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GIR: Richmond Street Streetscape - North of Girard

North of Girard Avenue, Richmond Street has been reconstructed. When construction of the adjacent viaduct is completed, Richmond Street will carry the SEPTA Route 15 trolley, as well as cars, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians. The vision for this stretch of Richmond Street is to make it as attractive and green as possible while remaining accessible to the neighborhoods on the west side of I-95.

The roadway will accommodate multiple modes of transportation with:

  • 10-foot wide tree-lined sidewalks;
  • Five-foot wide green-painted bike lanes along the curb;
  • Two 11-foot travel lanes with trolley tracks; and 
  • A continuous 10-foot center turn lane.


Innovative tree planting techniques

The project is using an innovative approach to planting street trees along Richmond Street that will help the trees survive in an urban environment. The trees will be planted in pairs, which has been shown to increase their lifespan, and will be placed in concrete vaults to keep their roots from growing into underground utilities and ensure that the size of the trees at maturity does not interfere with trolley wires and poles. The vaults will be placed in the sidewalk with curb openings to allow storm water runoff to irrigate the trees. The type of tree selected has a high salt and drought tolerance. Although Richmond Street construction is substantially completed, street trees will not be planted until the southbound viaduct (Section GR4) is finished.

Energy-efficient lighting pilot test

PennDOT is working with the City of Philadelphia to implement a pilot project to test new street lighting options along Richmond Street. The pilot is testing the use of LED lighting technology in pedestrian-scaled lighting fixtures. Street lights have been mounted on closely spaced, 15-foot poles that will help illuminate both the road and the sidewalk. This pole height will eliminate the need to provide both street lights and pedestrian lights.

The LED light fixtures reduce energy consumption and produce a white light that is more attractive than typical street lights. The white light increases nighttime visibility and allows for the future use of colorful architectural lighting or other public art along Richmond Street.

  • Status: Construction completed
  • Timeline:  2016
  • Project Updates: None at this time