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The Department of Streets shall have the power and its duty shall be to perform the following functions:
(a) City Streets. It shall itself, or by contract, design construct, repair and maintain:
(1) City streets, which shall include highways, roads, streets, alleys, footways, bridges, tunnels, overpasses and underpasses, including approaches and viaducts, owned, controlled or operated by the City or designated in accordance with law as streets of the City;
(2) The roads and drives in Fairmount Park.
(b) Lighting. The Department shall itself, or by contract, locate, design, install, repair, maintain and operate equipment for lighting City streets and for that purpose supply electric current and gas to such equipment.
(c) Sanitation. The Department shall itself, or when specifically authorized by the Council, by contract, clean and sand City streets, remove and dispose of ashes, garbage and refuse, remove and dispose of ice and snow from City streets, design, construct, repair, maintain and operate incinerators or other plants or equipment for the disposition of ashes, garbage and refuse, and administer and enforce statutes, ordinances and regulations for maintaining the cleanliness of City streets.
(d) Traffic Engineering. The Department shall make such regulations governing traffic and parking on City streets and on the roads and drives in Fairmount Park as shall be authorized by statute or ordinance, establish and determine the type and location of any and all signs, signals, markings and devices for regulating and controlling vehicular and pedestrian traffic as shall be authorized by and not inconsistent with statute or ordinance, install, repair, maintain and operate them, collect and compile traffic data, prepare engineering studies and surveys in regard to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, prepare analyses of traffic accidents for determining their causes and means for their prevention, and institute and conduct an educational and public information program for the purpose of promoting the safety and unimpeded movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
(e) Surveys, Lines and Grades, Maps and Plans. The Department shall perform all surveying functions of the City. It shall furnish lines and grades of all kinds, prepare all maps, plans and other land records, and prepare and furnish descriptions of real property, based on surveys which it makes.
Sources: Act of June 25, 1919, P.L. 581, Article VI, Section 3, as amended; Ordinance of the City of Philadelphia, June 2, 1948.
Purposes: 1. A separate department is established with responsibility for all functions relating to City streets because of the importance of good and clean streets and the complexity of traffic problems in a large modern city. The construction and maintenance of City streets, in itself a tremendous operation, overburdened the Department of Public Works where this function was previously vested. The scope of this work alone and the number of employees engaged in it require a separate department to deal with it.
2. The Department will have complete jurisdiction over the construction and maintenance of City streets which are broadly defined to include any public City thoroughfare handling traffic. This jurisdiction extends to the roads and drives in Fairmount Park to promote economy, efficiency and uniformity.
3. Lighting of City streets in made a function of the Department because it is so intimately related to the control of traffic and the construction, design, and maintenance of City streets.
4. The above comment as to lighting applies also to the problem of street sanitation. The Department has the additional function in this respect of administering and enforcing laws and regulations dealing with the cleanliness of City streets, but any licensing function in this regard would be handled by the Department of Licenses and Inspections. Article V, Chapter 10.
5. Tied in with the entire problem of City streets is the over-all problem of traffic engineering and this function is therefore vested in the Department of Streets. In the interest of uniformity, the traffic engineering jurisdiction of the Department is extended to the roads and drives in Fairmount Park. Traffic engineering is defined to include all germane problems such as the installation, maintenance and operation of signs and signals regulating traffic. Public education in traffic safety is also made a function of the Department. The Department thus absorbs the functions of the former Highway Traffic Board.
6. Surveying functions are placed in the Department of Streets because they are intimately connected with the construction and maintenance of City streets.
7. The Department of Streets is authorized to perform its street construction, design, repair and lighting functions either itself or by contracting with private contractors to do the work. However, in the case of street cleaning, and the removal of garbage and other refuse, it may contract for this work only when it has been authorized by Council to do so. This limitation is carried forward from the 1919 Charter.