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In 2017, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) performed a “Level of Traffic Stress” (LTS) analysis of the five Pennsylvania counties in the Philadelphia region.

Using a multi-faceted set of data (road widths, shoulders, bike lanes, speed limits, etc), the LTS analysis separates every road in the region into one of four levels, from lovely local roads to nightmare highway hellscapes. Bicycle Coalition

Previously, DVRPC wasn’t able to perform the analysis for the entire region. This week, that changed. Now local bike/ped advocates have a great tool for advocating for road improvements, no matter which side of the Delaware River they live on! Click here to see the results! Keep in mind that the map has many “layers” that you can toggle on and off to look at different data.

As anyone who’s tried to bike or walk for any distance in the average suburb can attest, the lovely local road network is pretty disconnected, leaving hundreds of low-stress “islands” in the region.

The map screenshot above is demonstrative of the concept. Camden’s dense street networks is clearly shown, but its isolation from the rest of NJ is also quite clear: I-295, I-76 and Rt. 73 have the City completely boxed in. Also, due to quirks of street grids not aligning, much of Pennsauken and Merchantville are not connected to Camden’s LTS grid.

In Philadelphia, Cobbs Creek forms a hard line between the City and Delaware County: there is not a single low-stress road connection between them.

This dataset is something we have advocated for since 2016, so we’re excited that it’s at last complete. Notice anything missing or incorrect in the analysis? Click here to suggest changes to DVRPC.

Leonard Bonarek

Author

In 2016, Leonard entered his third career: city planning. Previous to joining Bicycle Coalition, he had 7 years’ experience working in social services, and 10 years’ hard labor in the maritime industry, in addition to several years of intern and volunteer experience with our organization and Neighborhood Bike Works.

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