McClinton, Gauthier and Williams Provide Update on Cobbs Creek Parkway Pedestrian Safety Efforts

In the wake of Avante Reynolds’ tragic and senseless death, we attended a meeting convened by officials from PennDOT and the Philadelphia Streets Department to discuss pedestrian safety improvements along Cobbs Creek Parkway. Our offices would like to share the information that we received in that meeting with our communities. PennDOT will be making changes in the immediate future, and we are grateful for that — but we also believe these changes are deeply insufficient to reduce the alarming number of crashes, injuries, and deaths along the Parkway.

Within the next month, PennDOT will be funding and installing multiple improvements. They will add rumble strips along the center lanes along the Parkway from Girard Avenue to Baltimore Avenue, which cues drivers to slow down if they are veering or driving too fast. This is a new style of rumble strip technology which minimizes noise and nuisance to neighboring residents. At appropriate locations between Delancey Street and Florence Avenue, PennDOT will install ‘lane separators,’ slightly-raised blocks shaped like curbs with plastic delineators that will be placed diagonally across portions of the center lanes where driving is not permitted. These will provide further physical barriers to people driving into the portions of the road with the double yellow lines, where driving should not be taking place. Finally, at a number of locations, PennDOT will reduce lane widths, add pedestrian crossing markings, and install other forms of safety signage.

In Spring 2021, PennDOT plans to upgrade safety warning signage and install a high-friction surface treatment up and down the Parkway at appropriate curve locations as an additional method of signaling to drivers that they need to slow down. The agency has also committed to a work with the Streets Department to redesign the current guiderail system, and begin the planning needed for more permanent traffic calming solutions.

We know that these measures will not satisfy anyone who is already angry about the state of pedestrian safety along Cobbs Creek Parkway, and understandably so. This has been a concern for many years, and we are frustrated that it’s not being treated with the urgency it deserves. There is more than enough evidence to show that major interventions will be necessary to change traffic patterns and enhance safety measures. We hope to maintain a collaborative relationship with these agencies, but we will also not stop advocating for the changes we know are necessary to protect our constituents.

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, State Representative Joanna McClinton, and State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams