As we wrote in our Year End Review last month, 2015 was certainly a transformative year for bicycling in the Philadelphia Region. Lots of wins, and lots of promise for the incoming mayoral administration in Philadelphia.
But in the city, although 14 miles of new or refurbished bike lanes were planned in spring 2015, we ended the year with fewer than planed.
Most projects are unique, and have unique reasons for being held up.
However, when it comes to some streets, funding for some new bike lane projects (like Kingsessing Avenue and Passyunk Avenue) and restriping (Spruce and Pine Streets) were held up by the uncertainty created by the legislature as Harrisburg debated their 2015-2016 budget.
Once the funding was finally released and contracts negotiated among agencies late last year, it was too late for the Streets Department to take action before the paving season ended due to colder temperatures.
The current budget impasse is the longest in state history.
When the plans for additional bicycle infrastructure were prepared in Spring 2015, the city counted on using its 2014 multimodal fund grant award. However, due to the budget impasse, the award was slow to get released and administered by the City.
There are two sources of multimodal funds: PennDOT’s multimodal fund, and the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Both sources were created via Act 89, but they are handed out differently.
Based on the recently released 2015 Progress Report on the Pedestrian/Bicycle Plan prepared by the Planning Commission, here’s the city’s bike lane mileage, which includes the 2015 paving season:
The good news: the 2014 multi-modal fund award has been released and City staff are working to prepare how to use it for bicycle facilities. We anticipate receiving a complete list of the bike lanes that will be striped/repainted from the Streets Department and Mayor’s Office of Transportation in the upcoming painting season with those recently-released funds. We will post a new blog when that list comes in.