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Philadelphia Officials Eyeing Safer Pedestrian Practices During Dilworth Plaza Rebuild

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(Pedestrians walk in a traffic lane along South Penn Square.  A sign instructs pedestrians not to cross to Dilworth Plaza, where the area is fenced off.   Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Pedestrians walk in a traffic lane along South Penn Square. A sign instructs pedestrians not to cross to Dilworth Plaza, where the area is fenced off. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City officials are trying to find a way to keep pedestrians from walking in the street around the fenced-off Dilworth Plaza during the renovation project there (see related story).

On the west side of City Hall, the construction fencing goes right along the curbline.  And even though the signs read “Sidewalk Closed,” some pedestrians used to cutting through the plaza are choosing to walk in the street along the southwest corner.

City councilman Jim Kenney says he has talked with the mayor’s office about improving safety there.

“We have to consider people’s methods of moving around and taking the shortest routes, and trying to keep them safe,” Kenney told KYW Newsradio today.  “God forbid somebody gets hit with a car, they’re going to wind up suing the city on top of being injured.”

Pedestrian Joe Riches, who chose to walk legally on the sidewalk instead of taking the shortcut in the street, explained why.

“I don’t want to get run over,” he said, “and there’s really not enough room on the side, I think, to safely do it.”

For now, police officers are stationed along the plaza, directing people not to walk in the street.

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