Councilman Mark Squilla introduced an ordinance to City Council on Thursday that would create a new protected bike lane to a small stretch of Race Street, giving cyclists easier access to the Ben Franklin Bridge and pedestrians better access to Franklin Square.
The new lane will be along the eastbound stretch of Race Street that is currently four lanes, and often becomes more of a speedway than a city street, between 8th Street and 5th Street.
The ordinance eliminates a lane of traffic between 8th and 6th Streets to make way for a new parking-protected bike lane, and becomes a standard bike lane between 6th and 5th Streets.
This small stretch of protected bike lane was conceived in a Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Report and was specifically agreed to by Councilman Squilla during one of the Bicycle Coalition’s “Bike Lane Toolkit” meetings in mid-2016, in which the Coalition and about a dozen constituents from the First District met with their Councilman to discuss bike projects in his district.
The new lane will both calm traffic on this particularly nutty stretch of Race Street and allow cyclists who commute from New Jersey easier access to the Ben Franklin Bridge’s walkway.
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