Fourth Street Extension Project
There is a tremendous amount of re-development and new development that is occurring in the area of the Borough that is directly west of North Park Road. This includes the former Vanity Fair property which has been re-developed and is now called the Knitting Mills. Tenants at the Knitting Mills include the corporate headquarters for UGI, IT and C suite offices for Tower Health Systems, Orthopedic Associates of Reading and the Sly Fox Taphouse at Wyomissing. The new Teleflex building on the VF North Lot has been completed and construction has begun on the Drexel University College of Medicine building. The medical school is scheduled to open for its first class of students in August 2021.
The Borough has long been aware of high traffic volumes on North Park Road during peak hours. Many motorists traveling north on North Park Road will avoid the traffic signal at the intersection of North Park Road and North Wyomissing Boulevard by cutting through a residential neighborhood and using Fourth Street to access North Wyomissing Boulevard.
The Fourth Street Extension would install one roundabout on Innovation Way on the Vanity Fair North Lot adjacent to the Teleflex building that will connect to Fourth Street. Traffic will continue on Fourth Street to North Wyomissing Boulevard. The existing width of Fourth Street will be sufficient for traffic flow and the street will not need to be widened.
Improvements will be made to North Wyomissing Boulevard as well, including dedicated turning lanes, lane striping and traffic signal upgrades. This will allow traffic traveling to and from Route 422 easier and safer access to the Vanity Fair North Lot and the Knitting Mills. The existing width of Fourth Street will be sufficient for traffic flow and the street will not need to be widened. The existing travel and turning lanes on North Park Road are much wider than what is required. The road will be restriped to allow additional turning lanes onto adjacent side streets to the east and west to further reduce traffic congestion.
The Borough will also purchase a vacant parking lot located on the southwest side of the intersection of Fourth Street and North Wyomissing Boulevard. A bike share station, bike rack, striped parking spaces, a bench and a BARTA bus stop will be located on this lot. This lot is part of the Borough’s official Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Map. The route provides access to all areas of the Borough, to multiple recreation areas, to the Wyomissing Area School District and Wilson School District, and to Spring Township, Shillington Borough and West Reading Borough. Sharrows and route signs will be installed on existing roadways shown on the trail map for easy identification and use. The route also provides access to existing bike share stations on the Knitting Mills property and the Tower Health main campus, and a station to be installed at the medical school.
Pedestrian improvements will be made to Fourth Street to install sidewalk where there are currently missing connections to allow unimpeded travel from the Knitting Mills to North Wyomissing Boulevard.
After construction of the medical school is completed on the Vanity Fair North Lot the Borough will conduct a post-construction traffic study. Traffic signals located along North Park Road and Penn Avenue and Hill Avenue will be retimed as recommended by the study.
This project is truly multimodal in nature and when complete, will support and leverage more than $200M in private investment, and support the 1,300 jobs that have been created at The Knitting Mills and VF North Lot.
Bike and Pedestrian Route Map
Overall Fourth Street Extension Concept