PHILADELPHIA – City officials joined with Drexel University and the University City District to announce a pilot program to address congestion issues in the area of 30th Street Station through improved traffic management. As part of CONNECT: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan, this effort will help Philadelphia reach its goals to both improve traffic safety and manage congestion.
A key contributor to delays around 30th Street Station are vehicles that block-the-box. Through November 19, 2018 the Traffic Division of the Philadelphia Police Department will deploy officers from at Market Street and 30th Street and Market Street and Schuylkill Avenue to enforce blocking-the-box and yielding to pedestrians, and to provide traffic management services.
“While congestion is a source of frustration for travelers it is also an indication that a city is a desirable and dynamic place to be,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The CONNECT plan shows that the City is putting all options on the table to fight gridlock. This includes automated enforcement, increasing fines for blocking-the-box, and shifting freight delivery times.”
The approach to I-76 from northbound Schuylkill Avenue is a notorious Philadelphia traffic choke point, particularly during the evening rush hours. Vehicle travel times around 30th Street Station can be as much as 60 percent slower during peak hours (4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) than off-peak hours. Even during the peak hours, all days are not equal, Thursday and Friday peaks are 25 percent slower than Mondays and 15 percent slower than Wednesdays during the same period.
“With development plans in the area accelerating and the closing of the Chestnut Street Bridge anticipated for summer of 2019, congestion in the area can be anticipated to worsen,” said Keith Orris, senior vice president for Corporate Relations and Economic Development at Drexel University. “We are taking advantage of this time period, in advance of the bridge closing to pilot an intervention that should help improve traffic flow.”
“The objective of the pilot is to assess if placing traffic control police officers where Market Street intersects with 30th Street and with Schuylkill Avenue can reduce vehicle travel time around 30th Street Station. The project will be evaluated by comparing travel times around 30th Street Station during similar periods to the pilot period and a report will be issued within 30 days of the conclusion of the pilot,” said Andrew Stober, vice president of Planning and Economic Development for University City District.
This is the second enhanced traffic enforcement effort in the last 30 days. The first is an effort announced on September 20 to increase enforcement of Market and Chestnut Streets in Center City to improve safety, prioritize the movement of people by SEPTA bus service, and reduce congestion.
The 30th Street Station pilot is a joint effort of the Philadelphia Police Department, University City District (UCD), Drexel University, and the Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS).
About CONNECT Week
CONNECT Week (October 15-19) celebrates the City’s newly launched Strategic Transportation Plan. Over the next seven years (2018-2025), CONNECT will set priorities for implementation and serve as the Administration’s transportation framework. Informed by insights from data analysis and community engagement, CONNECT is based on the fundamental values of Safety, Equity, Opportunity and Access, Sustainability, and Health. To learn more, visit https://www.phillyotis.com/portfolio-item/connect-phl/.