Editor’s Note: There are several bills in the State Legislature the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia will be advocating for when legislative sessions begin again in the fall. We will be updating this blog routinely with information on the bills. We will let you know how you can help get these bills passed.
Protected bike lanes are one of the most important engineering aspects for making streets safer for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motor vehicle users. As we’ve written here previously, because they shorten crossing distances, control turning conflicts and reduce traffic weaving, protected bike lanes make streets safer for everyone.
And the fact that they create physical separation between bicyclists and motor vehicle users, they create more bicyclists, too, which is good for everyone.
But the state of Pennsylvania is handicapping itself when it comes to protected bike lanes.
Because of a little-known rule about how close parked cars have to be to curbs, PennDOT does not install parking lanes away from curbs, which are required for parking-protected bike lanes like those on Chestnut Street and Ryan Avenue.
That’s why we’re advocating for Pennsylvania Senate Bill 788 and its House counterpart, HB 1657.
The Senate Bill, introduced by State Senator Larry Farnese (D-Phl), would amend Title 75 by allowing motor vehicle parking lanes to be outside a bike lane on state roads and projects.
It’s important this legislation get done soon. While the Kenney Administration made a pledge for 30 miles of protected bike lanes, there are many PennDOT-controlled streets throughout the city that need them.