PHILADELPHIA – As part of a repaving and improvement project set for 2022, the City today launched a survey seeking community feedback on redesign options for Walnut Street from 22nd to 63rd Street and Chestnut Street from 63rd Street to 34th Street.
The City’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) will be engaging the community through various mediums including an online and a paper survey in English and Spanish, phone, text messages, and email to residents and businesses along the six-mile corridor. OTIS will also host outdoor public open houses on Thursday, June 17th, and Tuesday, June 29th, at the Walnut Hill Community Playground and the Laura Sims Skate House, respectively, where residents can learn more about the project and provide feedback. Residents can find more information about the project, surveys, and open houses on the project website here.
“The community in West Philadelphia deserves safe streets. We have taken the time to listen to people’s concerns about traffic safety and want to continue to work together with the community to improve Chestnut and Walnut Streets,” said Deputy Managing Director for Transportation Mike Carroll. “PennDOT’s repaving project next year gives us the opportunity to improve current conditions, change the layout, and ensure that this road works for all users regardless of whether they walk, bike, take transit or drive.”
During the past months, City staff spoke to neighborhood groups, community stakeholders, and business groups in the area to learn more about their concerns about traffic safety. OTIS compiled this feedback and worked with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) to perform traffic analysis to see which options would work and which would not work to guide the design options. Now, OTIS wants to hear what the community, residents and road users think about the proposed traffic safety improvements on Chestnut and Walnut Streets.
Road safety on Chestnut and Walnut Streets is a high priority for the City and for neighbors. Sections of both streets are on the City’s Vision Zero High Injury Network, where 80 percent of crashes in the city happen on 10 percent of streets. Along the six-mile project area, there were almost 700 crashes from 2015 to 2019. There were five fatal crashes, where people were killed.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to rethink how Chestnut and Walnut Streets can work better for West Philadelphians,” said Councilmember Jamie Gauthier of the project. “Tens of thousands of people live along these streets, and there are dozens of community assets and childcare facilities along them as well. It is our duty to hear the calls to fix what we know is broken and make our streets safer for all.”
The project will use committed state funds and will focus on improving the safety of Chestnut and Walnut Streets for all road users by:
- Creating a smoother street
- Creating safer and shorter pedestrian crossings
- Keeping sidewalks and crosswalks clear of parked cars
- Calming vehicle traffic by decreasing speeding, weaving, and aggressive driving
- Separating people biking from people walking and people driving
- Keeping traffic moving at a predictable, reliable, and safe speed.
Providing Feedback on the Future Layout: Residents, road users, and businesses along the six-mile stretch are encouraged to watch a series of short videos explaining the details of the project and the design options for both streets.
After watching the videos, there are multiple ways residents can provide input on the design options and stay informed about the project:
- Fill out this brief survey (available in English and Spanish) by July 15, 2021.
- Text or call (215) 436-9886
- Send comments and questions by email to VisionZeroPHL@phila.gov
The City will review all input received to help select a safer Chestnut and Walnut Streets.
Additional Information and Visuals:
- Interactive map to report traffic safety issues
- Program page on Phila.gov with resources and information in various languages
- Photos of Chestnut and Walnut Streets for media use
The City will review all input received in order to help select the future roadway layout.
About the Office of Complete Streets
The Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (oTIS) coordinates the implementation of Complete Streets policies in Philadelphia. Complete Streets are designed to ensure safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders. The City’s Complete Streets policy was 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. This policy improves safety, promotes economic development, reduces congestion, and encourages active transportation. Under the Complete Streets program, oTIS manages the City’s parklet, bike corral, and pedestrian plaza programs.