Event photos courtesy of Rick Rotondo
On November 14, GVF and the Borough of Phoenixville celebrated the installation of a mid-block crosswalk on the 100 block of Bridge Street. The project was federally funded via the Travel Options Program (TOP) Grant from Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and includes tenets of the Chester County Complete Streets policy, which the borough adopted in June of 2022. Chester County's Complete Streets transportation policy requires streets to be planned, designed, retrofitted, and maintained to facilitate travel in a safe, convenient, and comfortable manner for all users regardless of their transportation mode.
Residents of Phoenixville were surveyed in the Spring of 2023, and the 100 block of Bridge Street was noted as a location where the majority of those surveyed saw a gap in safe walking infrastructure. In addition to the survey and installation of the crosswalk, the Streets For All grant includes an educational campaign to reinforce the importance of sharing the road with people utilizing transportation options other than cars.
Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan voiced her support for the Streets for All program and the crosswalk installation. She stated:
“It's through these efforts that we can see the tangible benefits of federal investment in local infrastructure – creating safer, more inclusive, and sustainable communities. Congratulations on this milestone accomplishment.”
GVF's Deputy Executive Director, Maureen Farrell, kicked off the event and noted that the theme of the day was 'partnership,' as it was through both public and private partnerships that tangible results of our efforts, such as this mid-block crosswalk can be seen.
Chester County Commissioner Chair Marian Moskowitz complimented the Borough of Phoenixville, noting that "everyone works together in this community, and you don't have many communities like that." She also recognized the Borough's commitment to the Complete Streets Policy, stating that “The Borough has done a lot of great things as part of our complete streets program, making it more walkable and usable. They’ve added bicycle trails, they connected the Schuylkill River Trail from the Trailhead at Cromby, down to Mont Clare Bridge, connected to Montgomery County, which is a great, great thing for our whole community.”
Donnell Sheppard, Deputy District Director for Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, reinforced the importance of using federal funding to make improvements on a local level, and the projects relationship to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, “This initiative is a testament to what can be achieved when we prioritize the safety and the well-being of our residents. The Safe Streets and Roads for all grant program is a crucial part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure law. This program dedicated an historic 800 million to 511 projects nationwide in 2022...But the program is not just about funding, it’s about a commitment to enhancing road safety for everyone—drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.”
Phoenixville Borough Mayor Peter Urscheler mentioned how the partnerships at the County, State, and Federal level, as well as with GVF and DVRPC have lead to improvements in the Borough in transportation, public safety, walkability and connectedness, and environmental sustainability, noting that "we are so grateful to be the beneficiary of your innovative concepts and ideas, and we will continue to be a model—and love being a testing ground—for any of the opportunities that you have.”
Stacy Bartels, Office of TDM Strategy and Marketing Manager at DVRPC reiterated the importance of "think globally, act locally;" and that DVRPC facilitates the funding options but needs partnerships, such as their long standing partnership with GVF, to raise awareness and get things done. Stacy noted that small steps to get people out of their cars are part of DVRPC's long range goal of addressing climate change and air quality and "if every municipality, every borough, every county can do something-- when you look at the whole, we are doing a lot."
Jessica Capistrant Remington, President and CEO, Phoenixville Chamber of Commerce, spoke on how infrastructure improvements such as the mid-block crosswalk, "are vital additions that not only enhance pedestrian safety but also then foster a more connected and vibrant local environment for our downtown... encourage foot traffic, support local business and ultimately contribute to the overall well-being of our community... making our town more welcoming to residents and visitors."
The event wrapped up with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and networking. GVF looks forward to continuing to make connections that enhance the safety in our communities and ultimately result in Streets for All.