Philadelphia occupies an enviable position of having two rivers that grace our city. Both are quite different in character, and though the Delaware has been the focus of some great interventions in the public space like Spruce Street Harbor Park and Washington Avenue Pier, the Schuylkill has recaptured our attention with today's grand opening of the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk. This long sought after intervention extends the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust Street to the South Street Bridge. 2,000+ feet of cement and steel have been laid with pilings bored deep in the earth. As we noted in a post earlier this year, this Boardwalk has been engineered for durability and should grace our city for a very long time.
Federal guidance on these types of interventions change the tone.
Earlier this week, Streetsblog reported that the US Department of Transporation (DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be making major updates to their guidance and standards regarding cycling infrastructure. Specifically, the US DOT will be updating the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices), the national standard that traffic engineers use to build new and to modify existing roadways to meet common safety criteria. The MUTCD is a lengthy and detailed document that ensures roads in the United States follow common standards for signage, spacing of lanes and the balancing of different users of the street. Though roads and streets do vary in the United States in regards to their scale and design (think jughandles in New Jersey), for the most part roads follow common signage and design standards.