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Survey: Majority Support Traffic Calming Measures on JFK and Market

Bicycle Coalition volunteer Gretchen Alexander speaks to a pedestrian at 15th and JFK

Tragically, the passing of transportation advocate Peter Javsicas on JFK Boulevard earlier this month has brought a previously-delayed plan for JFK and Market Streets in Center City back to the forefront.

Former PenTrans executive director Peter Javsicas was fatally struck on June 14 by a motor vehicle that drove up on the sidewalk at 16th and JFK Boulevard in Center City.

Since the crash, more have become interested in some already-proposed changes for the Boulevard and Market Streets. For instance, a Center City District-endorsed proposal would have added a parking-protected bike lane, cut down on speeding, resulting in fewer crashes and a minimal impact on the streets’ capacity. (Read about the proposal here.)

JFK Boulevard is wider than I-95 in Center City and sees more crashes each year than average Center City Streets. Between 2010-2014 there were 40 percent more crashes on JFK and Market Streets than there were on Walnut and Chestnut Streets in Center City.

Anyway, we’ve been working to figure out what everyday folks think about JFK and Market Streets, and how they’d like to see it reconfigured. So, last week, some Bicycle Coalition volunteers went out to JFK and Market to ask passers-by what they thought.

In total, our volunteers—Gretchen Alexander, Kyle Hearing, Kaeka Williams, Ricky Hunt, Nick Rogers, Devon Delvecchio and Bob Previdi—spoke to 140 people over two days, asking them a list of questions about safety on the Center City Streets.

Here are the main takeaways found in those surveys:

 

As you can see, a vast majority of 140 people we spoke to support measures that allow bicyclists a safe space on JFK and Market Streets—exactly what the aforementioned plan would do. Respondents also support giving pedestrians a special crossing phase and reducing vehicular speed.

We are holding a Memorial Walk with the Javsicas Family and Vision Zero Alliance on Thursday, June 29, at 5pm. It will begin at the Comcast Center, take a short route through Center City, and end at Dilworth Park at 6pm. Hope to see you there.

Topics: Biking in Philly, Crash, Featured, Vision Zero

One comment on “Survey: Majority Support Traffic Calming Measures on JFK and Market

  1. John Baxter

    Several items in the above survey results I find I am in sympathy with. Separate crossing times make total sense, and finding smart ways to avoid conflicts between bike riders and cars makes an awful lot of sense, too. Not sure about shorter crossing distances, as the same dynamics apply to crashes no matter how far someone has to walk to cross. As far as traffic speeds go–this is where it gets truly dicey. Most such tragedies don’t result from speed, and statistics VERY STRONGLY suggest most drivers don’t speed, even on roads like JFK and Market. Thus, whatever is done should have a SUBTLE effect and do little but discourage a minority of real speeders, and, especially, wild maneuvers. Collaring traffic by offering only restricted travel not only can be a negative emotionally and time-wise for all, it can easily result in the kind of road rage incident that occurred recently in West Goshen Township. Let’s proceed carefully here and leave generous room for the times of the day when traffic is heavy. If auto lane elimination is considered, there must be powerful evidence that the present lanes are never used to anywhere near their full capacity.
    I also question the emotional response to the tragic death of Mr. Javsicas, though I certainly sympathize deeply with all concerned . Just how and why did this crash occur, and did it really begin with speed? Time to carefully review the accident report and consider what really happened. How about instead of trying to slow everybody down without knowing that’s the real problem, we instead required ALL drivers in Philadelphia and vicinity to study and take a test on the report for every major accident that clearly resulted from driver error? Just knowing what leads up to a crash–like forgetting to check in your mirror, or looking down to adjust a temperature control for more than a couple of seconds–might be far more productive, as well as more benign, than constantly focusing on speed and wanting to restrict traffic flow.

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