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Restriping Washington Ave. expected to have “big impact” in 2015

Believe it or not, Washington Ave. has dominated the news this year.

Washington restriping - intersection

Whether it’s the new pier park at its connection to the Delaware River, multiple large projects planned up and down the corridor (including Broad and Washington) or even the Mummer’s changing their route, 2014 has been the year of Washington Ave.–and don’t expect that to change with the New Year.

Aside from the aforementioned bevy of potential projects on the docket, it could be the restriping efforts that have the biggest impact in 2015 (our coverage can be found here). It was number four on the Flying Kite‘s recent list of “Eight small things that will have a big impact on philadelphia in 2015,” just behind the SEPTA upgrades, waterfront programming and the Land Bank. You could argue that the waterfront programming is now in the realm of Washington Avenue, given the opening of Washington Avenue Pier.

As for the restriping, it may sound like no big deal, but it will dramatically shift how automobiles (large, medium and small), pedestrians and bicyclists interact with one of South Philly’s busiest thoroughfares. Here’s the gist of what Flying Kite had to say:

Washington Avenue will soon have three lanes — one auto lane in each direction and a center turning lane — except for in a few places. The street’s underused bike lanes will be unified into a continuous route. There will also be improved visibility and longer crossing signals for pedestrians; angled parking will replace parallel parking.

So, given what you now (and already knew) about the re-striping efforts on Washington Ave. — what do you think? Hit us up in the comments, find us on Facebook or Twitter or even shoot us an email. We’d love to hear your thoughts about what makes you excited about 2015 in South Philadelphia.


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20 Responses to Restriping Washington Ave. expected to have “big impact” in 2015

  1. mark December 26, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    I like more parking spaces…and more room for bicycle lanes…and a single lane both ways. There’s no need for cars to speed around each other on Washington ave.
    It would also be nice to see trees planted on the occasional median.

    • James January 9, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

      Yes, god forbid we make anything easy for cars.

  2. John December 27, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    If the pedestrian enhancements (greater visibility & longer lights) work well, the next logical step would be to look at Columbus Blvd, south of Washington. With the new piers, there should be a lot of pedestrian traffic from Pennsport. While crossing Columbus isn’t a terrible experience, it certainly could be improved.

  3. Frank December 27, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    The added increase in parking is marginal. Angled parking results in some inefficiencies near corners so the linear distance of affective parking is actually shorter in most cases. Additionally, the loss of one travel lane in each direction is going to require significant loading zonechanges and additions along the corridor. This will also eat into parking supply. The last plans that were shared by the planning commission – nearly a year ago – showed only about two additional parking spaces per block per each side of the street.

    A far easier and more effective solution would be to simply change parking regulations to encourage greater turnover of parking vis-à-vis one hour and two our parking restrictions. This would benefit the local businesses as well.

    Finally, speeding is not prevalent along the corridor. Washington Avenue currently features what are called double offset timings. You may have noticed that two intersections turn green simultaneously while the next two intersections downstream turn red simultaneously. This means that you can never proceed more than two blocks without having to stop. The service to limit speeding along the street.

    • mark December 28, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Washington avenue is a particular thoroughfare. Considering factors such as a residential high rise at Broad street, additional retail prospects, and future traffic patterns (auto, bicycle, and pedestrian), I’m sure that planning will be altered.

      Enforcing time limits on parking will only chase the parking garage dodging – daily commuters, out of the area. Don’t get me wrong here, it is a step in the right direction.
      But this doesn’t make Washington Ave any safer. Slower drivers in the left lane are passed by impatient drivers in the right lane, and the double offset timed traffic signals encourage some drivers to speed between light changes. This is dangerous for both pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. Single lanes may be the only option here.

      I believe that additional parking (granted only four more on each block) is also an improvement.

    • ProvWitout December 29, 2014 at 12:47 am #

      No no no no no to more PAA enforced parking regulations… Ya bring them in and then they have a field day giving out a whole slew of other iffy tickets… Nothankyou…

      The plans, as presented here, look fine with one excetion… Thise god aweful bump-out peninsulas on the corners… They SUCK SUCK SUCK so bad! We must stop calling these cosmetic facelifts to the corners “improvements” until they are proven to have improved the area…

      Go ahead and mock me. But I’m not agianst these things when they actually fit into the scheme of a neighborhood… These work in Packer Park area… They work around 20th & Oregon… They work around Delaware Ave and areas up in the Northeast… But most of South Philly has tighter traffic lanes to start with and closer corners… Washington is huge, but the number streets are not… Hindering the ability of people to turn off of Washington onto these streets will slow, not relieve, traffic… And if a car is stuck halfway through a turn because the peninsula is forcing a wider arch, that BLOCKS the all so important bike lane… So…. If we can have this plan without the added curb intrusion, that’d be awesome…

      • ProvWitout December 29, 2014 at 12:54 am #

        Slant parking good…

        2hr parking signs signs are good in theory, until the PPA strictly tickets for everything else instead of 2hr parking. And forcing neighbors to pay for their residential permits is a crock of shit! The PPA rakes in enough dollars with their regular lowly activities… Don’t charge us for the priveledge of having to tolerate the presence of their low life parking nazis..

        Bump outs, bad…

        Bike lanes.. Good on a big street like Washington Ave!!! All for it!

        More trees, AWESOME! Especialy those great trees in Girard Estates.. Love those.

        • mark December 29, 2014 at 8:47 am #

          I suppose the bump outs on Washington were originally designed to work with the bike lane changes. The bike lanes will act as a buffer zone, so that cars and cyclists will yield to pedestrians. It’s currently a problem to turn corners from the right lane and tough to parallel park, both of which will change.

          I know where your coming from, but you really have to imagine the idea that Washington Ave will soon thrive like it did during the 1800s.
          Think horse drawn buggy’s and top hats.

          • ProvWitout December 30, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

            Well you and I can wear Fedoras and nice coats once the avenue is bustling again… The bikers will have bike helmets and erectile disfunction from sitting on them bike seats all the time…

            • AnthonyG December 31, 2014 at 8:34 am #

              Fedora and a track suit. Nice look. Don’t forget your white hi-tops.

              • ProvWitout January 16, 2015 at 7:12 am #

                I own you you punk. Get of my D**ck.

                • AnthonyG January 16, 2015 at 8:33 am #

                  Thou doth protest to much, me thinks.

  4. Scott Allen December 29, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    I’ve lived near Washington almost 20 years. Then it was bricks, tracks and pot holes. It’s better now and I expect better next year. But there’s a glaring omission from the commission: No greenery. It’s like driving along a four-lane interstate. Give us something to offset 50 ugly warehouses and drug stores!

    • ProvWitout December 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      Nice big tall glorious trees along that major street. Agreed Scott…

      • Mike December 30, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

        Finish the restriping, correct the zoning so new residential/commercial projects can actually be built, and the avenue will look great in no time flat as these projects will add greenery as part of the developments.

  5. Wanderer December 31, 2014 at 1:06 am #

    The drawing says Washington will have near side bus stops. That’s nothing to brag about. Stopping on the near side means more delay at signals for the bus. It means that it’s harder for other vehicles to make right turns, and that sight distances are not as good. There are sometimes particular circumstances that make near side stops preferable at a given corner, but not as a prototype.

  6. Jordan January 1, 2015 at 10:44 am #

    Personally I see this as a bigger death trap for bicyclists. You’ve got angled parking, which means it’s going to be people pulling in head in, and backing out to leave. As they back out they are backing out directly into the bike lane, most likely unable to see due to the car next to them parked and blocking their view. Just keep an eye out for those reverse lights bikers!

    • Mike January 2, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

      It’s back in parking…

  7. NonaProvIsMyGoomar January 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    Bump-Outs are a great use of wasted space. The only people who find them inconvenient are those who have trouble navigating their land-yacht SUV’s.

    • ProvWitout January 16, 2015 at 7:13 am #

      AnthonyG is a scumbag who sucks off farm animals…

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