Street closure map helps Philadelphia residents stay informed, report illegal activity

The city of Philadelphia has launched an interactive map to publicize its active and future street and sidewalk closures as part of a new multi-phase public data transparency effort.

The city map, made public on Monday, was beta-tested internally for nearly a year, said Mike Matela, IT manager of the city’s Streets Department, but a construction boom brought a rise of closure complaints, both from city employees and local residents. The city received more than 16,000 permit requests last year, so when Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams asked if the city could make the map public, Matela said it was a no-brainer.