The Lehigh Avenue Safety Study and Design project is focused on making the corridor – between Kensington Avenue and American Street – safe for neighbors and travelers who walk, bike, roll, take public transit, and drive. 

There were 98 reported crashes between 2018-2022 on this stretch of Lehigh Avenue. This places the corridor on City’s High Injury Network (HIN) – or the 12% of city streets with 80% of all traffic deaths and serious injuries. Lehigh Avenue has also been identified as a transit priority corridor in the Philadelphia Transit Plan – specifically, the goal would be to improve the service of SEPTA’s Route 54 and 57 buses. 

What Has Happened So Far 

Phase 1 of the project included a public engagement campaign in Summer/Fall 2023. The project team engaged more than 200 neighbors, businesses, and community stakeholders in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Door-to-door canvassing (800 flyers distributed and over 50 conversations)
  • Online survey (89 responses)
  • Interviews with neighborhood businesses and organizations (10)
  • Attending community events (5)
  • Hosting a dedicated workshop at the Community Center at Visitation BVM last August

The project team also completed a morning walk audit to meet with stakeholders to observe safety challenges during the morning rush hour. 

At the City-hosted workshop, we reviewed a series of images with participants to discuss what street elements people liked and disliked regarding safety and transit access. An accompanying online survey allowed neighbors to provide input if they were unable to attend the workshop. 

From the workshop and online surveys, we gathered a lot of great neighbor input. Some highlighted feedback includes: 

  • “More trees, designated lanes for public transit.”  
  • “A safe way to cross the street – we lost a lot of people due to the dangers of crossing the street.” 
  • “A bike lane and pedestrians separated from each other and the bikers not having to ride in the street.” 

With input from Phase 1, the City developed the following vision statement and goals for the project:

Vision StatementThe future vision for Lehigh Avenue is one where the street is safe, comfortable, and accessible for everyone who uses it, whether you’re walking, biking, taking transit, or driving. 

  • Goal #1 – Make the Street Feel Safer. 
    • Reduce speeding, red light-running, and aggressive driving behavior through design tools. 
  • Goal #2 – Create Safe Crossings. 
    • Reduce conflicts between modes by making it easier for people driving to see people crossing the street. Shorten the time it takes to cross the street. 
  • Goal #3 – People-Friendly Placemaking. 
    • Add trees and greenery, plan for trash cans and pickup, and improve lighting. 
  • Goal #4 – Enhance Bus Facilities. 
    • Make taking the bus enjoyable and convenient with enhanced bus stops, bus information, and reliable bus speeds. 
  • Goal #5 – Make Biking Safer. 
    • Create separation between people biking and driving to make biking feel safer and more enjoyable. 

How Can I Join the Conversation 

This month, the City will host the second public workshop for the project. We will be sharing conceptual designs with the public and soliciting feedback. Participants at the workshop will give ratings for each design alternative. This information will help the project team understand what the community wants from the project. 

Public Workshop #2 

  • Date: Wednesday, May 22 
  • Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
  • Location: Community Center at Visitation BVM (2646 Kensington Ave.) 
  • Details: Attend the workshop to collaborate with fellow stakeholders and City staff on proposed concepts. We’ll discuss in costs and benefits of each design element, and invite participants to rate each concept. Snacks will be provided for your convenience! 

The project team and neighbors will be joined by Councilmember Quetcy Lozada’s Office and HACE CDC. 

At the meeting, consider sharing your email address with the project team at the sign-in table. Not only will you receive project updates, but five (5) people will be randomly selected to receive $25 gift cards as a thank you for your time and feedback.  

For those who cannot attend in-person, there will be an online survey. It will include the same questions as the in-person workshop survey. When available, we encourage you to share the online survey with less engaged neighbors. There will be $25 stipend awarded to four (4) random online participants!

Questions, Comments? Call or email the City’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) at 215- 686-5552;