In 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the City of Philadelphia will be repaving 6 miles of Chestnut and Walnut Sts. This is a part of the City’s Complete Streets Project and a Vision Zero effort, reducing traffic-related crashes by redesigning high injury networks for all road users, and the City needs to hear from you about what you think are the best options for Chestnut and Walnut Streets.
The City of Philadelphia would like your input about how to reimagine and redesign Chestnut and Walnut St here.
The goals for this repaving project are as follows:
- Calm traffic by decreasing speeding, weaving, and aggressive driving.
- Create shorter and safer pedestrian crossings.
- Improve parking and loading operations.
- Increase safety for people riding bikes by separating them from motor vehicle traffic.
- Reduce illegal parking behaviors, like double-parking and blocking the crosswalk.
There is one option for Chestnut Street and one option for Walnut Street we feel reaches these goals, based on the evidence provided, and the success of the current configuration of Chestnut between 34th and 45th Streets currently: The parking protected bike lane options (Option 3 for Chestnut Street; Option 2 for Walnut Street, in the presentation and survey). We recommend you take the survey and highlight these options as the best possible scenarios for Chestnut and Walnut Streets.
Chestnut is set to be repaved from the Cobbs Creek Parkway (63rd St.) eastbound towards 34th St. Currently, from Cobbs Creek until 45th St, it remains a 3 lane speedway for motor vehicles. After 45th St towards 34th St, a parking-protected bike lane was installed in 2017, which has decreased crashes involving bicyclists, by 100 percent.
People surveyed about how safe they feel when crossing the street increased 60 percent, speed reduced by 47 percent, and bicyclists riding on sidewalks decreased by 51 percent.
Given those facts, the best option for Chestnut Street is to Change the streets between 63rd St to 46th St to match the parking-protected bike lanes between 45th St to 34th St. This option has proven to be the safest option for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.
Walnut will be repaved from 22nd St. westbound towards the Cobbs Creek Parkway (63 St). Currently, Walnut St has only a 3 foot buffered bike that runs westbound all the way to the Cobbs Creek Parkway. The buffered bike lane is paved on the left lane, parked cars on both sides of the street, and the bike lane runs parallel to two motor vehicle lanes. There are no flex posts, which creates a vertical indicator for motor vehicles, prevents them from parking in the designated bike lanes, and creates some sense of safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Given the facts about Chestnut Street and that the current configuration on Walnut leaves bicyclists vulnerable while inviting motorists to double-park indiscriminately, the best option for Walnut Street is Number 2: Redesign Walnut St between 22nd St to 63rd St the same way as 45th St to 34th St and Chestnut St has been designing. This would include a parking-protected bike lane all the way from Center City to the county line. The benefits of these options are that they will increase pedestrian safety, separate bicyclists from motorists, reduce speeding options for vehicles.
You can view the in-depth video traffic-related crashes on these high injury corridors here.
To view an in-depth video of the redesign options, please click here.
The Bicycle Coalition is encouraging everyone to take part in this opportunity to give your feedback on how to make Chestnut and Walnut St safer for all road users and especially the West Philadelphia communities.
The City of Philadelphia has provided an interactive map where users can locate, report, and upload images of an intersection, street, bike lane, or anything hazardous on either street. Additionally, if you know someone who would be interested in learning more about the Chestnut and Walnut St Repaving Project, please share this brochure with your community members.