As part of an ongoing project to improve Philly’s street safety, the city announced plans this week to temporarily reduce sections of JFK Boulevard and Market Street from four lanes to three.
The project will affect sections of the two major roadways between 15th and 20th streets, beginning in the spring and continuing for up to nine months. Along with reducing traffic lanes, the center city project will focus on taking several pedestrian and biker safety measures, like shortening road crossing distances, installing protected bike lanes and creating new turn lanes on JFK Boulevard and Market Street.
In the fall, the city will evaluate the effect the project had on traffic safety in the area and determine whether any permanent changes should be made, according to the statement from the city.
The effort is led jointly by the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure systems (oTIS) and the Streets Department. It’s part of the city’s larger Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic-related deaths by the year 2030. The city revealed its three-year action plan for the Vision Zero initiative in September, noting that nearly 100 people are killed in traffic-related deaths in the city every year and half of those occur on only 12 percent of Philly’s streets.
In the announcement of the action plan last year, city officials said they wanted to focus their attention first on collecting data and improving safety on those high-injury roads, which include Market Street and JFK Boulevard.