There are two big improvement projects coming to West Philadelphia soon.
First, the long anticipated Walnut Street Parking Protected Bike Lane project has finally started! The project will go from 63rd Street (Cobbs Creek Parkway) to 33rd Street. The section from 33rd Street into Center City will happen later when Walnut Street Bridge improvements are scheduled.
Late on September 11th, paving crew began milling which is expected to continue through September 15th. Milling takes place overnight as not to disturb daytime traffic. Paving will begin on or around Tuesday, September 26th.
On Walnut Street from 33rd Street to 63rd Street/Cobbs Creek Parkway, PennDOT contractor construction crews will:
- Mill the roadway from curb to curb, and repave with fresh asphalt to create a smooth asphalt surface.
- Paint fresh crosswalks and roadway markings in an updated layout.
- Shorten pedestrian crossing distance for people walking across Walnut Street.
- Remove left-turn vehicle lanes at most intersections where there are lower turn volumes.
- Upgrade the existing painted bike lane to a parking-separated bike lane from 33rd Street to 63rd Street/Cobbs Creek Parkway.
- The bike lane will expand the bike network’s connectivity between West Philadelphia and Center City. The parking-separated bike lane will also serve as a pair to the east-bound Chestnut Street separated bike lane from 63rd Street/Cobbs Creek Parkway to 22nd Street.
Similar to the parking protected bike lanes that exist around the city (Market St, JFK, Washington East, Chestnut St) the Walnut St. parking protected bike lane (PPBL) is included in a pilot to test parking protected bike lanes in the city, but parking protected bike lanes are still not legal in Pennsylvania. We are advocating to update the vehicle code to allow for PPBL throughout the state and currently HB 1283 passed the House in June. We look forward to continuing our advocacy when the House and Senate resume in late September.
Second, thanks to local advocacy, 48th and 47th St from Chestnut (48th), Walnut (47th) to Kingsessing (48th), Grays Ferry Ave. (47th) is being considered for traffic safety improvements. The City’s office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) and Council Member Gauthier are hosting two community meetings to discuss different safety infrastructure options for the corridor. We encourage anyone who lives in the area to attend;
- 48th & Woodland Playground, Monday 9/18, 6-7:30pm
- St. Francis De Sales School Auditorium, Wednesday 9/27, 6:30-8pm (Updated Location and time)
Between 2018 and 2022, 298 crashes were reported on 48th & 47th; 56 people were seriously injured and 1 person was killed. 46 of those crashes involved people walking and 18 involved people biking. These numbers don’t include the recent crash and fatality at 4700 Kingsessing Ave that took place on Sunday, September 10th.