January 6, mobility roundup: Trail delay, Market Street road diet, Turnpike tolls

The plastic delineator posts separating cyclists and drivers in the 5th Street tunnel were removed. What gives? The Delaware River Port Authority, which maintains the tunnel, opted to remove them for winter, in anticipation of the need to plow the lanes. The Inquirer reports that Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s research director, John Boyle, is the head of DRPA’s Citizen’s Advisory Board he intends to inquire about purchasing a small bike-lane plow so the posts can stay up during winter. We ask, what about borrowing equipment if the need arises?

The opening of the South-to-Christian Street extension of the Schuylkill River Trail has been delayed until summer, the Inquirer reports. Work has been delayed due to funding and now planting season. Still to come: fencing, landscaping, furniture, irrigation and lighting.

More than a mile’s worth of jersey barriers are being installed as a pedestrian walkway around the three-block-long Gallery Mall renovation zone and this road diet to make way for construction is an important test, writes Inga Saffron. The walkway will use a full traffic lane on Market Street, creating what the Streets Department says is the most extensive pedestrian safety zone ever created here. “Market Street is a perfect test case for sharing the road. As one of Center City’s two extra-wide streets, it has two travel lanes in each direction, plus a third lane on either side for parking and drop-offs. Yet, as a recent traffic study for the Old City District discovered, parts of Market Street have far more vehicle capacity than necessary. Automobile traffic at the eastern end has dropped by a third since 2000, despite significant population increases.”

New Jersey had 607 traffic fatalities in 2016, NJ.com reports. That’s the highest number since 2011. Burlington County had the most fatalities.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike’s tolls will go up 6 percent on Sunday.

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