PHILADELPHIA– Calling it “a major step towards improving safety for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable roadway users,” Mayor Kenney today helped cut the ribbon to open the Chestnut Street Transportation Project, which includes pedestrian improvements and a parking protected bicycle lane in West Philadelphia.

“My administration is committed to improving the design of streets to keep all residents safe,” said the Mayor Kenney. “This effort includes the installation of protected bicycle lanes to provide safe and comfortable routes for Philadelphians of all ages and abilities. We are excited to introduce the first of this type of project in the City and we’ll be back in the coming years with more corridors citywide.”

The Chestnut Street Transportation Project includes significant pedestrian safety improvements, such as shorter roadway crossing distances and painted pedestrian areas. This is the first one-way parking protected bicycle lane in the City, and it will encourage people who bicycle to use Chestnut Street to connect to University City and Center City. The project includes striping, signage and flexible delineator posts to clearly indicate where bicyclists ride and where drivers should drive, load, and park.

The project stretches more than one mile of Chestnut Street, between 45th Street and 33rd Street, through a portion of West Philadelphia with its education, institutional, and transit hubs. The 2012 Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan identified the corridor as a high crash corridor in need of improvement; crash rates on Chestnut Street are three times the City average per mile.

The Chestnut Street Transportation Project was funded through the Pennsylvania 2015 Multimodal Transportation Fund Department of Community and Economic Development. The project was led by the Office of Complete Streets as a Vision Zero project, an initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities on city streets. Each year there are around 100 traffic-related deaths in Philadelphia, including drivers, passengers, and people walking and biking.

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, 3rd District, said she is pleased to have safety improvements along Chestnut Street in her district. “We always try to support the community and we look forward to having a transportation opportunity to benefit all.”

In the development of the transportation project, the City worked closely with several community groups and stakeholders, including Penn Safety and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

“Improving Chestnut Street has long been a priority of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, Executive Director of the Coalition. “After several years of work by the City, the Bicycle Coalition, advocates, cyclists, and neighbors, we are pleased to see the West Chestnut Street parking-protected bike lane complete between 34th and 45th Streets. In addition to making this stretch of West Philadelphia street safer for cyclists, this Vision Zero project will help slow down traffic on West Chestnut Street, creating better conditions for pedestrians and motorists alike.”

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