Philly streets might soon be monitored by a fleet of traffic cops

Update Feb. 19: Clarification appended

For a five block stretch just west of City Hall, Market Street and JFK Boulevard will be transformed, Mayor Jim Kenney announced at the Vision Zero Conference on Saturday.

In a pilot program that will last up to nine months, both these wide streets will have car travel lanes reduced from four to three, add a parking protected bike lane, welcome new turn and pedestrian crossing patterns and gain new bus shelters.

All this will happen between 15th and 20th streets, an area likely to become more crowded when the Comcast Technology Center is up and running and concessions reopen at LOVE Park.

The goal of the plan is to reduce speeding and weaving by drivers and cyclists, make walking easier, and ultimately create a safer environment for everyone who uses the roads.

Market Street is considered a “High Injury Network” by the city, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on Philly streets by 2030.

Per the Mayor’s Office, around 100 people are killed in traffic accidents each year. Last year, nearly half of those deaths — 45 percent — were pedestrians or cyclists, a rate that’s higher than the national average, according to the Bicycle Coalition.

More details about the Market/JFK Vision Zero Pilot Project:

A draft concept of the changes Credit: Vision Zero PHL

Bike lanes

  • Each block will provide space for a dedicated bike lane
  • Next to the bike lane will be a row of flexible stanchions, and possibly landscaped planters
  • Outside the delineators will be a row of parking, further separating cyclists from car traffic


  • Curb bump-outs will be added to Market Street intersections (they already exist on JFK), shortening the pedestrian crossing distance
  • Painted pedestrian refuge areas will be added on both JFK and Market
  • Most bump-outs will be fronted by an island in the crosswalk that separates car lanes from the bike lane
  • Each intersection with a left turn will have a dedicated turn lane

Bus shelters

  • Upgraded bus shelters will be installed along the project length
  • They’ll be designed to look attractive and be comfortable


  • A start date for construction has not yet been announced, other than “spring 2018”
  • The project will remain in place up to nine months
  • In the fall, the results of the pilot will be evaluated by the city’s Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems and the office of Council President Darrell Clarke, in whose district the streets fall
  • Per a report by PMN, the project is estimated to cost $50,000

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...