The 2023 Vision Zero Conference had over 250 attendees with over 40 speakers to discuss the challenges and opportunities toward eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries — while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Among the many topics discussed, the session on Safety and Environmental Justice on Route 291 received notable interest from attendees. What started as a standard PennDOT drainage improvement project along the route 291 corridor in Ridley Township evolved into the development of a critical link in the growing Circuit Trails network, the East Coast Greenway and the September 11th National Memorial Trail.

The breakout session was moderated by Tara Hofferth with Kittelson Associates who led the conversation with panelists who are involved in the project. Panelists included Francis J. Hanney with PennDOT, Delaware County Council Member Elaine Paul Schaefer, Rodney Robertson with City of Chester, and Barron Lacy with 9th Street Youth and Community Center. The discussion included an overview of the corridor, PennDOT’s reconstruction process in Ridley Township, the City of Chester’s plans to move toward implementation, community engagement, and what’s next.

For more information of the Route 291 project scope, a link to the presentation can be accessed here to review the project approach, the planned routes, the goals of the latest feasibility study and advocacy efforts led by local residents.

As the session reached its halfway point, Francis Hanney with PennDOT District 6 shared incredible news with attendees announcing that PennDOT’s drainage improvement project team will work to incorporate the Circuit Trails network, East Coast Greenway and September 11th National Memorial Trail into the SR 291 project!

Thank you to PennDOT and the entire project team for all your work to incorporate the East Coast Greenway into the SR 291 Project! I really appreciate the time and dedication put towards ensuring that the 291 corridor in Ridley will not only have improved drainage but will also include a high quality, safe and accessible facility for people walking and biking. This is a major step forward for providing multimodal, sustainable, and affordable transportation options in Delaware County and the greater Philadelphia Region, creating a critical link in the growing East Coast Greenway, September 11th National Memorial Trail, and the Circuit Trails network.

Daniel Paschall, Mid-Atlantic Manager with the East Coast Greenway

Interested in learning more about the project? Join Kittleson Associates for a listening session with the Chester City community on April 13th from 6:30pm to 8pm at the Calvary Baptist Church at 1616 W 2nd Street as part of their efforts to improve safety along Route 291. The schedule includes plans to have discussion circles to learn more about what it’s like to live, work, and travel along and across Route 291. Dinner will be provided!

To get engaged prior to the meeting, see Kittleson Associates interactive comment map and visit the County’s website for more information.

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