The city council has passed a record number of bills in favour of road safety projects as part of its policy to ensure safe access on the streets for all users.
Philadelphia has passed a set of bills that enables nine street projects aimed at increasing road safety. This is the most bills passed forward out of council for safety improvements on record.
The projects fall under the Complete Streets policies that are designed to ensure safe access for all users including pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and transit users.
The projects include roadway redesign elements to reduce driver speeding and significant pedestrian improvements designed to establish safe roadway crossings and shorten crossing distances.
Several projects convert vehicle and parking lanes to protected bicycle lanes, which define space within the roadway for people who bicycle and increase predictability for all roadway users.
“We have made improving our streets a priority. Every repaving project is an opportunity for us to look at ways we can improve safety for all users,” said mayor Jim Kenney. “I commend our team at oTIS [Office of Transportation, Infrastructure & Sustainability] and the Streets Department for their work advancing these projects and I thank Council for moving all of these important Complete Streets projects forward.”
The projects enabled by the legislation this session include: the Market JFK zero safety project, (15th-20th Streets), which includes vehicle lane conversion; the Germantown Avenue flood relief and safety project master (2nd Streets), which involves vehicle lane, parking and one-way conversion; and the 11th Street repaving and safety project (Catharine-Webster Streets), which includes truck parking conversion.
“We have made improving our streets a priority. Every repaving project is an opportunity for us to look at ways we can improve safety for all users”
These nine projects represent considerable city stakeholder outreach work across several years and involved 14 distinct community groups and seven public project open houses. The projects establish or strengthen links for people travelling to and from neighbourhood residential areas, commercial corridors, trails, and existing and proposed on-road bikeways.
Each project is a planned high-quality bicycle lane link that will move the city towards the goal of 20 miles of protected bicycle lanes by the end of the 2020 construction season.
The projects was heard and favourably recommended by the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Streets and Services and scheduled for final approval in the Spring of 2019.
oTIS coordinates the implementation of Complete Streets policies in Philadelphia, which were introduced in 2009 and requires a review of every construction project’s impact on roads, sidewalks, and the bicycle and transit network to ensure that all affected streets adhere to the city policy.
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