Philadelphia Construction Zones Attend to Pedestrian Safety

Construction Zone Walkways in Philadelphia Help Keep Pedestrians Safe

For anyone who lives or works in Philadelphia, you know that construction projects in the city can make it difficult for pedestrians to navigate the streets safely and avoid getting hurt in car accidents. As a recent article in The Philadelphia Inquirer emphasizes, construction work takes up a significant amount of space, and it usually results in sidewalks being closed. While motorists can still navigate those streets, it is usually pedestrians in the area who have to make “a choice between an awkward detour and plunging into the stream of oncoming traffic.” Yet, as the article explains, a recent Philadelphia construction project actually has kept pedestrians in mind, installing construction zone walkways around the area.

The Gallery around East Market Street, a shopping mall area, is set to undergo a substantial renovation. In preparation for the issues the construction is likely to cause for Philadelphia pedestrians, some pedestrian safety areas are being constructed first. The article highlights how “bulky Jersey barriers [are] being installed around the Gallery,” and that these “massive concrete structures will create a dedicated walkway around nearly the entire perimeter of the three-block-long shopping mall.”

The construction zone walkways are a welcome addition to a major construction project in Philadelphia. As the article states, “until recently, most construction projects . . . have gone up without the slightest concession to pedestrian comfort or safety.” For instance, large-scale construction projects on the W Hotel on Chestnut Street, as well as the FMC Tower on Walnut Street, failed to adequately provide for pedestrians in the area. The walkways around the Gallery, which will be sheltered, “will be the most extensive pedestrian safety zone ever created” in Philadelphia.

The concrete barriers are expensive, especially considering that they “”occupy a full traffic lane on Market Street.” Safety advocates emphasize that the cost certainly is worth it to ensure pedestrian ease and safety during the construction project. The construction zone is likely to last at least through spring 2018.

Keeping Pedestrians Safe in Philadelphia 

Construction zone walkways can help to prevent serious and fatal pedestrian accidents in cities like Philadelphia. According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average, 430 pedestrians require treatment in an emergency department every day for injuries sustained in a traffic accident.

The CDC recommends taking the following steps for safety whether you are in an urban area or a region with less motor vehicle traffic:

  • Whenever you are able to do so, cross the street at a designated crosswalk;
  • If there are no designated crosswalks available, cross at an intersection after looking both ways;
  • Whenever you are able to do so, walk on a sidewalk designed for pedestrians;
  • If no sidewalk is available, always walk on the shoulder of the road and in a direction facing traffic;
  • Wear retro-reflective clothing or carry a flashlight if you are walking at night; and
  • Avoid “distracted walking”—do not text and walk, for instance, or engage in any other behaviors that require you to take your eyes off the road.

If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your case.

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