West Chester through road addresses pedestrian safety
This week PennDOT held a public meeting and outlined their plans for a $2 million pedestrian improvement project along the High Street corridor. The project focuses on S. High Street from Miner St. to Rosedale Ave. Below is a list of key takeaways and what will change at each intersection.
Key takeaways and changes –
- Add left turn lanes and remove parking at several key intersections.
- Add traffic signals at the Sharpless Street and University Avenue intersections.
- Entering and exiting the 7-11 parking lot will be addressed
- Travel time down High Street will be essentially the same. Travel time through side streets will be at times be longer due the addition of lights and at times less through better management of traffic.
- This project only focuses on safety and intersections. Beautification, sidewalks, lighting (outside of the intersections) and some other recommendations outlined in the South High Street Corridor Plan commissioned in 2020 will not be addressed as part of this project. However, the Borough is actively looking for other funding sources.
MINER AND BARNARD STREETS
PennDOT will add bump-outs to all four corners at Miner shortening the crossing distance from curb to curb. At Barnard they will add bump-outs to two corners as well as in front of the 7-11 parking area. According to the plan representatives, they are looking to better “channelize” cars coming and going into the 7-11 parking lot.
One of the meeting attendees asked if there would be a crosswalk added at Barnard Street. While the project doesn’t currently include it, they are looking at it. “We are hesitant to add a striped crosswalk without a signal. We want to speak with the property owner [new owner of the Burger King property] about what to do about the apron,” PennDOT Project Manager Vince Cerbone said.
UNION AND DEAN STREETS
Parking exclusion areas (black angular stripes) will be added to High Street northbound just before E. Union and southbound before Dean Street. In addition, bump-outs will push parked cars down and improve sightlines. “You do lose some parking here but that is not uncommon in these improvements,” said Mr. Cerbone. Bump-outs are also being added at Union Street, Dean and Magnolia.
PennDOT will add a curb extension at Lacy Street and eliminate the Lacy to High Street crosswalk. Pedestrians will be encouraged to cross at Price Street where there is a light.
SHARPLESS AND E. NIELDS STREET
Sharpless will get a new light and a new left turn lane. As with all the new stop lights, change signals will be slightly delayed (3 seconds) to give pedestrians a head start and make them more visible in the intersection. They will eliminate parking heading north toward Sharpless.
UNIVERSITY AVE. TO ROSEDALE AVE.
University Ave will also be getting a new signal and curb extensions which will be synchronized with Linden Street to help reduce congestion in this area. They’ll add curb extensions on the north side of Linden Street as well as a second pedestrian crossing there (indicated by the striped lines).
The Project stops at the northern edge of Rosedale Avenue where PennDOT will add a tapered, curved extension.
Expect project planning and prepping to continue through 2023 with road work beginning in the spring of 2024. So you have some time to come to terms with the changes – and find new places to park.
Watch the full presentation for yourself here.
Originally published, Mar. 10, 2023
This story is part of a longer weekly West Chester newsletter. Curious what else is going on? You can find the full issue here and the latest newsletter here. Even easier? Subscribe here to get the future issues delivered directly to your inbox.