In September, a website called Make Taney Safe popped on many Philadelphians’ radars. The site was put together by a group of Center City neighbors who had been complaining about the safety—or lack thereof—of Taney and Lombard Streets in Center City.
“Since January 1, 2017, there have been 5 or more motor vehicle crashes per month, alone, at this intersection,” reads the site. “Some neighbors who live nearby count as many as 100 crashes since the start of 2017! These crashes have not only resulted in damage to vehicles, trees, and homes but serious and life-threatening injuries.”
The Bicycle Coalition was of course interested in the work Make Taney Safe was doing. Not only did we actively support traffic calming measures on Lombard Street earlier this summer, but part of the recently-released Vision Zero Action Plan calls upon local communities and neighbors to figure out how thy’d like to work to make their communities safer.
“We simply want the traffic control measures as recommended by the US DoT warrants to address the blind intersection and the behavior of drivers that are naïve to the intersection,” the group wrote back to us, from an anonymous email address. “The warrants recommend an all-way stop sign and speed cushions or traffic signals dependent on a few data points that need to be documented well by city officials. Importantly, we also want this to happen quickly. The more time we wait the more accidents will happen and we can only hope it will not be more serious than it has already been.”
Well, it didn’t take too long. Earlier this week, the city installed 4-way stop signs at the corner of Taney and Lombard.
“We could not be happier to write and tell you that our effort has been successful and the STOP signs were installed at the corner of Taney and Lombard yesterday !!! We went out to see them,” the group wrote on its Facebook page. They were slowing the traffic down and causing cars to come to a stop when there was crossing traffic and a mother crossing with her children.”
Congrats on the win, folks. It’s treatments and interventions such as stop signs, street lighting, protected bike lanes, and corner bump-outs that the city will be working on through the Vision Zero Action Plan to make Philadelphia’s streets safe for everyone. And most of these plans won’t come from the top down. They will happen when local residents help to make the case and ask for calmer streets.
Note: Raised crosswalks for this intersection (among others) are another traffic calming measure that we will continue to advocate for with OTIS, Streets Department and the Office of Kenyatta Johnson as proposed in a letter we sent about Lombard, 27th and South Streets in August 2017.
It’s really nice to see the reference to warrants in Randy’s writeup. It’s those warrants, actually tougher on the part of PENNDOT than in the case of USDOT, that make a four-way truly appropriate. While four-ways are far too often abused by municipalities, this one appears to be installed following the traffic engineering science. How refreshing!
It is also refreshing to read that the Taney neighbors are happy with the simple addition of stop signs, and that drivers responded immediately to the change, and responded lawfully.