McClinton, city officials announce two traffic safety projects coming to West Philly

Pa. House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton and city leaders announced details today about two upcoming complete street safety projects in West Philadelphia that will be constructed this year as part of scheduled PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) repaving.

Both West Chestnut and West Market Streets are on the City’s Vision Zero High Injury Network. The High Injury Network is made up of the 12 percent of city streets that account for 80 percent of serious and fatal traffic crashes in Philadelphia. Streets on the High Injury Network, like West Chestnut and West Market Streets, are prioritized for traffic calming and safety improvements.

“The Chestnut and Market Streets Repaving and Complete Streets Safety Projects will offer more than two miles of increased traffic safety for people who walk, take transit, bike, and drive on those streets,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Our Administration Our Administration is committed to making critical investments in traffic safety improvements that not only enhance our neighborhoods but also ensure no one has to grieve the loss of a loved one as a result of a traffic crash.”

On Chestnut Street, the PennDOT repaving project will:

  • Include a new parking protected bike lane from 63rd Street/Cobbs Creek Parkway to 45th Street
  • Refine the existing parking-protected bike lane between 45th Street and 34th Street
  • Create a high-quality bicycle connection between West Philadelphia and Center City
  • The new protected bike lane west of 45th Street will improve safety for people walking across Chestnut Street by reducing the number of car lanes they have to cross

This new roadway configuration will also provide traffic calming, a necessary safety upgrade on this section of roadway. From 2016 to 2020, Chestnut Street between 63rd Street/Cobbs Creek Parkway and 45th Street had a crash rate of 25 crashes per mile per year, compared to a crash rate of 13 crashes per mile per year on Chestnut Street between 45th and 34th, where a parking protected bike lane was installed in 2017 (PennDOT Crash Data, 2016 to 2020).

“These projects reflect our commitment to provide our West Philadelphia neighbors – whether walking, biking, or driving – with access to safe streets,” said D-Philadelphia/Delaware Rep. Joanna McClinton . “I am grateful to be part of the collaborative effort that made these critical updates a reality and look forward to building on these types of improvements in our neighborhoods.”

Today, Market Street has painted bike lanes from 63rd Street/Cobbs Creek Parkway to 34th Street. The PennDOT West Market Street repaving project will:

  • Extend the existing bike lanes from 34th Street to 30th Street
  • Extend the painted bike lanes east to 30th Street connecting West Philadelphia’s major residential and employment hubs to 30th Street Station and Center City

Community Outreach

For the Chestnut Street project, the City’s Office of Complete Streets worked closely with the Cobbs Creek Neighbors Association, the Walnut Hill Community Association, Spruce Hill Community Association, and Garden Court Community Association, three business associations, Councilmember Jaime Gauthier, and State Rep. McClinton to reach out to residents and stakeholders.

Councilmember Gauthier expressed how critical these infrastructure safety improvements are to Philadelphians and the importance of effective community engagement.

“I’m grateful that these much-needed street safety enhancements are coming to our neighborhoods. We need to ensure that people can navigate city streets with ease – whether traveling on foot, on a bicycle, or in a car  – and the projects being announced today are an important step in that direction. Thank you to Mike Carroll and OTIS for the thorough community engagement you undertook to ensure that the new safety improvements reflect the experience of our residents, and for all of your efforts to make our streets safer for all Philadelphians,” said Councilmember Gauthier.

Over 1,700 stakeholders filled out paper and on-line surveys. The City also carried out corner meetings, virtual and in-person civic meetings, and distributing flyers along the corridor. Survey results showed a strong preference for the parking protected layout on Chestnut Street and traffic analysis supports the new layout and safety improvements along Chestnut Street. Walnut Street will not be paved in 2022.

The Office of Complete Streets and the office of Councilmember Gauthier are working closely with food truck owners, the Parking Authority, and SEPTA on the new roadway layout and updated curbside parking and loading regulations. Coordination between these offices, institutions, and businesses will ensure that the new roadway layout will meet the needs of all nearby neighbors and roadway users.

For more information visit the project page for the Chestnut and Walnut Repaving project, and view this fact sheet on the Market Street project.