Condition Street, east of the Capitol, is a critical Harrisburg neighborhood, property to 1000’s of city citizens who reside, function, show up at university, worship and enjoy. It is also an significant transportation corridor that connects the State Avenue local community to downtown Harrisburg, Penbrook and communities east of the town.
There is no issue that State Street, as at present configured, is unsafe. It has a lengthy record of tragic pedestrian fatalities, many auto mishaps and an ongoing difficulty of a high proportion of cars exceeding the posted 35 mile-for every-hour velocity limit. The 76-foot-wide road is too large for several pedestrians, particularly kids, individuals with actual physical disabilities and the elderly to securely cross during a normal site visitors gentle cycle.
The town of Harrisburg and PennDOT District 8 have a as soon as-in-a-generation prospect to transform Point out Street into a modern-day, multimodal, 21st century transportation corridor that increases the high quality of existence for Condition Road citizens by calming visitors and improving upon protection for all pedestrians, bicycle riders and other roadway consumers. It is also critically essential that resident parking be preserved and secure drop-off/pickup places be created at each and every of the quite a few faculties and church buildings positioned together State Road.
Over the previous several a long time, both equally Pennsylvania and our country have experienced a extraordinary raise in pedestrian and bicycle rider deaths. These are attributable to both of those enhanced freeway speeds and widespread use of much larger, heavier motor cars these as SUVs. For that reason, most significant in any redesign of State Avenue is to layout the roadway so that it calms targeted traffic move to decrease abnormal speeding, improves visibility of pedestrians and bicycle riders, shortens the distance pedestrians need to travel to cross the roadway, offers risk-free mid-roadway pedestrian “islands,” and offers safeguarded lanes for bicycle riders to journey.
As we changeover to a write-up-pandemic entire world, a big proportion of the workforce will continue to do the job from household, lowering the figures driving to and from their place of work and cutting down the projected improves in capability needed on commuter routes. This suggests our transportation networks, parking amenities and workplaces need to adapt to mirror this new actuality. In addition, rising micro-mobility devices, these as battery-driven, pedal-assist bicycles, scooters and other personal transportation cars are more and more becoming used for transportation that require roadway infrastructure, this kind of as secured bicycle lanes, to assistance their protected use.
The encounter of nearby metropolitan areas that have invested to strengthen roadway security by addressing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, New York and quite a few other individuals, have seen that these investments boost the overall high quality of daily life in neighborhoods through these towns.
Metropolitan areas through the state have by now instituted these roadway models and have shown they do work. Philadelphia has learned a great deal from its experiences in redesigning its roadways to increasing the high-quality of lifetime for its residents whilst improving pedestrian, bicycle rider and vehicle protection. A 2021 analyze commissioned by the Philadelphia Division of Streets documents these rewards. Harrisburg really should study the classes from a long time of encounter of these other communities.
The Condition Avenue neighborhood justifies to have its “Main Street” redesigned and developed to make it safe for efficient, multimodal vacation while offering handy parking to residents and site visitors. As the japanese gateway into and out of the town, it must also continue to supply for safe and sound and productive journey for all those passing via the State Street neighborhood. As a state-owned roadway, city management and PennDOT have to work jointly to deal with and carefully stability local community considerations with those people of the overall town and neighboring communities.
Ross Willard is the founder and chief upkeep officer of Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg.
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