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City launches Chestnut Street loading zone project to cut down on congestion

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Along with new parking restrictions

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The city is trying out new 80-100-foot loading zones on Chestnut Street that they say will help prohibit truck drivers from stopping in travel lanes and will combat congestion in Center City.

The loading zones, which are placed on the western end of the blocks between the 600 and 2000 blocks of Chestnut Street, are the focus of a six-month pilot project that the city launched this week. The project includes instituting a 20-minute time limit for each loading zone; moving 20-feet of parking for people with disabilities to the eastern end of the blocks; and extending the two-hour enforced parking meter times to 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

It’s all an effort to cut down on congestion, which has been an increasing issue over the past few years, largely thanks to a population boom that made Center City the second densest downtown in the country. City officials addressed the problem last year, announcing plans to up their enforcement of traffic and parking laws on Market and Chestnut streets.

With this year’s project, the city also plans to address other curbside issues. They’re expanding the city-run Indego bike share program with two new stations on the 1600 and 1800 blocks of Chestnut; creating designated valet parking on the 1300 block, and establishing motorcycle parking on the 1500 block.

The city will monitor the effectiveness of the project over the coming months by looking for a change in bus and car travel times, watching video footage, and looking for a change in PPA meter revenue.