Report: Philly’s MOTU secured $90M in grant funding over past 5 years

mayor michael nutter rina cutler bike share philadelphia
Mayor Michael Nutter and Deputy Mayor for Transportation Rina Cutler at a recent bike share vendor event.
Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities on Tuesday released a five-year report detailing the office’s progress and accomplishments since it was established in 2008 by Mayor Michael Nutter.

“The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities is a professional, pragmatic and innovative part of city government,” Nutter said in a statement.

“I could not be prouder of what the office has accomplished in the past five years and hope that MOTU has helped to pave the way for a more efficient and effective city government.”

According to Nutter’s office, MOTU, led by Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler, “is charged with building a shared vision and coordinating decision-making among the energy and utility sectors as well as transportation and infrastructure sectors in order to save money and improve conditions throughout the city.”

The press release states MOTU has over the past five years helped the city secure more than $90 million in grant funds to support infrastructure projects, including more than $45 million in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants.

It further notes that the team since 2008 has coordinated the retiming of traffic lights at about 2,400 intersections and installed more than 400 pedestrian countdown signals.

Crashes involving pedestrians were in 2012 down 10 percent from four years before.

“Because of this team’s great work during the past five years, the city has benefited from more than $90 million in grant funds to support our infrastructure,” Nutter said in a statement.

“Philadelphians now have a better integrated transportation system that boasts new bridges, improved traffic signals and an expanded bike lane network. The city is a national model for green infrastructure.”

The report highlights the Philadelphia Water Department and the Energy Office’s 2011 unveiling of a 250-kilowatt, 1,000-panel solar power system at the South East Water Pollution Control Plant to provide reliable power directly to the facility.

Five new airlines have since 2008 announced service to Philadelphia International Airport, and six new nonstop destinations have been added.

“Philadelphia International Airport is embarking on a multibillion-dollar expansion, and our strategic energy procurement program means that more tax dollars are invested in city programs instead of utility bills,” Nutter said.

The release lauded MOTU’s model of working with partners from the government, private and nonprofit sectors to “make sure that the investments and plans that affect the city’s infrastructure are done with a shared vision of increased mobility and sustainability.”

The office also monitors the quality of the city’s water, electricity and gas systems and ensures the cost-effective management of the city’s energy use.

“Our office has made it safer to drive, bike and walk in Philadelphia,” Cutler said in a statement.

“We have helped rewrite the guidelines for building city streets and we have forged lasting partnerships between a multitude of transportation agencies. This work can only be done because our office is set up to reach out across departments, across agendas and across constituencies.

“It is this coordinated vision which makes sure that the next generation of streets can manage stormwater and are safe whether you are a bicyclist, a driver or a pedestrian. It is this coordinated vision which helps invest more than $30 million in traffic signals and buses to speed up transit service. And it is this coordinated vision which is helping build the airport of the future, one that will be a powerful engine of economic development.”


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