A new look and traffic pattern is coming to Atlantic Avenue. A combination of traffic slowing bump-outs, advisory bike lanes, and improved pedestrian crossings are in the plan for a temporary demonstration project. The goal? to test run improvements and get feedback from residents to determine the effects new bike and pedestrian improvements have before permanent changes are considered.
Working in tandem with the Borough of Collingswood, Cross County Connection, Camden County, PATCO, and the DVRPC, a host of new improvements have been developed for this heavily traveled stretch of road. Three major areas of need were identified through various studies including the Connect 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The intersections of Collings, Atlantic, and Lakeview, along with Atlantic and Lees and Atlantic and Conard were noted by residents and visitors during extensive public feedback as challenging crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. In addition to improving travel near the downtown and to other community assets such as the Farmers’ Market, Atlantic Avenue is a direct connection to the PATCO Speedline commuter train.
After the demonstration period is complete the partners will work together further determine if these changes provide the desired increase in safety and warrant a transition to permanent structures in their place. The pop-up demonstration is scheduled to launch on August 14 and will remain in place through September 3. Tell us what you think! Survey teams will be on the streets and at the Collingswood Farmers’ market interviewing users of the EXPO. Online surveys will also be available for the duration of the project.
JOIN US FOR THE PROJECT KICK-OFF EVENT:
Ride your bike or walk over and join us for the project kick-off where you will learn more about the project. Be among the first to test it out with our kick-off ride down Atlantic to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market.
August 14, 2021 at 9:00 am at Collings and Atlantic Avenues – CLICK HERE for Event Info
MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT:
You can view/download a PDF of the full project design HERE
Atlantic Avenue PILOT Project Frequently Asked Questions
What is the project?
All Aboard Atlantic is a temporary pilot project geared at testing out designs that are proven to increase safety for different modes of transportation. The program is offered as part of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s EXPO program: https://www.dvrpc.org/expo
Why did the Borough begin this project? In 2019 and 2020 the Borough worked with stakeholders, traffic engineers, and transportation planners to conduct a study and developed a bike and pedestrian master plan called Connect 2020. During extensive public outreach and surveys, residents identified Atlantic Avenue as a route in need of improvements.
What are the specific changes?
The design consists of minor changes such as painted traffic-calming bump-outs, additional and improved crosswalks, and signage. The painted bump-outs will feature various degrees of separation from drivers. At Collings, there are tall orange flexible delineators. At Lees, there are raised pavement markers – affectionately called “armadillos,” and at Conard, there is only paint. The project also includes advisory bike lanes.
What are advisory bike lanes?
An advisory bike lane is used on roads that are too narrow to accommodate traditional bike lanes. They are marked with a solid white line on the right (next to parked cars) and a dotted line to the left. These markings give bicyclists a space to ride but are also available to motorists if space is needed to pass oncoming traffic. These are also known as “suggestion lanes.” Advisory bike lanes have been used effectively in other areas throughout the country and are widely used throughout Europe.
A simple explanation:
The traffic pattern is not much different than what it is now, except there is paint to “advise” vehicles and bikes of where to be. Currently, if you are driving down Atlantic Avenue and a bike is in front of you, you stop or yield to the bike (we hope). If there is no oncoming traffic, you pass. The same traffic pattern naturally occurs throughout town on many of our narrow streets.
Here’s a helpful video explainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zdDIvKXMxY
Where can I learn more about Avisory Bike Lanes?
Advisory bike lanes have been implemented and studied in North American cities since 2010 and have been shown to be more effective than the lower intervetnion “share the road” treatments. They have been implemeted on roads with average daily traffic volumes of 200 to 5,000. You can read more about advisory bike lanes an article from the Institute of Traffic Plannign Engineers Journal.
Why can’t you just put the bike lane on one side?
Because bikes, like cars, travel in two directions and offering a bike lane on only one side of the road is extremely dangerous for cyclists.
Can’t you just put protected bike lanes on Atlantic?
It’s possible, but not without removing residential and business parking and in some areas widening the road which is very costly.
Will any parking be removed?
All on-street parking will remain. The only affected parking will be the approximately 17 pull-in spaces on the PATCO parking lot between Irving and Lees Avenues. The Northside of this segment of Atlantic has no curb and no sidewalk creating an unsafe condition for all modes. This parking will temporality be blocked during the duration of the demonstration project to provide a safer experience.
What data will be collected during the project?
We will use data such as before and after traffic counts, survey results, and onsite observations.
Are the modifications permanent?
No, this is a temporary demonstration project that begins on August 14 and ends on September 3. It is an inexpensive way to test the new crosswalks, bump-outs, and advisory bike lane design. By doing a demonstration it allows us to gather data such as traffic counts and feedback from the community via onsite and online surveys. We’ll collect and review that feedback and consider for future improvements.
Check out this quick video explainer from an advisory bike lane project in Ottawa. We’ll be posting Atlantic Avenue videos during the project as well, so stay tuned!