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City, SEPTA and PPA Gear Up for Second Effort Against Center City Traffic Congestion

May 31, 2019

Following a successful launch last fall, city officials have announced another Center City parking enforcement initiative will begin on Monday, June 3. Philadelphia and SEPTA Police Departments, SEPTA supervisors and the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) will prioritize parking enforcement on Chestnut Street between 23rd and 7th Street and Market Street between 13th and 7th.

"We want people to know it is unacceptable and against the law to block bus lanes and stop in the middle of the street," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "I thank our partners at SEPTA and PPA for assisting in this second round of enforcement on Market and Chestnut Streets. Together, we are working to keep traffic moving and streets safe for people using all modes of transportation."

"Congestion contributes to higher operating costs for SEPTA, and impacts service to our customers," said SEPTA general manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. "Since the last enforcement initiative last fall, bus travel times improved on Market and Chestnut Streets in Center City and is helping, not only SEPTA riders, but vehicle traffic flow overall."

The second effort will again focus on enforcement of the bus, bike, and right-turn only lanes on Market and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. Enforcement officers will also continue to issue parking violations, with an enhanced effort and focus on moving violations, such as driving in the bus lane and illegal turns.

Some other elements of the enhanced enforcement to improve traffic flow in Center City include:

  • Providing incentives for legal loading and parking along the corridor
  • Addressing parking and loading issues at specific locations

 

Results from the enhanced enforcement initiative last fall saw a 6.4 percent improvement in transit travel times during the midday period for the whole length of Chestnut Street, resulting in 2.5-minute reduction in travel time per bus on average on Chestnut Street (River to River). A 4 percent improvement on Market Street resulted in 0.5 minutes saved per bus on average (City Hall to 7th Street). These reductions can help limit bus bunching and keep vehicles on schedule as their trips continue throughout the city.

The enhanced enforcement (between September 2, 2018 and January 28, 2019) yielded 3,635 tickets (1,347 on Market Street and 2,288 on Chestnut Street), with 75 percent being issued by the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Tickets were also issued by Philadelphia Police, SEPTA Police, and SEPTA Supervisors. To read the full report visit http://www.phillyotis.com/portfolio-item/transit-first-initiative/.

This a joint initiative of the City of Philadelphia, SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority.