The Borough of Collingswood has been awarded a $217,600 Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) TOP (Travel Options Program) Grant for its “Gateway to Downtown Collingswood” project. This grant will fund improvements that address safety concerns identified by residents and stakeholders at the highly traveled intersection of Collings at Atlantic and Lakeview Avenues. These intersections were noted by residents and visitors during extensive public feedback and surveying as challenging crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
The improvements were among the recommendations included in the Borough of Collingswood Connect 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and were further tested during a DVRPC-funded Pop-up Demonstration Project “All Aboard Atlantic”, which was a collaborative project of the Borough of Collingswood, DVRPC, Cross County Connection TMA, PATCO, and Camden County. The project will consist of four curb extensions with pollinator gardening plantings, three thermoplastic crosswalks, ADA-accessible curb cuts, and an education component with the School District and the greater Collingswood community. The overall goals of the project include encouraging walking and biking to reduce carbon emissions, improving accessibility for disabled persons, and providing affordable transportation options by providing safety improvements as you enter downtown.
The Collings and Atlantic Avenue intersection is highly traveled by pedestrians from the west traveling to the downtown business district. The addition of crosswalks and curb extensions at this location will slow traffic as it enters the downtown, encourage more pedestrians to walk to destinations, provide safer routes to public transportation, schools, and workplaces, and will address accessibility issues.
The project intersection is also along the main corridor utilized by middle and high school students traveling to and from school and to athletics and activities in Knight Park. The project includes a biking and walking safety education component in cooperation with stakeholders such as the School District and the Collingswood Youth Green Team, as well as the Sustainable Collingswood Transportation Committee to encourage even more biking and walking.
TOP provides funds for creative projects that will reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles on the region's roadways – a concept known as Transportation Demand Management (TDM). The program funds the planning and implementation of projects that respond to the goals established in the regional TDM plan: improving air quality, equity, reliability, affordability, and the freedom to choose travel options. Construction is expected to commence next fall.