A plan to reduce traffic lanes in Old City Philadelphia to make space for bike lanes and bus and pedestrian islands got $3 million in funding Tuesday from Pennsylvania.
The state money would fund about half the costs of a new configuration from Second Street to Sixth Street. The work would reduce automobile travel lanes from four to three, said Rich Montanez, the city's deputy commissioner for transportation, with one travel lane in each direction and a turning lane in the center of the road. That reduction would make room for a protected bike lane on each side of the road, one heading east and the other west, and islands at intersections for pedestrians and buses, that will make it safer to cross the street. The changes would not eliminate parking on Market Street, Montanez said.
The plan has been in the works since 2015, when the streets officials met with the Old City District to discuss what the future of the road should look like.
"They're looking for Market Street as a hub of the community," said Angela Dixon, director of planning for the city's Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems. "Right now it kind of divides the community."
Renovating Market Street in Old City will cost $7 million, Montanez said. The city is still waiting for the results of another $3 million grant application to fund the project. City money is expected to pay for close to $1 million to complete the work. Creating and approving a design for the new streetscape would take about two years, Montanez said, and construction could be complete in five years.
Two other Philadelphia streets projects also were awarded funding Tuesday. Almost $2.7 million was dedicated to creating pedestrian islands, improved lighting and intersections, and a walking path on Parkside Avenue, a road identified as one that significantly contributed to serious injuries on Philadelphia roads. Another grant, for $900,000, will be dedicated to building new bus shelters on Roosevelt Boulevard to accommodate SEPTA's planned expansion of its express bus service on that road to the Wissahickon Transportation Center in Manayunk.
The Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development received $300,000 for a new Broad Street entrance to the Navy Yard to replace the timber deck there now dating to 1898.
The projects are among almost a dozen in the Philadelphia region awarded grants through the Multimodal Transportation Fund. Statewide, $49 million was dedicated to transportation projects and bridge repairs, the governor's office reported.
The other regional streets projects are as follows: