PHILADELPHIA – Today the city released the results from the extensive initial round of public outreach conducted along the Spring Garden Street corridor to identify opportunities and challenges for street improvements and traffic safety.
The Spring Garden Street Improvement Project seeks to transform Spring Garden Street – between Pennsylvania Avenue and Columbus Boulevard – into a safer, greener, and better corridor for everyone. Planned improvements include streetscape improvements, traffic signal upgrades, bicycle lane improvements, median treatments, and pavement striping and signage.
“Now that the public engagement and preliminary engineering analysis of the Spring Garden Street Improvement Project is complete, the City is ready to move the project towards implementation,” said Deputy Managing Director Mike Carroll. “We look forward to working with all of our partners: Federal, State and local to advance the project through the design phase particularly as we navigate challenging fiscal conditions in the wake of the pandemic.”
The project team rolled out a new approach to gain public input in late 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The team used a combination of print and digital methods including a virtual open house, live question and answer sessions, virtual one-on-one stakeholder meetings, mailers sent to over 1,800 addresses, an online survey, and an interactive mapping tool. The City emphasized engaging a diversity of voices using interpreters, paper questionnaires, and translations into Spanish and Simplified Chinese.
“We are excited to see so many comments and views about the Spring Garden Improvement Project,” said Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams. “The project team worked hard to provide multiple means to allow for public input. The overwhelming responses demonstrate the importance of this major transportation safety improvement project.”
The City received over 2,100 comments and the project’s social media posts were viewed over 41,000 times. The use of a range of virtual engagement methods created an opportunity to involve more members of the public than could be done in person. Residents, businesses, property owners, employees, commuters, and recreational users participated in the public outreach effort to help locate traffic safety issues along the corridor, choose a location for bicycle lane upgrades, and identify other multimodal improvements.
After conducting an analysis of survey responses, the City identified four key points:
- Pedestrians and bicyclists want safety improvements on Spring Garden Street
- Participants were overwhelmingly in favor of curbside parking protected bicycle lanes
- Participants want a green, clean, and beautiful corridor
- Connections to other neighborhoods, bicycle facilities, and the rivers are critical
Many survey responses pertained to traffic safety concerns along the corridor. Traffic safety was mentioned over 1,500 times. Members of the public highlighted separating the bicycle lane from vehicle traffic, reducing illegal parking, and changing signal timing as potential safety solutions for the corridor.
Next steps for the project include funding and beginning the engineering and design process. The City will pursue implementing curbside parking protected bicycle lanes. Engineering for the corridor will also analyze potential grade level changes such as raising the bicycle lane to the curb level. The City anticipates conducting additional rounds of public outreach as the project moves forward. Streets will continue regular communications with City Council, neighbors, businesses, and organizations throughout this process.
Click here to view the executive summary of the engagement results. To learn more about the Spring Garden Street Improvement Project visit phila.gov.
This project is a partnership between the Streets Department, the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS), the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, SEPTA, the Philadelphia Water Department, the Commerce Department, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and the East Coast Greenway.