Today, the City released the results of the Washington Avenue Repaving & Improvement Project Survey, which asked residents and business owners to give feedback about their priorities and preferred layout option for the corridor between 4th Street to Grays Ferry Avenue.
Over the years, the City has heard many concerns about Washington Avenue from neighbors and businesses. Common concerns include problems with parking, loading, crossing the street, and riding a bicycle on Washington Avenue. The road is scheduled to be repaved in 2021 with committed federal funding, which gives us the opportunity to improve how it functions.
Three proposed layout options, plus parking and loading changes, were developed by the City’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure & Sustainability (oTIS) after analyzing how the avenue operates today. We analyzed traffic, parking, loading, transit, and safety. OTIS used engineering guidance and computer simulations to see which road layouts would work and which would not work. All three proposed options would make Washington Avenue a safer, more functional roadway than it is today.
How did we hear from people during COVID-19?
oTIS wanted to make sure to follow all the guidelines put in place by the Department of Public Health while having the most inclusive outreach possible. Since we were not able to gather for public meetings due to COVID-19, we offered various ways for people to learn more about the proposed options and to provide input via online survey, videos, phone, text, mail, and email. Multiple outreach methods ensured that we could reach residents without internet access. OTIS heard back from over 5,600 individuals and the videos were viewed over 11,000 times.
OTIS also partnered with key stakeholders to host video calls and share the survey with their networks, including businesses, residents, and community organizations along the corridor. In addition, all outreach materials were available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese.
Some of the key findings include:
- Overall, 71% of all respondents rated the 3-lane layout option as the most preferred option.
- Most respondents in the four zip codes nearest Washington Avenue also prefer the 3-lane option.
- More than half of survey respondents were from the four zip codes nearest Washington Avenue (East & West of Broad Street).
- More than half of survey respondents either live, shop, or work on Washington Avenue. Also, over 50 percent of respondents visit Washington Avenue every day or every week.
- When rating the existing conditions, most respondents indicated they are unsatisfied with issues such as double parking, faded pavement markings, and the high number of crashes.
- When ranking the goals of the future roadway project in order of importance, most respondents from the four zip codes nearest Washington Avenue ranked safe pedestrian crossings and safe bike lanes as top priorities.
- Respondents from all other zip codes not adjacent to Washington Avenue also ranked safe pedestrian crossings and safe bike lanes as top priorities for the future.
- Less traffic on side streets of Washington Avenue was ranked as one of the least important priorities for the roadway by a majority of respondents in the four zip codes nearest Washington Avenue.
The next steps for the project include reviewing the survey results with key stakeholders along Washington Avenue and presenting detailed parking regulations that will create new loading spaces to alleviate double-parking. The City has not yet selected a final roadway layout. OTIS will continue working in close coordination with City Council, neighbors, and businesses in the coming months.