 Long-Range Plan. Change the Vision Statement by reinforcing the Region’s commitment to Build and Maintain a safe, multimodal TRANSPORTATION network that serves everyone.
We recommend the following response to question 5: Build and connect an active transportation network of high quality trails, side-paths, sidewalks and bicycle lanes to achieve a net-zero goal of GHG emissions.
We recommend the following response to question 7: The region committed itself to the goal of completing the 800+ miles of the Circuit Trails network in the Long-Range Plan which cited the Circuit as an integral component to the region’s multimodal transportation network. In the interim there needs to be an investment toward sufficient federal and state funds to build out 90+ miles of Circuit Trails to achieve 500 miles by 2025 to further connect communities to the region’s amenities and destinations via active transportation.
We recommend the following response to question 11: The region needs to build a connected high quality active transportation network with trails, side-paths, sidewalks and bicycle lanes by programming $1.6 billion over the lifetime of the 2050 Connections Long-Range Plan ($60 million annually), especially within the first twelve years. It is critical to support the Regional Vision Zero Target goal of zero traffic deaths by 2050 with concrete strategies and actions, such as building out Philadelphia’s High Quality Bicycle Network, targeting highway safety spending, and declaring the region’s need for Pennsylvania and New Jersey to enact legislation to legalize automated speed enforcement cameras.
We recommend the following response to question 15: Eliminate carbon emissions from transportation by building an active transportation network of high quality trails, side-paths, sidewalks and bicycle lanes to achieve a net-zero goal of GHG emissions. The Long-Range Plan must make a stronger, more concrete commitment to completing the Circuit Trails, Philadelphia’s High Quality Bicycle Network and other major and minor bicycle/pedestrian projects in the near term (over the next 12 years). This commitment will spur a mode shift from the current prioritization of car usage throughout the region and will encourage people to utilize a reliable system that is made up of a combination of biking, walking and transit to reach their destination.
We recommend the following response to question 16: Eliminate carbon emissions from transportation by investing federal and state discretionary funds in the construction of a high quality network of trails, side-paths, sidewalks and bike lanes that creates a mode shift that motivates people to use transit, bicycling or walking for short trips.
Be sure to submit a completed survey and share your vision and goals with the DVRPC as they update the Connections 2050 Long-Range Plan. The deadline to submit your survey responses is on December 15, 2023 at 5 PM local time.
There are significant opportunities to strengthen the Long-Range Plan and accelerate the development of more bicycle/pedestrian facilities and to build more miles to the Circuit in the near term to help reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector. Make your voice heard today and share this message with your friends and family who reside in the Greater Philadelphia Region to ensure the DVRPC considers these important recommendations for an environmentally sustainable future.