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Advocating for Sustainable and Fair Transportation

MPH student with Clean Air Council staff discussing street safety
Clean Air Council staff members Olivia Ortiz, Transportation Outreach Coordinator, Chloe Finigan, Transportation Outreach Coordinator, and Will Fraser, Sustainable Transportation Outreach Coordinator, working with Goetz at 33rd and Oxford Street.

July 18, 2019

An MPH student aims to improve the city’s built environment.

Anthony Goetz, MPH ‘20, a student in the department of Community Health and Prevention at the Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH), is using his applied practical depth experience at the Clean Air Council to make the city a safer place for Philadelphians on the move. He’s part of the Council’s transportation outreach team. The group advocates for sustainable and fair transportation policy.

“I wanted to gain experience working for a nonprofit that promotes a clean, healthy and sustainable environment for everyone,” says Goetz. The Clean Air Council’s initiatives range from founding coalitions for alternative transportation, to implementing programs designed to reduce automobile use, increasing public participation in local transportation planning, and holding community-based transportation forums.

Goetz works on the Council’s Feet First Philly project which aims to improve the city’s built environment by analyzing dangerous intersections for safety issues. He examines the behavior of pedestrians and drivers and rigorously scans the area for proper signage, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant curb cuts, turning lanes, and crossing signals using a standardized audit tool.

Too often, Philadelphians resort to driving because walking is dangerous. “A safer crosswalk leads to a safer environment for people, which contributes to the overall well-being of the community,” says Goetz. “It is all interconnected.”

After collecting observations, Goetz develops reports for potential funders who may support efforts to increase pedestrian, bicyclist and driver safety. “It’s really rewarding for me to be a part of the effort to bring attention to these issues in my city,” he says.

As part of the Council team, Goetz also had a chance to participate in Renewable Energy Lobby Day in Harrisburg, PA. “It was so exciting to be a part of the progressive effort of people from all over the state pushing the switch to clean, renewable energy,” he says. “I also got to meet several state representatives  and hear them speak about supporting green energy legislation.”

Before pursing his MPH, Goetz spent five years traveling as an outdoor conservation technician and working to protect beautiful natural sites around the country. Originally from Philadelphia, he is happy to be back in the area studying and taking an active role in the community. When not on campus or at his applied practical experience, he enjoys going on long bike rides to parks in and around the city and trying out new places to eat.

Learn more about DSPH's Applied Practical Experiences