(Philadelphia, PA) – The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has awarded $1.8 million to 23 projects across Greater Philadelphia through the Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) program. The TCDI grants, financed by federal transportation funds, support planning efforts for the development and redevelopment of local communities and the regional transportation system. In Pennsylvania, 15 projects received $1,200,000 while eight New Jersey projects received $600,000.
“The DVRPC has been instrumental as a catalyst in creating better communities. From public transportation to heavily traveled motor vehicle routes, the commission is constantly looking for solutions to improve our county,” said Camden County Freeholder William Moen. “They continue to provide resources on a range of issues that eases traffic and enhances movement between municipalities.”
The 23 TCDI projects work to coordinate local decision making with region-wide transportation planning. Federal transportation funds are used to provide grants to local governments to create plans that link transportation improvements with land use and economic development strategies; enhance or improve the efficiency of the regional transportation system; and implement the goals of the region’s long-range plan, Connections 2045.
In New Jersey, funded projects include plans to improve bicycle and pedestrian connections along the City of Camden’s Medical Mile and an impact analysis of port traffic patterns on residential neighborhoods in Gloucester City. Additional projects support local governments throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.
“In 2016, the DVRPC funded a study of the Walter Rand Transportation Center that yielded a new vision for the antiquated public transportation hub,” Moen said. “This year we are hopeful that these allocations are just as impactful in our communities as the WRTC study.”
In the City of Philadelphia, the TCDI program will fund four separate studies: Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Study to analyze pedestrian-involved injury crashes and identify systemic planning-level engineering actions; conceptual design of safety and operational improvements at three specific locations; a research project to produce better mobility data collection in Central Philadelphia; and early-stage implementation of recommendations in Philadelphia2035, the City’s comprehensive plan, for North Philadelphia Station.
“TCDI provides a mechanism for municipalities to take local actions to improve their communities, which in turn helps build our vision for an economically strong and sustainable Greater Philadelphia region,” said DVRPC Executive Director, Barry Seymour.
TCDI projects create more livable neighborhoods throughout Greater Philadelphia. The grants support local planning efforts that will lead to more residential, employment, or retail opportunities; improve the character and quality of life within these communities to retain businesses and residents; enhance and use the existing transportation infrastructure capacity in these areas to reduce demands on the transportation network; and reduce congestion and improve the transportation system’s efficiency.
Since 2002, the TCDI program has awarded $18 million in planning funds to over 175 communities in Greater Philadelphia and has leveraged over $220 million in additional federal, state, local, and private funds. Communities have used TCDI funds to create Business Improvement Districts, plan for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, develop plans for transit-oriented development, prioritize capital transportation improvements, and develop relationships with adjacent communities through inter-municipal planning.
On Thursday, July 12, DVRPC, along with officials from the City of Philadelphia and Camden County, held a news conference in Philadelphia to announce the grants. Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla; Camden County Freeholder William F. Moen, Jr.; Philadelphia City Planning Commission Executive Director Eleanor Sharpe; the City of Philadelphia’s Deputy Managing Director for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems Michael Carroll; and Barry Seymour, Executive Director of DVRPC, spoke at the event.
DVRPC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for a diverse nine-county region in two states: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer in New Jersey.
DVRPC’s vision for the Greater Philadelphia Region is a prosperous, innovative, equitable, resilient, and sustainable region that increases mobility choices by investing in a safe and modern transportation system; that protects and preserves our natural resources while creating healthy communities; and that fosters greater opportunities for all.
DVRPC’s mission is to achieve this vision by convening the widest array of partners to inform and facilitate data-driven decision-making. We are engaged across the region, and strive to be leaders and innovators, exploring new ideas and creating best practices.