Communities across Philadelphia are rich with history. Much of the development within our neighborhoods was led by everyday residents whose stories often aren’t written or spoken about, even though their impact is still felt today. Many of the stories associated with these people and places exist in documents of the past, the archives of city council, and the hearts and minds of those who witnessed these communities transform. As time moves forward, keeping track of and celebrating these memories becomes more and more important to preserve them.
The Indego team recently installed wayfinding signage to five stations in Mantua, Point Breeze, and Strawberry Mansion aimed at honoring the legacy of these neighborhoods, celebrating the unique resources they have to offer, engaging community members, and making our bike share system easier and more welcoming to use. We’re also excited to introduce the first phase of a new section of our website called Neighborhood Ride Guides, which are dedicated to these same intentions. Keep reading to discover more about these two projects and how to access them!
The local Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) team worked in collaboration with organizations from the highlighted communities to gather the content that’s now featured on this new, location-specific signage. In addition to highlighting the history of those communities, it provides info on suggested bike routes to connect residents to other parts of the city and points out a variety of green spaces, resources, and hidden gems those communities have to offer. These hidden gems include places of historical significance, like the John Coltrane House in Strawberry Mansion and one of the country’s first integrated firehouses, Engine 44, in Mantua. The signage also provides tips on how to ride a bike safely in Philadelphia.
Neighborhood Ride Guides
The same intent behind the wayfinding signage project can be seen in previous BBSP initiatives like our Neighborhood Ride Guides. These printed guides, whose development was led by our partners at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, offer information similar to that of the wayfinding signage. Thus far, physical guides have been created and printed for Mantua, Parkside, Point Breeze, Strawberry Mansion, and a Spanish version focused on sections of both North and South Philadelphia. We’ve distributed these printed guides as a part of our regular community outreach in those neighborhoods.
The pandemic had a huge impact on our ability to engage with and provide programming to our communities. Barriers around group rides, educational programming, and event support presented new challenges and opportunities to our team and forced us to consider how we could still provide educational and recreational opportunities to Philadelphians. With the wealth of information existing in our printed and station-based assets, we saw the opportunity to create a platform on our website to help share this information with a larger audience and offer resources to the community for self-guided programming. We’re excited to share with you here the first entry and pilot for our digital Neighborhood Ride Guides.
The South Philadelphia (West of Broad Street) Ride Guide is officially live! It features information from those existing resources and supplements it with new details, photos, and interactive maps. We’ve set it up so you can select which layers of information you want to view, click on locations to get more info about them, and take that info with you on your ride using the Google Maps mobile app. Keep an eye out in the coming months as we’ll be introducing Neighborhood Ride Guides for several other communities!
If you’re interested in acquiring copies of any of our existing printed Neighborhood Ride Guides to share within those highlighted communities, please contact Indego’s Community Coordinator, Stephanie Ridgeway, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to Explore?
Click the button below to visit the brand new, South Philadelphia (West of Broad Street) Ride Guide page today and start planning your next ride!
Go check out the new wayfinding signs! You can now find them attached to these Indego stations:
- 39th & Mt. Vernon
- Dornsife Center (36th & Spring Garden)
- Point Breeze & Tasker
- 33rd & Dauphin
- 33rd & Reservoir
Be sure to let us know what you think by tagging your photos with the hashtag #rideindego on social media!
The Indego wayfinding signage project was made possible by a grant provided the William Penn Foundation. These resources are brought to you by the Better Bike Share Partnership, which works to increase access to the health, financial, and mobility benefits of bike share. The Partnership includes the City of Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), PeopleForBikes, and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and is funded by the JPB Foundation.
This blog was written by Stephanie Ridgeway, the Indego Community Coordinator, and Riley P. Titlebaum, Indego’s Marketing & Outreach Coordinator.