Washington Avenue Road Diet Less Likely

After one city councilmember refused to advocate for changing parking rules in his district, Philadelphia’s Washington Avenue could end up with two different safety configurations.

May 31, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View of Washington Avenue, Phialdelphia

City of Philadelphia / Washington Avenue, Philadelphia

With a plan to repave 2.1 miles of Philadelphia’s Washington Avenue in place, road safety advocates hoped the street would also receive a road diet and traffic calming features, writes Thomas Fitzgerald in The Philadelphia Inquirer. “But Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson on Thursday declined to introduce legislation changing parking rules on the part of the avenue in his district, meaning it would be repaved but stay five lanes wide.” Meanwhile, “Councilmember Mark Squilla introduced a bill enabling parking and loading-zone changes on Washington Avenue in his district, from Fourth Street to Broad Street,” meaning the street will have two different safety configurations.

While Johnson says he supports traffic calming measures, “he wants Washington Avenue to remain five lanes through the 2nd District, reflecting the needs and concerns of residents and business owners,” which the city’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) says could impede the installation of other safety measures.

“The mixed plan came after a backlash against OTIS’ original plan, announced in September 2020, to narrow the entire 2.1-mile stretch of Washington Avenue from five vehicle travel lanes to three — a design meant to cut vehicle crashes, make walking safer, and protect cyclists by placing bike lanes between parked cars and curbs.”

Friday, May 27, 2022 in The Philadelphia Inquirer

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