Bicycle Coalition

On March 20th, PennDOT kicked off a new Sustainable Action Committee concerning changes to I-95 through Philadelphia.

The first meeting discussed Sector B of I-95, which runs from Spring Garden Street to the Girard Point Bridge and Broad Street (via 676).

Such a project is being considered now because of Mayor Jim Kenney’s budget proposal to cap I-95 at Penn’s Landing to create a new waterfront park, and because of new funding to create the Central Delaware Trail, a new bicycle trail along Delaware Avenue and Columbus Boulevard for which the Bicycle Coalition has been advocating.

As it stands now, here are the Sector B includes to projects that are being considered:

  • I-95 Central to South Philadelphia Planning Study
  • I-95 Central Access Philadelphia (CAP) – Chestnut to Walnut

The Central to South Philly Planning Study was initiated in 2016, but construction for resulting projects is not expected to start until 2030.

Preliminary engineering has started for the CAP phase and construction is expected to start in 2020.

The CAP section involves building a bridge over I-95 and Columbus Boulevard between Chestnut to Walnut to create an 11 acre park between Penn’s Landing and Old City.

Mayor Kenney pledged $90 million in his 2018-2023 capital program over a six year period to contribute toward the I-95 CAP project; state, federal and private funds would fund the rest of the $225M project.

The project includes the Central Delaware Trail between Spring Garden and Washington Avnue, which are considered Circuit Trails and are a component of the Bicycle Coalition’s Hub and Spoke infrastructure proposal to triple the level of bicycling in Philadelphia. It will also afford the opportunity to improve connector streets and adjacent spaces.

Here’s our idea: fix the blocks of Spruce Street between 38th Parallel and Columbus Boulevard to make them bike friendly in both directions so that there is a safe and comfortable connection between the Boulevard and the Spruce and Pine buffered bike lanes.

In early March, PennDOT and the William Penn Foundation also announced pledges of $100 million and (up to) $15 million respectively, making the full budget of the $225 million project nearly complete.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has been invited to be part of this Sustainable Action Committee and will report on its deliberations in future blog posts.

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