A public meeting took place on Monday for feedback on the Castor Avenue Corridor Safety Improvement Project.
Neighbors gathered at the Hub, 6434 Castor Ave., to meet with representatives of PennDOT and SEPTA.
The proposal would change Castor Avenue, from Oxford Circle to Cottman Avenue, from two driving lanes in each direction to one lane each way.
There would be bicycle lanes next to the curbs in each direction. Next to those lanes would be flex posts and a buffer lane. Then, there would be a parking lane on each side of the street. A concrete median would separate the two driving lanes.
At each cross street with a traffic light would be a left turn lane.
Another addition would be a boarding platform for SEPTA Route 59 bus users.
Trees and greenery would be added to sidewalks, along with repairs to the sidewalks.
Some neighbors at the meeting were unhappy that local elected officials did not give them a heads up about the changes.
No elected officials were at the meeting, including state Rep. Jared Solomon, whose office is in the Hub.
Other neighbors contended that the loss of driving lanes on Castor would lead to increased traffic on side streets. They also told officials that few people will actually use the bicycle lanes. There was also a call to fix existing potholes before beginning such a major project.
The changes should also eliminate double parking and U-turns, although there would be a logjam if a car breaks down.
Supporters of the plan say it will increase foot traffic for businesses and make the corridor safer for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
From 2018-22, there were 197 crashes on Castor Avenue, with five fatalities.
The project is expected to cost about $20 million, with most of the funding coming from the federal government. Funding is still needed before construction can begin, expected to be in the summer of 2025. ••