Over the past few days a drastic change in attitude of what is possible in Philadelphia emerged.  The Open Streets Philly facebook page - established Monday evening - already has nearly 4,000 supporters and nearly 2,500 have signed the petition calling for car-free weekends next summer.  The flurry of related articles is growing.  

An oversized and abnormal intersection in a heavily trafficked pedestrian corridor

This guest post comes to us from reader and Fishtown resident Nate Hommel

I live in the vibrant neighborhood of Fishtown with my wife and two little kids. We own a car but choose not to use it very much. Fishtown has excellent public transit, but why does it have to be so hard to reach on foot?

Here's my typical commute: I take the bus most mornings with my 4 year old daughter to her school in the Northern Liberties neighborhood. We walk down Thompson Street to Frankford Ave, then play frogger to get to the bus stop on the West side of Frankford and Thompson. There is no crosswalk at Thompson Street, a route which many people take to get to the Girard stop on the Market Frankford elevated line. On my way home from the Girard El stop I walk up Frankford and have to cross the outrageously oversized cartway that is Shackamaxon Street.

Due to the angled alignment of the intersection the 1 lane, 1 block long, Northwest bound  Shackamaxon Street crossing is nearly 115' on foot. This excess space leads to poor behavior. Northbound cars enter Frankford Ave at an angle, (think highway on ramp) which sends the following message: hit the gas, maybe you'll beat that bus!

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