Speed slots are coming to Washington Avenue

A bicyclist crosses Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia. Contributed photo

Speed cushions and other safety measures are coming to Washington Avenue.

City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson announced on Oct. 25 that $320,000 in capital funds were secured for safety infrastructure which will include speed cushions along Washington Avenue on the west side of Broad Street.

The safety measures will be installed during the current repaving process. 

According to Johnson, one full set of speed slots will be installed on the 1600 block of Washington Avenue, east of Chadwick Street, and another will be installed on the 1700 block of the avenue between Bouvier and Colorado Streets. Speed slots are similar to speed humps or cushions and represent a measure to improve safety on arterial class roads. 

The new improvements will also include hardened centerlines which aim to reduce the amount of fatal and serious injuries that have a history of occurring during left turns on Washington Avenue. These fixtures will be installed at Washington Avenue’s intersections with southbound Grays Ferry Avenue, southbound 25th Street, southbound 24th Street, southbound 23rd Street, northbound 22nd Street, southbound 21st Street, northbound 20th Street, southbound 19th Street, northbound 18th Street, southbound 17th Street, northbound 16th Street and southbound 15th Street.  

There will also be a hardened centerline installed at Washington Avenue and 25th Street to manage the turn radius of vehicles turning onto westbound Washington Avenue from northbound 25th Street. All precautions are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“I believe that installation of these new safety measures will increase traffic safety for all Philadelphians for years to come,” Johnson said. “Whether traveling by car, bike, foot, or otherwise, people will be safer on Washington Avenue. The $320,000 in city funding will ensure that these safety improvements come to the western side of Washington Avenue, as part of the repaving process. I want to thank (the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability) for its partnership in getting this done without delay in the Second District.” 

According to officials, the $320,000 was committed by Johnson from the Second Council District’s Improvements to Existing Facilities funds. Through ITEF funding, the Mayor and the 10 District Council Members can mutually allocate funds to City-owned assets throughout Philadelphia, including streetscape improvements, facility upgrades, and investments in cultural institutions. 

“I am glad to report that our team has been able to design traffic calming measures for the west side of Washington Avenue,” said Mike Carroll, Deputy Managing Director for OTIS. “And we expect there is enough time to construct these measures this Fall, weather permitting, which will help reduce hazardous speeds and turning movements. Councilmember Johnson and OTIS anticipate that these safety enhancements will be the start of an ongoing process. They are already looking at additional opportunities to reduce injuries and deaths from crashes on Washington Avenue’s western half.”

Johnson said his work isn’t finished in regards to seeking more safety measures along Washington Avenue.

“I strongly support a wide array of safety interventions along Washington Avenue, from better intersection treatments, to better lighting, to improved traffic signals,” Johnson said. “I also want more school crossing guards at key locations to make sure children get across Washington Avenue safely, and better enforcement of traffic violations. I believe that Washington Avenue can and must be much safer, with the help of strategic investments.”