Washington Ave at 17th

Washington Ave at 17th Street (photo credit: J. Liefer)

Earlier this year, in June and mid-September, we wrote about the process by which Washington Avenue is getting slowly transformed into a more orderly, safer corridor.  Just to recap, in late 2013 and early 2014, the Planning Commission worked with consultants and a public process to develop a concept pavement marking plan that includes a bike lane down the whole length of Washington Ave from Gray’s Ferry to Delaware Ave. That plan includes dropping a travel lane on two major sections of the corridor and a major change in how curbside parking is managed.

The new pavement marking plan, while not perfect, will bring order to the traffic on Washington Ave and give bicyclists a more clear, defined space on the street.  This is important because currently there is no bike lane between 7th and 11th Streets on Washington Ave, and this is where the majority of bike crashes on Washington Ave occur. It should also better manage parking.  It is a first step toward making Washington Avenue a safer street and when the entire corridor is repaved in a few years, we anticipate it will be further improved.  You can read more about the proposed plan and why we support it.

As we reported a few weeks ago, the plan is being implemented in stages.  Three sections of the roadway were striped (painted) over the past few weeks.

  • Grays Ferry to 25th
  • 16th to 13th
  • 4th to Columbus

Two major sections of the roadway (25th to 16th and 13th to 4) can not be fully installed until both Councilmen Mark Squilla and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduce ordinances.  Ordinances are needed because Washington Avenue will be put on a road diet (a lane of travel will be removed) to allow for back-in angled parking and loading zones.  These two major sections will not be striped by the Streets Department until the ordinances are introduced and their passage is assured.

Councilman Johnson and Squilla are holding meetings primarily to ensure that the businesses along the corridor are fully aware of the proposed change in lane configuration and parking.  Neverthelss, this is an important opportunity for near neighbords to let the Councilmen know that there is public support for the plan.

If you live EAST of Broad Street. Councilman Squilla is holding a meeting on October 8th for the leadership of the civic organizations listed below.  If you live within the boundaries of one of these civics, please contact the leadership of that civic via a personal email message to express your support for the Streets Department to install the new pavement marking plan.

Dickinson Square Civic Association (Contact email)
Pennsport Civic Association (Contact email)
Queen Village Neighborhood Association (Contact email)
Bella Vista Neighbors Association (Contact email)
South Broad Street Neighborhood Association (Contact email)
Hawthorne Empowerment Coalition (Contact email)
Passyunk Square Civic Association (Contact email)

If you live WEST of Broad Street.  Councilman Johnson is holding a public meeting on October 15th at the Bryan Baptist Church at 1140 S. 19th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146 at 6pm.  We encourage you to attend this meeting to show your support for the pavement marking plan.


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