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The latest round of Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) grants were announced by Governor Tom Wolf, and they include money for a planned protected bike lane on Market Street in Old City. This is the second year in a row ARLE funds have gone to this project, with about $300,000 being put into the traffic calming project in 2018.

The project will include better bus boarding and pedestrian islands, green paint, curb extensions and other positive changes for the street.

As noted by a press release put out by the Governor’s office,

City of Philadelphia – $6.6 million for the following activities: Old City Market St. Multimodal Improvements from 6th to 2nd St. to include rightsizing, protected bike lanes, signal improvements, bus boarding and pedestrian islands and mill and overlay; low cost safety improvements to include pavement marking, green bicycle conflict zones, rumble strips, curb extensions, etc.; redesign of high quality bicycle network streets to include protected bicycle lanes and neighborhood bikeway corridors; a continuation of Philadelphia’s Modern Roundabout program; intersection modifications to slow traffic at intersections, improve sight distance between drivers and pedestrians, and reduce pedestrian vulnerability by reducing pedestrian crossing time; Citywide Fiber Optic Signal Integration; and LED St. lighting to increase pedestrian and traffic safety through improved St. lighting while promoting walkability within commercial and residential corridors.

This is good news for this project and will make this section of Market Street in Old City a more inviting place for all. We will have another news piece up later about the rest of the projects that got funded.

It’s worth noting, though, that while Philadelphia houses all red light cameras which create these funds (except for one), the city only receives half the money raised, with the rest of the money distributed throughout the Commonwealth. Many counties throughout Pennsylvania whose representatives are technically against red light cameras cash in on the money raised through the program.

That’s not OK, and one of two things should happen: Either more counties around Pennsylvania should install red light cameras, or the law should be changed so that Philadelphia receives an amount of money commensurate with the money the city raises.

Randy LoBasso

Author

Randy LoBasso is the policy manager at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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