Building it Better Together: Your Suggestions

BySarah Bloomquist and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Building it Better Together:  Your Suggestions
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Building it Better Together: Your Suggestions. Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on May 10, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Last week we launched a new project "Building it Better Together" and the first topic we tackled was your daily commute. We asked for your suggestions on easing the congestion and you delivered. We passed those on to both PennDOT and SEPTA which were both receptive to them. Unfortunately, one popular idea had to be debunked.

"It was great to look over all of the suggestions and thank you for getting a conversation about transportation congestion is a big deal for our region," said Jeff Knueppel, SEPTA's General Manager.

SEPTA said in many cases what was proposed they are already working toward.

For instance, pulling seats out of the EL cars for strollers and ease of moving around also, multi-level cars are coming for regional rail.

"We are also this year starting a project to enhance make a much bigger station at Conshohocken to be able to handle more people so that they don't have to get on the Schuylkill Expressway. On the I-95 corridor, it's really about the Roosevelt Boulevard and the city is doing a study right now in looking to utilize that median there and probably either light rail or bus rapid transit," Knueppel explained.

PennDOT said it's also reviewing all of your suggestions. The most popular idea for PennDOT was building a roadway on top of the Schuylkill Expressway, the so-called double-decker solution. Doing that would create the longest continuous "bridge" in America, but PennDOT said that is structurally and financially not feasible.

"Reconstructing it and adding lanes and building on the other side of the river these are very costly long comprehensive projects that might be nearly impossible to reconstruct giving the geography of what we are talking about here. A lot of engineers have put their heads together and have had ideas," explained Brad Rudolph of PennDOT.

PennDOT officials add that relieving congestion would also require people to use other modes of transportation. They're looking to incentivize mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian travel.