How To Submit Comments on Henry Avenue and Other Transportation Projects

by | June 25, 2020 | Vision Zero, Biking in Philly, Biking the Region, News, The Circuit | 11 comments

Bike in Philly
We are still reeling from the sudden and tragic death of 17 Year old Sam Ozer, of Germantown. Oftentimes with the grief comes is a feeling of helplessness. But as you may remember from our post on Monday, you can make a difference by commenting on PENNDOT’s plan for changes on Henry Avenue to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC). As we will explain, the process is easy and while you are there, please also comment on other critical bicycle and pedestrian projects.

From now until 5:00 pm on Monday June 29th, the DVRPC is accepting public comments for the 2021 Pennsylvania Transportation Improvement Program (PA TIP).

The TIP is the agreed upon list of specific priority infrastructure projects for the region. The TIP lists all projects for which federal funds are anticipated, along with non-federally funded projects that are regionally significant.

We are asking you to encourage DVRPC’s board members (who consist of elected officials from each county in our region) to push eight projects along at a faster clip. These projects are include safety projects and Circuit. Our comments are only suggestions, feel free to use your own words.

  1. Philadelphia – Henry Ave Corridor Safety Improvements Phase 1 MPMS #80104; Phase 2 MPMS #102134
    Suggested Comment  – This project as described on the PENNDOT Project site does not do enough to make Henry Avenue safe for all road users. The 1000 foot segment of the road between Barnes St and Hermit Lane has seen 5 traffic victims including 3 children in the last 5 years. More traffic calming measures that will force drivers to adhere to the posted speed limit of 35 mph are needed. This includes: reducing Henry Ave to one lane in each direction, working with the legislature on approving speed cameras for the entire length of the road, adding protected bike lanes along the entire corridor and pedestrian refuges at intersections. I also support elements already in the plan including the sidepath between Walnut Lane Ave and the bridge over Wissahickon Creek and a new traffic signal at Barnes St.
  2. Philadelphia – Castor Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements. MPMS #111194;
    Suggested Comment – Protected bike lanes should be added to the project from Comly St to Rhawn St.
  3. Philadelphia – Safe Spaces for Cyclists: Building a Protected Bicycle Network (TAP) MPMS #107198;
    Suggested Comment – The City should report on progress to date on the goals stated in the description of this grant that will implement its Vision Zero Action Plan by prioritizing and accelerating the implementation of the protected bicycle network.
  4. All – The Circuit Line Item #105291;
    Suggested Comment: The commitment for funds to build these projects dates back to 2015. The Counties should provide a status update of these projects. The Board should prioritize and accelerate these projects to help complete 500 miles of Circuit Trails by 2025
  5. Bucks – Aquetong Park Segment – Route 202 Cross-County Trail MPMS #111471;
    Suggested Comment –I support this project to help complete 500 miles of Circuit Trails by 2025
  6. Chester – Schuylkill River Trail Chester County MPMS #59434;
    Suggested Comment – Chester County has communicated that this project will start construction in 2020. It should be moved out of Later Years and moved into the 2021-2025 TIP to help complete 500 miles of Circuit Trails by 2025
  7. Delaware Octoraro Trail Construction – Phase 1 MPMS #111486;
    Suggested Comment – I support this project to help complete 500 miles of Circuit Trails by 20255
  8. Montgomery – Powerline Trail Connection – Phase 1 (TAP) MPMS #107180;
    Suggested Comment –I support this project to help complete 500 miles of Circuit Trails by 2025

To submit comments click on the project links above and it will take you to project description that includes a box to submit comments. DVRPC will confirm the receipt of your comments via email. If you want to learn about other transportation projects in your area click here to access the entire draft TIP.  You can search for any projects in the TIP by keyword.

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11 Comments
  1. Raymond P Lucci

    I am a long time member of the East Falls Community Council’s (an R.C.O.) Traffic committee. I chaired the committee from its inception in June, 2005 thru July, 2012.

    PennDot’s plan is seriously flawed and is basically disingenuous because it is a thinly veiled attempt to maintain L.O.S. (level of Service) to mostly facilitate traffic volume at rush hour when the street becomes packed with vehicles as an alternative to traveling on I-76 across the river between points north and south. In our “negotiations” with them over the years to calm the traffic and bring in world class traffic calming, they have balked at and resisted our efforts. The entire stretch of Henry Ave from Allegheny & Hunting Park in Nicetown to the Andorra shopping Center is dangerous. We have a photographic catalogue of collisions on the street going back to 2008. There is virtually no enforcement of traffic laws and speed limits. Additionally there has been a very noted uptick in truck traffic of all kinds on the truck free zone. Our communities need to come together and demand change in the current paradigm of traffic management and bring Vision Zero to this street.

    Reply
  2. Daniel McGrath

    It seems like the link for the second item “Philadelphia – Castor Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements. MPMS #111194” is broken – click here to comment on it https://dvrpc.org/TIP/Draft/Project/111194

    Reply
  3. Charlie Karl

    On occasion I’ve been stupid enough to ride my bike from Walnut Lane north on Henry towards Andorra. What is very frightening is the speed of the traffic (most everyone going fast, and some going even faster and weaving lanes to further push the insanity). There are a couple of places as you approach bridges where the bike lane/shoulder disappears. What are you supposed to do there? Squeeze out onto the lane and hope for the best?

    Reply
  4. Rob Goetz

    Thank you for providing these links and suggested comments. My family is very close with the Ozers and we knew Sam since the day he was born.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    We have to do something about this. We need better infrastructure for biking. Its not worth losing good people.

    Reply
  6. Ruth I Birchett

    DVRPC FY2021 draft plan for Henry Ave in Philadelphia is inadequate. Immediate ACTION is needed to make this a safe highway because AGAIN a precious life has been loss due to PENNDOT’s failure to eliminate longstanding, life threatening problems along this state aerial roadway. Samuel Ozer’s life matters, this 17 year old, college bound, highly experienced biker and son of devoted community servants had his youthful zest for life tragically ended on Henry Ave.

    This project as described on the PENNDOT Project site does not do enough to make Henry Avenue safe for all road users. The 1000 foot segment of the road between Barnes St and Hermit Lane has seen 5 traffic victims including 3 children in the last 5 years. More traffic calming measures that will force drivers to adhere to the posted speed limit of 35 mph are needed. This includes: reducing Henry Ave to one lane in each direction, working with the legislature on approving speed cameras for the entire length of the road, adding protected bike lanes along the entire corridor and pedestrian refuges at intersections. I also support elements already in the plan including the sidepath between Walnut Lane Ave and the bridge over Wissahickon Creek and a new traffic signal at Barnes St.

    Reply
  7. Ann C. Martha

    Henry Ave. is a major bicycle commuting street where a protected lane could prevent collisions. I’m in favor of traffic-calming as I’ve seen many cars whizzing along this sinuous road at 60mph.
    Closing lanes on Henry Ave. probably will not work as long queues of stalled traffic will back up through Roxborough and East Falls and the local residents will vigorously oppose the seemingly increased traffic. I think more traffic lights and increased sharing signage and special pedestrian blinking lights around Philadelphia U. would make a safer commute for bicyclists.

    Reply
  8. Lora McMeans

    The curves on Henry ave. have been an issue for decades. People can not navigate the curves for a few reasons but the biggest issue by FAR is speeding.

    People go in excess of 60MPH all the time. Because of the curves and not being able to see far ahead, they don’t have time to REACT to the traffic lights, people, bicyclists, obstacles and especially traffic that enters from streets that don’t have traffic lights. Folks who don’t speed can obviously react quicker.

    Because people lose control whether it’s speed or distracted driving or buzzed driving, the sections with no median strips are the most dangerous. It only takes a few inches to clip an oncoming car. There needs to be a barrier between the two flows of traffic. You can’t avoid a head-on crash as easily as you can avoid an accident with someone traveling in the same direction.

    There also needs to be CLEAR bike lanes. If there can’t be a lane for bikes, IMO, they should not be in traffic. Again, just a few inches off from a distracted or speeding driver and the cyclist has no chance.

    Reply
  9. Marita Fitzpatrick

    Henry Avenue is not the expressway. People should not be driving on that road as fast as they do. Please put speed bumps in. Or rumble strips. Put a bike lane in that doesn’t put bike riders in harms way. Find away so bicycle riders are not slaughtered on this road on a regular basis or ever.

    Reply
  10. Gayl Henze

    Many years ago the speed limit was enforced.
    It’s amazing how seeing cars being ticketed slows the rest of the traffic. Along with other improvements, why do we not enforce the laws that we have! Don’t defund the police, we need quality police who get paid reasonably, and who will uphold the law. Publicize the effect that speeding tickets have on auto insurance!

    Reply
  11. Lee Zehender

    As a long time resident of the East Falls Community I have seen the traffic on Henry Ave increase in volume and speed. Last year my husband witnessed a horrible accident in which a five year old boy was killed.?The recent death of a 17 year old on his bicycle has hit especially hard. When is enough, enough?!
    I have witnessed many cars going over 60 miles an hour. This is a neighborhood. I am not sure how Henry Ave has been allowed to become a highway by the state but that needs to end.
    This is a community of bike riders. Bike lanes are essential in keeping our residents safe.
    PENNDOT must act now.

    Reply

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