Released: April 4, 2023
The Delaware County Planning Department will be hosting a community listening session on Thursday, April 13, at the Calvary Baptist Church in Chester, to engage the residents and help identify ways to develop a safer Route 291.
Route 291 is a regionally significant thoroughfare—located within close proximity of I-95, 322, the Commodore Barry Bridge, 476, and the Philadelphia International Airport—that provides access to residential, commercial, and industrial areas. While the roadway serves as a primary detour for I-95 and provides access to regional destinations such as Harrah’s Philadelphia and Subaru Park, it includes multiple hazards for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike.
The most significant problem is that Route 291 is a wide, straight, multilane road with speeding traffic, making it unsafe for residents, pedestrians, and bicyclists and cuts off residents from the waterfront, natural areas, attractions, and job opportunities.
Road users must also navigate heavy truck traffic due to the industrial uses dominate this corridor.
Collected data confirms the unfriendly road environment. Crash data indicates between 2015-2019 there were 249 crashes resulting in 9 fatalities. Of the 249 crashes, 8 involved pedestrians, and 3 involved bicyclists. A 2015 study documented high travel speeds that were well over the posted limit of 35mph, even during rush hour.
Understanding that this critical thoroughfare needs to be modernized, the County is committed to make meaningful safety improvements for Route 291 that can also positively impact economic development opportunity.
An additional challenge for Route 291 is that is has been identified as the preferred route for the East Coast Greenway. The East Coast Greenway (ECG) is a 3,000-mile multiuse trail route that connects Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida. The safety issues associated with Route 291 make it difficult to accommodate the preferred path for this trail.
Delaware County residents are urged to attend our listening session and engage in breakout discussions. Come tell us what it means to live, work, and travel along Route 291, share your concerns and your visions for what a revamped Route 291 should look like.
Possible improvements that will be examined include the feasibility of a road diet, traffic calming, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. This could include a center median, bike lanes, and green infrastructure to achieve lower travel speeds and provide a safer environment for motorists and pedestrians. Community input is vital to determining the safety improvements, as it is important the improvements are ones that residents want to make them feel safer using the road.
Calvary Baptist Church
616 W 2nd Street, Chester, PA 1901
Thursday, April 13, 2023
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Residents who are unable to attend the listening session are encouraged to share their feedback through our Comment Map. This interactive Google map-based tool, accessible at https://maps.kittelson.com/route291, allows residents to leave comments regarding the Route 291. Simply go to the Comment Map, double-click the section of Route 291 you want to comment on, type your thoughts, then leave your name and contact info (comments can also be made anonymously).
We look forward to hearing from you!
Contact Cathy Spahr at SpahrC@co.delaware.pa.us or Tara Hofferth at email@example.com.