PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (oTIS) has scheduled two public meetings, on April 4 and 5, to discuss a repaving and safety project on Spruce and Pine Streets from Front – 22nd Streets.

The paving project is scheduled to begin in late 2018 to address deteriorated paving and striping conditions. The project would provide an opportunity to enhance safety for people walking, biking and driving, by changing the locations of existing bike lanes on Spruce and Pine, and by repainting stop bars and crosswalks.
To improve safety for people bicycling, the planned paving project includes switching bike lanes from the right to left side of the direction of traffic. This would place bicyclists on the left curb and in better line of sight with drivers.

According to the Institute of Transportation Safety Engineers, left-side bike lanes increase safety at intersections by making people on bicycles more visible to drivers. This is especially true for truck drivers, who face larger blind spots on their right sides than on their left sides due to height and driver position. Moving the bike lanes to the left would also decrease conflicts between bicyclists and SEPTA buses. This project will not include protected bicycle lanes on Spruce or Pine Streets.

Schedule of public meetings:

  • Wednesday, April 4: For residents and business owners located on the West side of Broad Street, 6-7:30 p.m., Merck Education Center, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street. Click here to download the meeting flyer.
  • Thursday, April 5: For residents and business owners located on the East side of Broad Street, 6-7:30 p.m., Elaine C. Levitt Auditorium in Gershman Hall, University of the Arts, 401 S. Broad Street. Click here to download the meeting flyer.

Switching bicycle lanes from right to left also necessitates moving the location of parking and loading to the right-hand curb to the left-hand curb. The City is coordinating with the offices of City Councilmen Squilla and Johnson, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and the three area civic organizations to begin discussions on parking and loading configurations on a block-by-block basis.

At the public meetings, the City will share information about the planned project, gather feedback on intersection safety treatments, and present the proposed block-by-block parking and loading configurations. At each meeting, there will be sign-up sheets for residents and business owners located directly on the corridor to participate in further discussions with PPA and the City in advance of the paving project.

More information about the project can be found on this information sheet, at http://www.phillyotis.com/portfolio-item/complete-streets/ or by contacting the Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems at otis@phila.gov.

To be clear, this is a good start — but what Spruce and Pine need, in our opinion, are protected bike lanes and protected intersections. We will be sharing that view at these meetings, and hope you will, too.

Want to help the Bicycle Coalition get the word out about this meeting? Email randy@bicyclecoalition.org