Meeting with DVRPC: Wissahickon Gateway Project

A meeting was held with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Matt Wysong and staff on June 29, 2017. Present were: Jeannette Brugger-Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator, OTIS, Amy Miller-City Planner, Sue Dannenberg-Bike Coaliton, Tim Carey-Philly Bike Club, Geoff Brock and Suzanne Hagner, WICA.

Ridge Ave from Kelly Dr to Righter St/Hermit St poses safety issues for pedestrians and bicyclists due to its steep incline/decline and blind turns. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic has increased and is expected to continue as more people use public transportation and commute by bike. Development and businesses are also increasing along this corridor.

4 intersections were centered on for pedestrian safety:

  • Ridge & Osborn:  cars generally do not yield to pedestrians/bicyclists who are in
    crosswalk. Streets Dept is exploring installation of a RVBL (rapid blinking light) with push button for user to start light.
  • Ridge & Manayunk: 5-point intersection, complicated with blind turns, downhill grades creating safety issues. Streets Dept did expand the “no parking at any time” space on north side of Manayunk Ave to allow easier access in/out of neighborhood. It is helpful but more enforcement is needed for those who violate the no parking area.
  • Ridge & Lauriston: cars generally do not stop for pedestrians in crosswalk.
  • Ridge & Hermit/Righter: another complicated intersection with high traffic volume and multiple curb cuts for businesses.
  • The following improvements were proposed:
  • Rumble strips prior to crosswalks
    Soft speed cushions
    Police enforcement
  • Additional improvements proposed by City staff include:
  • “Slow zone” program improvements
    Blinking lights
    Thermopaint raised rumble strips.

Safety improvements on Ridge are especially difficult as it is a atate route. City atreets are more feasible for improvements and WICA will continue to work with Councilman Jones and the Streets Department.

  • Right-of-way improvements will be addressed by the Wissahickon Gateway Study and are generally higher cost and longer term in nature. Preliminary thoughts include:
    A protected bike lane on Ridge Ave.
    Widening the sidewalk on Ridge Ave near Deke’s BBQ.
    Short term path improvement on Ridge/Main
    Long term multi use trail along the River
    Ped/bike friendly crossing of Ridge Ave at Wissahickon Creek
    Study will produce preliminary engineering drawings for ROW improve-
    ments. Additional funding must be secured to complete construction
    documents & pay for construction.

Suzanne Hagner
WICA, Traffic and Parking Committee