Residents, local business owners frustrated with ongoing Washington Avenue renovation

Residents and business owners near a main artery of traffic in Philadelphia are growing frustrated with an ongoing roadwork project that the city promises will improve safety and flow of traffic. 

The facelift of Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia started near Delaware Avenue in August and has since progressed to 10th Street. It’s scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.

While some have enjoyed the new proposed bike lanes that are sandwiched between the curb and outer parking lanes, most who spoke to FOX 29 were angered by the ongoing headaches. 

Wally Giordano, owner of Giordano’s Produce at 9th and Washington streets, says the project has drastically reduced parking and the ever-changing configuration of reflective lane markers have created an obstacle course for his customers. 

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“They’re everywhere,” Giordano said. “I just tell them to pull to the side, and I’ll get your stuff and bring into to you, it’s a challenge.” 

Among the virtual sea of roadwork signs directing traffic for motorists and pedestrians are posters that detail the city’s goal for the Washington Avenue project. 

The posters boasts improved safety with crosswalks, a closed lane for bikers and lane marking and repaving for smoother travel for drivers. Officials believe the project will lead to a meaningful reduction in traffic deaths by 2030. 

Nubia Castillo just opened her business Arepas near Washington Avenue just three months ago, and she has already noticed how it’s impacted customer. Castillo says some nearby businesses have started using chairs or cones to claim the spots in front of their businesses.

“It’s already congested and this just made it worse,” Giordano said.