ICYMI: The New Mid-Block Crossing on Arch Street

by | January 4, 2016 | Biking in Philly, Featured | 5 comments



The 1700 block of Arch Street is no longer the pedestrian-motor-vehicle-crash-waiting-to-happen it once was. Brandywine Realty Trust and Liberty Property, the property owners on either side of that block, recognized the situation and worked with the Streets Department over Summer and Fall of 2015 to figure out a safer way to accommodate the nearly 1,000 pedestrians per hour that were crossing the street during peak hours, often heading into the Comcast Center or Wawa.

The crosswalk’s proximity to the Comcast Center’s concourse access and its alignment with Three Logan Square’s path to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway created a natural mid-block crossing.  The two real estate companies hired Langan Engineering to do an initial feasibility study, conceptual and full design and covered the cost of construction.

The design of a raised table mid-block crosswalk with rectangular rapid-flashing beacons was selected.  Design and construction were done on an accelerated schedule so that the work would be completed before the construction season wound down for winter.

AP Construction was the contractor selected for the construction job, and completed the street reconstruction work within an extended weekend (demolition started on a Friday night, and repaving was done Monday and Tuesday, with the street reopening on Wednesday…it can be done). The job was completed on December 9th, 2015.

The people who deserve some high-fives for this are as follow: Brandywine Realty Trust, Liberty Property Trust, Langan Engineering and the Streets Department, especially then-Streets Commissioner David Perri, Darin Gatti, Steve Lorenz, Shawn McKeown, Bill Gural, Rich Montanez, Tom Buck, Pat Iffrig, Anthony Santaniello, Pat O’Donnell, and Al Bommentre and his survey district crew.

We are super-pleased that this private-public collaboration worked assiduously to make Arch Street safer for pedestrians! And we hope that similar measures can be taken in other neighborhoods as part of a Vision Zero policy in the near future.

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  1. Andrew Levitt

    This is fantastic. But also: a two-lane 1-way midblock crossing can be a scary thing with a stopped car blocking line of sight for an approaching car to a person crossing. Hopefully they figured that all out!

    • Tim

      I feel the same way, Andrew.

      • MJB

        I think the lights on the ped sign flash when a person is walking across.

  2. MJB

    High five, Anthony et al!

  3. Joe

    Mid-block crosswalks are very dangerous and their use should be discouraged. If I understand this one, it will also be raised above the road, which would seem to be even worse.


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