The Mt. Airy Business Improvement District is working to create a better pedestrian experience along the neighborhood’s central business corridor.
The Mt. Airy Business Improvement District, which is working to create a better pedestrian experience along the neighborhood’s central business corridor, hosted an open house last week to present preliminary designs for eight potential new crosswalks along Germantown Avenue.
“Making the Avenue safe for pedestrians has long been a priority for the Mt. Airy BID and its business and property owners,” said Ken Weinstein, President of the Mt. Airy BID. “We want to do everything we can to make doing business, shopping or dining out as easy and safe as possible for our customers and employees.”
The intersections that are under consideration for new controlled crossings are: Durham, East Gorgas, Carpenter/Meehan, Pelham/Slocum Street, Phil-Ellena, Hortter and Cliveden.
The proposed crossings would include sidewalk “bump-outs'' that will increase pedestrian visibility and shorten the length of the street crossing. As proposed, the bump-outs would feature a special kind of strobe flashing light on the corner, which can be activated by pedestrians and are designed to alert motorists.
Currently, the two-mile stretch of Germantown Avenue that forms the neighborhood’s commercial corridor can be a challenge for anyone who isn’t sure-footed. Between Sedgwick and Phil-Ellena Streets, for instance, there is almost a half-mile gap between controlled crossings. This project would focus on the section of the avenue between Tulpehocken and Durham Streets, which includes the stretch between Sedgwick and Phil-Ellena.
The project started in 2019, when representatives of the city’s Commerce Department committed to installing nine new crossings along the busy avenue and dedicated streetscape funding for design and engineering. The design phase began in March 2020 with a field survey conducted by Gannett Fleming, the transportation engineering firm contracted for this project. A preliminary concept was shared by Gannett Fleming at a Mt. Airy BID meeting on June 10, and based on feedback, several revisions were made.
Final design will be completed in early 2023, and construction is expected to begin later in the year, depending on the availability of construction funding.
For more information about the project, or to see extended drawings of proposals for each intersection, visit http://www.mtairybid.com/blog.