Changes are coming to the Bayfront Pkwy to not only address traffic flow but also safety.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has updated its plans for the intersection of Cranberry Street and the Bayfront Pkwy.

PennDOT was asked by the City of Erie to analyze whether the intersection needed a traffic signal due to the high volume of vehicles and pedestrian traffic from pathways.

In May 2022, data showed that there could be some improvement to safety and efficiency if a new traffic signal was installed, along with a sidewalk on Cranberry Street.

This project is separate from the central Bayfront Project that was previously announced.

“It really came about during that design phase for the central corridor when some folks came to us with some concerns about that intersection that was further down towards the west side,” said Jill Harry, press officer for PennDOT.

Although there is already a crosswalk warning signal, a representative from the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF) explained that this intersection is still dangerous for pedestrians who want full use of Frontier Park.

“We love pedestrians as a park and we also love pedestrians coming to our open markets and any of our events. Erie is not so much a pedestrian-friendly city as it probably was. Trying to cross it (the intersection) right now is impossible. You can’t really. There are cars and there are big trucks, it is pretty scary,” said Grace Rhodes, ReLeaf coordinator at Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park.

Rhodes says that many people take longer walks for their own safety due to some cars speeding and not yielding to the pedestrian signal.

“That intersection will have a whole new group of people that if they wanted to walk to Frontier Park, they would have to go a longer route through the neighborhoods, probably pass by SV (Strong Vincent),” Rhodes added.

“This project is to really help that concern and make it easier for them to get over in the neighborhood where Cranberry Street is connected to and get them to the path over there and then the par just down the way,” Harry said.

Harry expects construction to begin sometime next year. She added that the public still has a week to give feedback on the intersection.

You can learn more about the Cranberry Street Safety Improvement Project online.