Survey Results Show Philadelphians Want Changes on Washington Avenue

The results of the Washington Avenue’s Repaving & Improvement Project survey are out, and the majority of Philadelphians favor a drastic change on the notoriously unsafe road. 

There were 254 crashes on Washington Avenue between 2012 and 2018, with four fatalities and six serious injuries. The city often receives concerns and complaints including problems with parking, loading, crossing the street and riding a bicycle on the avenue. 

The Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) received 5,458 survey responses in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese. Since large in-person meetings are not permitted under current COVID-19 restrictions, the city had to adjust their outreach to ensure all interested individuals could participate even without internet access. “As a City, we have had to learn and adapt community engagement processes that maintain social distance,” said Deputy Managing Director Michael Carroll. “OTIS used a combination of new and old tools, like an online survey, paper mail, and phone calls to get an overwhelming amount of input on Washington Avenue.” 

Safe pedestrian crossings and safe bike lanes were the two highest ranked goals of the citizens who took the survey, and 71 percent favor a 3-lane option, with a mixed-lane option coming in second. 

Although this was not a final vote, this survey will be factored into the city’s plans for the future as they repave and improve the street. 

“It is clear from our analysis and community input that Washington Avenue needs an improved layout when it is repaved next year,” said Deputy Managing Director Michael Carroll. “All three options that OTIS shared for community input would improve safety and function of this key corridor, and a majority of people who gave input preferred the ‘three-lane option most.”

A final roadway layout has not been announced, as OTIS plans to review the survey results with key stakeholders and to continue collaborating with the City Council, neighbors and businesses throughout this process.

View the video with the full results of the survey here.

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