PHILADELPHIA — City officials, business owners, residents and volunteers gathered today for a ceremonial groundbreaking on new improvements to the intersection of Broad, Germantown and Erie (BGE). This intersection is a transit hub, shopping center and cultural focus point of North Philadelphia. The new improvements to the intersection, which are set to begin the week of July 17, 2023, will make the intersection safer while supporting local businesses and honoring local history. The improvements include new green spaces, new bus lanes and shelters, bike lanes, sidewalks, and street trees.

“Today, we mark a significant investment in the life of our city, here at the downtown heart of North Philadelphia. BGE has been a priority of my administration since day one. After seven years of hard work – including a Community Build Day to make improvements to the Butler Triangle, infrastructure, and to private businesses – we are proud to announce that construction for the long-term vision of BGE is expected to start next week,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The project has had extensive community engagement and interdepartmental collaboration and will greatly enhance the traffic flow and quality of life in the commercial corridor and neighborhoods surrounding the intersections of Broad, Germantown and Erie Avenue for years to come.”

The BGE project has been a years-long, intentional collaboration between residents, business owners, community groups and government agencies who have made significant progress to improve the overall quality of life for Philadelphians in the area. This new round of construction will deliver the longer-term vision for the BGE.

“It takes an enormous amount of work from all parties, especially dedicated community residents and businesses, to make a project like this happen,” said Anne Fadullon, Director of the Department of Planning and Development. “I am pleased to attend this groundbreaking at Broad, Germantown and Erie. These improvements are a milestone for the community, which has long awaited this level of investment. They are also a milestone for our city’s Comprehensive Plan, which identified this hub as a planning priority. Alongside all of our partners, I am excited to mark the next phase of this project, where plans turn into action.”

This project will deliver new traffic safety improvements to a Vision Zero priority intersection and will feature innovative complete streets elements including new bus lanes and boarding platforms, raised bike lanes, street trees, and improved pedestrian crossings, in addition to the new public space.

“The Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) is incredibly excited to be breaking ground on this transformative project at Broad, Germantown, and Erie,” said Mike Carroll, Deputy Managing Director for Transportation. “This intersection is a critical meeting point for North Philadelphia, and through this project, we are delivering a generational investment into infrastructure, safety, and public spaces. This work is the product of years of advocacy and hard work by the community around Broad, Germantown, and Erie, and without them, this work would not have been possible. We’re excited to begin construction on this new phase of the project and look forward to the positive impact it will have on the thousands of Philadelphians who use this intersection every day.”

Construction for this new phase of improvements will begin the week of July 17, 2023. The project improvements include:

  • Sidewalks with street trees.
  • Crosswalks with shorter pedestrian crossings.
  • A median in the middle of Broad Street (Germantown Avenue traffic will still be able to cross).
  • A green space at Broad and Butler with seating areas, lawn, plants, new lighting, and trees.
  • A transit plaza at Broad and Erie with an elevator to the Broad Street Line Erie Station (to be constructed by SEPTA).
  • Bus shelters.
  • Bus-only lanes and sidewalk level bicycle lanes on Erie Avenue.
  • Sidewalk adjacent bus platforms on Erie Avenue.
  • Removing the old trolley tracks on Erie Avenue.
  • Bicycle racks and trash cans.
  • Gas main replacement on Erie Avenue.
  • Public art.

Additionally, the Department of Commerce will continue to support the Broad, Germantown and Erie Streetscape Improvement Project through sidewalk cleaning, storefront improvements, corridor management, one-on-one business assistance, security cameras and more.

“The Department of Commerce helps businesses plan, start, grow, and thrive in Philadelphia. We work diligently with partners citywide to enhance economic opportunities for all through strategic investments and place-based economic development initiatives,” said Anne Nadol, Commerce Director. “That includes providing direct support to businesses, improving the physical environment in commercial areas, investing in the capacity of neighborhood organizations, and enhancing vibrant shopping areas citywide. Commerce is thrilled for the partnership that will make this important business and transit hub more inviting for all.”

This project is made possible through investments from the City’s Capital Budget, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Automated Red Light Enforcement Program (ARLE), and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Multimodal Transportation Fund.

About the Broad-Germantown-Erie Project:

Started in 2017, the Broad, Germantown, and Erie Project is a joint effort between City departments and neighborhood organizations. The project’s goals are to:

  • Make the intersection safer. The proposed changes to traffic flow will improve pedestrian and driver safety.
  • Create new public spaces. Two new plazas will be built at the intersection and reflect a community-driven design.
  • Create jobs and support businesses. Community partners have received increased funding for sidewalk cleaning, and storefront improvements are in progress. Business support is underway, as is research on local hiring.
  • Honor local history. A team of neighborhood history enthusiasts is focusing on historic buildings, photo essays, history collections, and public art and markers. They are selecting historic photos for the “pop-up” park and helping lead an artist-selection process for public art in the plazas.