DeLissio supports PennDOT Henry Avenue Highway Safety Improvement Plan

PHILADELPHIA, June 9 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., released today the following update regarding improvements along Henry Avenue.

The Pennsylvania Transportation Department's Highway Safety Improvement Project for Henry Avenue was initiated in 2012 by PennDOT and is a safety study paid for with federal funds.

The study has included community involvement, and the outcome of the study is a number of recommendations for traffic calming measures to influence and encourage a decrease in speed. The study is in two segments; one segment, also known as SIP, runs from Port Royal Avenue to the Wissahickon Creek Bridge and the second segment, known as SI2, is from that bridge to Abbottsford Road.

PennDOT met with civic associations in 2012 and 2013 to get input from the community and held a public meeting in September 2014. The input from citizens has been incorporated into the safety improvement design.

“There are many reasons to become involved with a civic association, and this is a major one,” DeLissio said. “Input from residents is crucial to inform the decisions made in our community.

“In fact, I hosted three additional meetings to the PennDOT meetings to give the community further opportunity for review and input. At both the Oct. 8, 2015 and Feb. 11, 2016 meetings, PennDOT staff, the city Streets Department, local and state law enforcement and the city councilman’s office were all in attendance. At these meetings, additional input was given from citizens, and PennDOT included much of that input into the planned improvements.”

On April 20, PennDOT hosted another public meeting in the East Falls neighborhood to get the community’s consensus on the improvements proposed for below the Wissahickon Bridge.

At DeLissio’s 64th Town Hall meeting on May 17, PennDOT again presented an overview of the improvements planned, and the input offered by constituents was much appreciated, she said.

Calming measures and changes such as selective tree trimming, guiderail replacement, roadway resurfacing, traffic signals (additions and/or timing), curb and sidewalk bump outs, signage and pavement marking enhancements as well as additional, high-friction surfacing, roadway deflections, and more, are all part of the Henry Avenue Highway Safety Improvement Project plan.

PennDOT officials said that they anticipate a reduction of crashes due to these implemented changes.

The preliminary engineering for implementation of these measures is forecasted to be completed by 2017 for segment one, SIP, with construction completed by the end of fall 2020. Preliminary engineering for the second segment, SI2, is forecasted to be completed by 2018 with construction finished by fall 2021.

“PennDot has been very responsive to the concerns and requests of the community, acknowledging that it is the travelers who know these surfaces, bends, and blind spots best,” DeLissio said. “Balancing pedestrian, vehicular and bicycle safety is of interest to all parties, and it is awesome to see the power of citizens work to improve the conditions around us; a total of 11 community meetings have been held on this topic, and I am grateful to the constituents who have taken the time to participate.

“In the interim, I ask drivers to slow down, respect traffic lights and speed limits and to drive responsibly and adhere to all of our traffic laws. The neighbors who live along Henry Avenue are beyond frustrated with the crashes and irresponsible driving behavior and local and state law enforcement are limited in the role that they can play in enforcing speed.”