The former roadway configuration of the Walnut Street Bridge had four wide traffic lanes, a bike lane and two 8’ sidewalks. Adjustments were considered to meet the heavy pedestrian and bicycle use of this crossing. PennDOT and the Streets Department supported this initiative. Detailed traffic analyses determined that reducing the number of lanes from four to three and decreasing the lane widths would not only allow for wider 12’ sidewalks but also calm traffic. Designs also called for replacing the large, overhead I-76 signs with smaller signs placed on poles at the sides of the roadway to make the bridge feel less like a highway. Conflict between bicycles and auto traffic at Schuylkill Avenue was minimized. These changes, completed in August 2012, have created a safer facility that encourages a symbiotic relationship with all bridge users.
Funding: Transportation Improvements Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program and a federal earmark grant