For Once, Cars, Not Pedestrians, Make Room for Construction

In a welcome turnabout of the usual state of affairs, a Philadelphia construction site gives a lane of traffic to pedestrians to make up for the three blocks of sidewalk it's taking.

1 minute read

January 11, 2017, 5:00 AM PST

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark

Sidewalk Closed

Typical. | ungvar / Shutterstock

When buildings need to rope off sidewalks for construction projects, American pedestrians are used to having to walk in the street and dodge traffic. However, during the construction of a three-block-long shopping mall on Philadelphia's Market Street, a lane of traffic is being blocked off and given to pedestrians. "Traffic engineers call such passageways 'cattle chutes,' an unfortunate name for a public amenity that should be required infrastructure in any modern city." Inga Saffron writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

City officials tell Saffron, "Not only will the walkway occupy a full traffic lane on Market Street, the sheltered passages will be the most extensive pedestrian safety zone ever created here." This is a wise approach especially in heavily walked neighborhoods were foot traffic is the life blood of many businesses. This particular stretch of sidewalk sits between Philadelphia's historic City Hall and the Independence Mall. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017 in The Philadelphia Inquirer

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