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City Announces Chestnut Street Loading Zone Pilot

PHILADELPHIA — To reduce congestion and improve travel times on Chestnut Street, the City announced today plans for a six month loading zone pilot

In partnership with DVRPC, SEPTA, and PPA, the City will alter parking and loading regulations on Chestnut Street from the 600 block to the 2000 block. The project includes:

  • Creating 80’-100’ passenger and freight loading zones with 20 minute time limits available all-day (Monday through Sunday), located on the western end of each block;
  • Moving 20’ of parking for people with disabilities to the eastern end of each block to enhance accessibility; and
  • Extending the two hour enforced meter parking time to 6 a.m. – 2 a.m. on the remainder of the block.

Currently, parking rules for the majority of the north-side curb of Chestnut Street from 20th to 6th Streets allow loading from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. However, when parking is permitted, the lack of loading zones causes loading to spill onto travel lanes. This leads to congestion and safety problems. During the pilot, trucks and marked commercial vehicles are no longer prohibited after 10 a.m., and may utilize the 20 minute loading all day long or pay to park in a metered area during the posted hours. By creating additional loading zones during the pilot period, the city hopes to reduce congestion and improve travel times. 

The pilot also includes plans to address other curbside demands besides loading along Chestnut Street, including:

  • Expansion of the Indego bike sharing system, with two new stations being added on the 1600 and 1800 blocks of Chestnut Street
  • Designated valet parking at an existing location on the 1300 block of Chestnut Street
  • Motorcycle parking on the 1500 and 1700 blocks of Chestnut Street

The rapid increase in passenger and freight loading in Philadelphia is increasing curbside demand. Improving curbside management and improving bus operations on Chestnut Street are deliverables in CONNECT: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan. A Fall 2018 program found that increased enforcement of the bus, bike, and turn only lanes on Chestnut Street led to significant reductions in bus travel times, with slight reductions in travel times for cars using Chestnut Street. 

To assess the effectiveness of the six month loading zone pilot, the following metrics will be monitored in the study area: change in bus travel times on Chestnut Street, change in private vehicle travel time, continued observation of DVRPC video footage, and change in PPA meter revenue and ticketing.

To download the Chestnut Street Loading Zone Pilot project flyer including graphics of the new street configurations, click here.