PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney today announced a pilot project on Market Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Center City to increase safety for people using the major east-west arterials roadways.
The Market/JFK Vision Zero Project will run for up to nine months, starting in spring 2018. The pilot project will test an alternate roadway configuration between 15th and 20th Streets on both Market Street and JFK Boulevard.
To reduce speeding and weaving, the pilot project will test reconfiguring the roadway from four traffic lanes to three. The project will include significant pedestrian safety improvements, such as shorter crossing distances and painted pedestrian areas defined by flexible delineator posts.
The pilot will also include parking protected bike lanes and new turn lanes on both JFK Boulevard and Market Streets (see map). These improvements will help define where people driving, walking, and bicycling should be while using the roadway.
“This project is a great example of modern street redesign,” said Deputy Managing Director Michael Carroll. “By working with the building owners, Center City District, Philadelphia Parking Authority, and Council staff, we are proud to present a pilot project that will improve safety for employees, business owners, and residents. I am excited to share the results of the pilot.”
In addition to the physical improvements, oTIS is working closely with the 9th Police District on education and traffic safety enforcement efforts during the pilot project. The education and traffic safety enforcement will focus on the Vision Zero “Safety Six” issues: reckless/careless driving, distracted driving, driving under the influence, failure to yield to pedestrians, parking that obstructs sight lines, and red-light running for people bicycling and driving.
The project is being led jointly by the Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems (oTIS) and the Streets Department as a Vision Zero project. Market Street is identified as a High Injury Network street by the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan, an initiative to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on Philadelphia streets by the year 2030. Each year there are approximately 100 traffic-related deaths in Philadelphia, including drivers, passengers, and people walking and biking.
The pilot project will be in place for up to nine months to allow for evaluation of benefits and impacts over multiple seasons. In fall 2018, oTIS and Council President Clarke’s office will review the evaluation data and feedback to determine next steps.
Sarah Clark Stuart, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, said, “This project will be the first step to convert Market Street and JFK into safe streets connecting the heart of Center City and the Schuylkill River Trail, while better serving the bicyclists and pedestrians who live, work and commute along them.”
In addition to the Council President’s office, the City is working closely with other groups on the implementation and monitoring of the project, including residents and office building owners and managers along the corridor, Philadelphia Police Department’s 9th District, Logan Square Civic and Center City Residents Associations, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and Center City District.
More information about the project can be found at http://www.phillyotis.com/portfolio-item/complete-streets/ or by emailing oTIS@phila.gov.