19th and 20th Complete Streets Corridor Study

This project aims to advance Philadelphia's Strategic Transportation Plan and their subsequent City Transit Plan* (in DRAFT). 

The 19th and 20th Streets pairing was selected as a single priority transit corridor through a ranked-score evaluation of transit corridors in the City of Philadelphia. Using a large sample of 2019 transit vehicle and rider data, The Office of Transportation Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) evaluated potential bus corridors according to a set of quantifiable metrics related to potential benefits, as measured by time savings for riders, that could be expected from future transit-centered roadway improvements. This prioritization framework narrowed down a long list of corridors for consideration to 36 corridors. After the high scoring corridors were identified, staff from SEPTA, the City, and other partners discussed the corridors and created a final Tier 1 list based on qualitative criteria such as:

  • The ability to leverage other investments;
  • Ability to extend a “high scoring” corridor into a second-tier;
  • Geographic equity;
  • Whether the corridor provides connections to rail rapid transit stations; and
  • Propensity for a corridor to remain important or become more important through SEPTA’s Bus Network Redesign.

19th and 20th Streets together are one of the corridors in this Tier 1 category. The 19th and 20th Complete Streets Corridor Study will evaluate and prioritize transit performance in this corridor via street-level improvements. Final products could include, but are not limited to, mapping transit dependent communities; making recommendations and ranking priorities for service improvements and street changes; and considering transit capacity increases that may be achieved through recommended treatments

Development of this effort is expected to coincide with and complement Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) upcoming Comprehensive Bus Network Redesign (CBNR) program. 

Project Team

DVRPC convenes partners across a nine-county, two state region to increase mobility choices; protect and preserve natural resources; and create healthy communities that foster greater opportunities for all. 

OTIS directs the policies and practices that improve quality of life in all of Philadelphia’s communities through safe and sustainable infrastructure.

Stakeholder and Community Input and Outreach

Stakeholder input and outreach is essential to this effort. Two groups will provide input on this project: a Community Stakeholder Committee and the Transit Priority Committee.   

The Community Stakeholder Committee representatives belong to institutions, schools, and community organizations along the corridor, as well as relevant City of Philadelhpia departments and SEPTA. This group is by invitation, but if you are interested in joining please contact Amy Bernknopf at abernknopf@dvrpc.org

The Transit Priority Committee is a joint effort across transportation agencies within the City of Philadelphia. Representatives from five agencies attend monthly meetings: Philadelphia’s OTIS, Streets Department, and Philadelphia City Planning Commission, also DVRPC, PennDOT, and SEPTA. The Transit Priority Committee’s mission is to improve surface transit through the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects and policies. This group will provide comments and edits to the designs and recommendations throughout the course of this project. This group is by invitation only.

Stakeholder Committee Meeting 1: January 12, 2021

Meeting Purpose: For the project team to present stakeholders with relevant context from previous planning efforts, the study area, and existing conditions. In addition, to understand the transit-related concerns of the stakeholders along the corridor.

Meeting Summary: This was the first stakeholder committee meeting to discuss the19th and 20th Complete Streets Corridor Study. This meeting was held virtually on 1/12/2021 at 12:00 PM. OTIS and DVRPC presented slides detailing the scope of the project, including a timeline, the project area, data about the corridor, and other concurrent and pre-existing planning efforts. Participants expressed their top concerns for the corridor via a Zoom Poll, and were given the opportunity to further expand and discuss in breakout rooms. The group then reconvened, and each group shared key takeaways from each discussion.

Stakeholder Committee Meeting 2: March 18,2021

Meeting Purpose: For the project team to review and establish hierarchy of stakeholders’ stated priorities from the previous meeting. To familiarize stakeholders with potential intervention exemplars and collaboratively explore the tradeoffs inherent in corridor redesign work.

Summary: This meeting was held virtually on 3/18/2021 at 1:00 PM. The Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (oTIS) and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) presented slides recapping the project purpose and scope; the outcomes of the January kick-off meeting; and explaining the toolkit of potential cartway changes being applied to the redesign work. Participants prioritized their top transport-related concerns via hierarchical ranking in Mentimeter, and were asked to apply and discuss both their own and the overall group’s stated preferences, in the context of a participatory design exercise using the ReMix platform, in three separate breakout rooms. The group then reconvened, and participants voted in a pairwise comparison stated preference exercise via Mentimeter. The major themes of these conversations, as well as the outputs of the Mentimeter exercises, are provided below.

Stakeholder Committee Meeting 3: May 13, 2021

Meeting Purpose For the project team to share three alternatives for the 19th and 20th Complete Streets Corridor Study with stakeholders in this group.

Summary: The project team gave a recap of the March 2021 committee meeting. OTIS addressed stakeholders concerns about un-planned detours during special events along the corridor, and explained their team will work with Special Events to follow up on the issues raised by this group. 

Three alternatives for bicycle and transit improvements were presented to the stakeholders that focused on bicycle enhancements, bus enhancements, and a combination of bicycle and bus enhancements. Stakeholders were provided time to speak about their concerns to the entire group and then were asked to join small group discussions where stakeholders were again given an opportunity to provide their input and feedback about the alternatives. At the end of the meeting a poll was taken and 58 percent of those who voted preferred the alternative that had the combination of bicycle and bus enhancements.

Relevant Reports and Resources

Please contact Amy Bernknopf at abernknopf@dvrpc.org with any questions. 

*Note that this study corresponds to the City Transit Plan Phase 2 project (21-63-008) in DVRPC's FY21 UPWP.

Amy BernknopfAssociate Manager, Office of Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Planning
Air Quality Partnership
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Philadelphia, PA 19106-1520
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