More than one-third of households in Camden do not have access to an automobile, and the combination of walking, biking, and transit can greatly expand access to services across and beyond the city. To date in 2021, the City of Camden (Pop. 77,000) has recorded 19 traffic deaths, more than double the number of fatalities in nearby Cherry Hill (Pop. 73,000).
A citywide plan to improve the entire city for pedestrians and bicyclists is sorely needed and is now under development. The Camden Active Transportation Plan is available at WalkBikeCamden.Com. The website is in English and Spanish and offers multiple ways to provide input. You can fill out the project survey and mark your suggestions and concerns on the interactive mapping tool. The deadline for submitting comments is December 31st.
For the past several years the City of Camden has been addressing traffic improvements on a street-by-street basis. This has resulted in some very good upgrades such as the Main St rehabilitation project that added roundabouts and bike lanes to a street that was mainly broken concrete pavement. On the other hand, the Cooper St. Pedestrian Safety Project actually focused on making traffic flow faster and made it more difficult for pedestrians to cross the street.
Earlier this month Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron wrote an article on changes to the Federal – Market St plan that would reverse the proposal to make Market St a pedestrian-friendly two-way street. In response, the Camden Community Partnership will provide another opportunity for public participation in early 2022.
The design of Camden’s street network should be based on safety and quality of life of city residents, not the peak hour travel times of suburban commuters. When completed the Camden Active Transportation Plan will lay out the blueprint for a more bikeable and walkable Camden.