COVID-19 Resources for Local Governments

DVRPC is committed to supporting our local governments and partner agencies weather this pandemic storm and plan for the future.


NEW! DVRPC launches GreaterPHLBikeMatch Program to connect essential workers with donated bicycles

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are biking as a way to commute affordably, safely, and distanced from others. DVRPC is hoping to assist essential workers and those caring for others share in the opportunity to bicycle to their activities. We've partnered with other Bike Match cities to connect people who have an extra bike in ready-to-ride condition with others who need one in a contactless match through #GreaterPHLBikeMatch. Complete either the Have a Bike or Need a Bike short forms on our BikeMatch webpage and let us know if you have any questions. We'll be in touch with you over email if we're able to match you with another participant.

Have questions? Email us at: greaterphlbikematch@dvrpc.org

DVRPC Webinars to Assist Partners during COVID-19

In response to the survey results, DVRPC is offering webinars to help address COVID-19 related issues. Webinar participants will have Q&A time with panelists, and webinars will be recorded for subsequent viewing.

Recording of Past Webinars:

The 5P's that Aren't Pandemic - Retail Strategies

Recording | Originally recorded on June 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to close their doors and the impacts are acute and immediate. This webinar will feature a panel of retail experts discuss the state of the retail industry and offer guidance on how business and Main Streets can navigate through the recovery process.

Report: Five Ps that Aren't Pandemic
Host: Spencer Gober - Planner, Office of Community & Economic Development

This webinar is approved for 1.25 CM credits. Event #9200663

Tips for Successful Telework

Recording | Originally recorded on May 26, 2020

Whether you've always had a telework program for your employees, you had to implement one quickly during the COVID-19 closings, or you're still thinking about implementing one, this webinar will give you the basic info you need to get the most benefits from telework, at any stage of the game.

Host: Stacy Bartels - Manager, Office of Marketing and Commuter Services

Bike Sharing, Bike Libraries and Bike Matching

Recording | Originally recorded on May 22, 2020

With the uncertainties around reopening our region, it's likely that more of us will rely on bicycling as a safe way to commute and recreate, but not everyone has access to their own bike. Join us as we discuss the new considerations for getting bicycles safely to those who don't have their own bicycles.

Host: Liz Compitello - Manager, Local Initiatives and Betsy Mastaglio - Manager, Office of Transit, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning

1 CM credit pending

Best Practices for Facilitating Remote Meetings

Recording | Originally recorded on May 19, 2020

DVRPC's Office of Communications & Engagement will share some of the practices the Commission has adopted to move our regular convenings online. We'll share tips for making working meetings with colleagues less painful, and what things we're considering for online public meetings. Time permitting, participants will be asked to share their experiences with remote meetings.

Host: Alison Hastings - Manager, Office of Communications and Engagement

This webinar is approved for 1.5 CM credits. Event #9200215

Adapting Streets for Safe Outdoor Social Distancing

Recording | Originally recorded on May 15, 2020

Many towns and cities are adapting streets to offer more safe space for walking and biking during social distancing. Some places have removed street parking to increase available space for walking, and others have closed entire streets to vehicle traffic. Learn about these adaptations and get ideas to try in your community, now and in the future.

Host: Greg Krykewycz - Associate Director of Multimodal Planning

This webinar is approved for 1 CM credits. Event #9200234

COVID-19 Impacts on Downtowns in the DVRPC Region

  • From the Five Ps that Aren't Pandemic effort, location analytics was identified as one tool that could be used to assist the region's downtowns in the post-pandemic economic recovery. Most simply put, location analytics refers to analysis of de-identified, geolocated cell phone data procured from a third party vendor. DVRPC contracted with the Buxton Co. in October 2020 to procure access to their database and analysis platform, and conducted an analysis of 75 of the region's downtowns to determine what impact the pandemic had on visits to and the trade areas of these downtowns.
  • Using Location Analytics to Plan for a Post Pandemic Economic Recovery
  • Tableau Interactive Dashboard [64 MB]

All 75 downtowns are listed below by county, and a link to the findings for each will posted as soon as they are available.

Downtown Analysis Reports
10 Least Impacted Downtowns

Beginning the week of March 15, 2021, one year into the pandemic’s economic fallout, DVRPC launched the Diverse Downtowns social media campaign to highlight and provide a detailed snapshot of Greater Philadelphia’s 10 least impacted downtowns. The campaign will run through the week of May 31, 2021, and each of the downtowns highlighted will be listed below as they are revealed.

Bucks County

Burlington County

Camden County

Chester County

Delaware County

Gloucester County

Mercer County

Montgomery County

Philadelphia County

COVID-19 Impacts on Travel in the DVRPC Region - UPDATED 8/18/2021

Travel in the DVRPC region has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in mid-March 2020, the region saw steep declines in driving and even steeper declines in transit ridership as the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Governors’ stay-at-home orders went into effect. Freight movements did not decline as much as overall vehicle miles traveled, but truck speeds on interstate highways increased significantly during this time period and remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. The region’s trails saw a significant increase in use starting March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic as many people sought recreational options during this time, but in 2021 usage has thus been generally less compared to 2020 levels. There is more congestion and less reliability on the region’s roadways in June 2021 compared to June of the prior year at the onset of the pandemic based on the analysis of congestion, reliability and speed data. Additional details on travel impacts will be updated on a continuing basis and are available by clicking on the links below:

Congestion, Reliability, and Speeds

The links below include analysis of archived travel time and speed data to identify congestion, reliability and speed trends as a result of COVID-19 impacts on travel in the DVRPC region. This information is analyzed by Congestion Management Process (CMP) roadway corridor during the peak periods comparing June 2021 to June in the prior year. Each link below provides information on the performance measure, summary of the analysis, ranking of the top corridors, mapping to illustrate travel impacts, and detailed reporting of the measures for all CMP roadway corridors by peak period. The data is analyzed using the travel time index (TTI), planning time index (PTI) and speed measures. The TTI is an indicator of traffic congestion, PTI an indicator of travel reliability, and speeds an indicator of mobility. The data is collected from the CATT Lab RITIS-Probe Data Analytics Suite platform and processed by DVRPC to produce the analysis results.

COVID-19 Impacts on Unemployment in the DVRPC Region

At the beginning of 2020, the United States was experiencing an all-time low unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. Only Chester County (3.5%) had an unemployment rate lower than the national average, and Burlington, Mercer, and Montgomery followed closely with an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. In January 2020, the City of Philadelphia (6.0%) had the highest unemployment rate, which was 61 percent higher than the national rate of 3.6 percent. Then on March 19, 2020, the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey ordered all but “life-sustaining” business to close to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

NJ Counties Unemployment
NJ Counties Unemployment Rate: Mar 2020 - Mar 2021

Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 5/21/2021)March 2021 unemployment rate is preliminary.

The preliminary statewide unemployment rate for New Jersey (NJ) in March 2021 was 7.6 percent, down from 7.8 percent in February. Camden County is the only county that had a higher unemployment rate than the state (8.0 percent). Mercer County had the lowest employment rate at 6.2 percent. Like the statewide trend, all four counties saw a decrease in their unemployment rates from the previous month. While the unemployment rate in each county increased from January to February, the unemployment rate for each county is lower in March than it was in January.

PA Counties Unemployment
PA Counties Unemployment Rate: Mar 2020 - Mar 2021

Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 5/21/2021) Note: March 2021 unemployment rate is preliminary.

The preliminary statewide unemployment rate for Pennsylvania (PA) in March 2021 was 7.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent in February. Philadelphia County was the only county that had a higher unemployment rate (10.6 percent) than compared to the state of Pennsylvania. Chester County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate among these counties at 4.7 percent. Like the statewide trend, all five counties in the region saw a decrease in the unemployment rate from February to March; the largest decrease was Delaware County, going from 6.4 percent to 6.1 percent.

Unemployment Percent Change

The chart below shows the unemployment rate percent change between March 2020 to March 2021 versus September 2020 to March 2021. In June 2020, both states started to ease COVID restrictions and as a result, unemployment rates started falling from their high points in March and April 2020. Looking over the 12-month period from March 2020 to March 2021, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties in New Jersey essentially saw their unemployment rates double. Of the Pennsylvania counties, Delaware and Philadelphia experienced the largest increases in unemployment rates. Over the six-month period from September 2020 to March 2021, Delaware County had the largest percent decrease in unemployment in the region. The City of Philadelphia continues to show the highest unemployment rate.

Unemployment RateUnemployment Rate Percent % Change

March 2020September 2020March 2021Mar 2020 to Mar 2021September 2020 to Mar 2021
Burlington3.2%6.2%6.4%100.0%3.1%
Camden4.0%7.7%8.0%100.0%3.8%
Gloucester3.7%6.8%7.3%97.3%6.8%
Mercer3.1%6.0%6.2%100.0%3.2%
Bucks5.1%6.4%6.1%%19.6%-4.9%
Chester4.0%4.9%4.7%17.5%-4.3%
Delaware5.1%7.6%7.1%39.2%-7.0%
Montgomery4.5%5.9%5.6%24.4%-5.4%
Philadelphia7.0%11.0%10.6%51.4%-3.8%
New Jersey3.8%7.8%7.6%100.0%-2.6%
Pennsylvania5.1%7.1%7.3%43.1%2.7%
U.S.4.4%7.8%6.0%36.4%-30.0%
Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 5/21/2021) March 2021 unemployment rates are preliminary

Municipal Responses to COVID-19 Survey

DVRPC conducted a survey of municipal responses to COVID-19 and technical assistance needs from DVRPC.

Resources

As many partners are seeking COVID-19 related guidance, DVRPC is compiling a growing list of resources below. Any questions can be directed to Patty Elkis, Director of Planning, at pelkis@dvrpc.org

COVID-19 Webinars for Local Government
DVRPC Resources

DVRPC resources to consider for grant applications and other purposes during the COVID-19 stay at home order and anticipated recovery period:

Membership Organizations' Resources
State, County and Partner Agency Resources
Other COVID-19 Information
Alison HastingsAssociate Director, Communications and Engagement
Air Quality Partnership
COVID-19 Resources
Dispatches from Alternate Futures
DVRPC News

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