As one of DRWC’s core tenets is to plan and deliver new public spaces that connects Philadelphia to its Waterfront, we’re pleased to embark on a redesign of Washington Avenue from South 4th Street to Columbus Boulevard.

Washington Avenue is a crucial east-west arterial in the city’s street network, and this project seeks to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular travel by reconfiguring and greening the thoroughfare. A multidisciplinary team led by Langan Engineering and Andropogon Associates is spearheading this complex project under the direction of DRWC.

In its current configuration, Washington Avenue functions more as a barrier than a connection to nearby neighborhoods and the Waterfront. In one citizen’s words at a public meeting, Washington Ave is “a weird discombobulated mess.” It is also, unfortunately, a part of the City’s “High Injury Network” of roads identified by the Streets Department and Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems (oTIS) (These 15% of roads produce 50% of injuries and fatalities for bicyclists, peds, motorists, according to Vision Zero Philadelphia.)

With several new Waterfront amenities recently coming online -- segments of the Delaware River Trail, Washington Avenue Pier, Pier 68 and in 2021 the completion of the Delaware River Trail northward along Columbus Boulevard to Spring Garden Street -- Washington Avenue needs to be retrofitted to serve the dense, walkable neighborhoods it traverses. Creating a safe, well-lit, and beautiful streetscape between the vibrant neighborhoods of Pennsport and Queen Village and the Delaware River will repair the division between the Waterfront and city that Interstate 95 has created for decades, and ensure that residents of these neighborhoods understand the Waterfront to be a resource for open space, recreation, environmental education, and community.

DRWC and its engineering consultants held its first public open house at historic Gloria Dei church on June 21, 2018, to understand how near neighbors and citywide residents perceive and experience this eastern edge of Washington Avenue. Over a four-hour period, staff spoke to nearly 50 people, in turn gaining a greater appreciation for the recreational patterns, walking habits, neighborhood geographies, opportunity zones and “no-places” just north and south of the Washington Avenue corridor. Citizen feedback showed that while many people enjoy Washington Avenue Pier, walking or biking there is an unpleasant experience. Attendees almost uniformly described the road as “ugly,” “unsafe,” “bad to walk,” “unwelcoming,” and “bad to bike.”    

After a series of additional meetings with community stakeholders and local nonprofits, the Washington Avenue connector redesign was unveiled to the public in November 2018. The images and plans above reflect contributions from the City and its residents, as DRWC continues to solicit input from community members as the funding and construction phases near. 

Project's Progress

Location:  Pennsport / Queen Village
Status: Fundraising
Estimated Completion Date: TBD

Project Updates

Washington Avenue Connector Concepts

These concept plans represent a workable solution for humanizing and harmonizing Washington Avenue’s many different modes of travel from 4th Street east to the river. The overall elements of this concept have been reviewed and...

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