During the DNC, the Kenney administration began enforcing parking rules on South Broad, and the street already looks and feels better. More importantly, the street is safer, too. No more blocked turning lanes; no more drivers and passengers suddenly exiting vehicles in the center of the street; no more pedestrians suddenly popping out from between parked vehicles; no more dangerous traffic conflicts as drivers in the left-hand lane try to parallel park in the median.
That's why we're urging the Kenney administration to direct the Philadelphia Police Department to continue enforcing parking rules on South Broad Street after the DNC ends.
The median parking is dangerous and ugly, and yet no one has been willing to touch it for fear of political blowback. As Kenney himself has said, Broad Street median parking is "not a good thing" for safety. After all, the practice is illegal in the first place, and for good reason.
Mayor Kenney committed to a "Vision Zero" policy for street safety during his 2015 campaign, and South Broad is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians in the entire city. Median parking plays an important part in that.
The median only contains about 200 (illegal) parking spaces spread over 16 blocks, in a neighborhood of about 40,000 residents, so there isn't a significant amount of parking at stake. Many of the current vehicles are rarely moved, and it's not uncommon to see many New Jersey plates from New Jersey commuters who use the median like a Park 'n Ride.
The Kenney administration should kick off a new initiative with PHS and other design groups to beautify and further improve safety on the South Broad median with planters, greenery, and more generous pedestrian space as part of his Vision Zero campaign. The Mural Arts median makeover for the DNC showed what could be done, but it's time for local elected leaders to start thinking bigger about a South Broad Street that puts pedestrians first.