Trolley Tracks Buried as South 12th Street Repaved

12th Street being repaved. (Image via Reddit)

12th Street being repaved. (Image via Reddit)

Good news, everyone: Twelfth Street has been repaved. And the unused trolley tracks have been buried.

The project to repave 12th Street had been ongoing throughout the fall, and is in part a safety improvement project. The unused trolley tracks along 12th Street have been a hazard to bicyclists, many of whom have reported getting their tires caught in the tracks, before flipping over their handlebars and getting injured.

In December 2013, such an incident happened to Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia staff member Katie Monroe at 11th and Reed Streets. She broke her jaw in three places.

We started meeting with SEPTA and the Streets Department in February 2014 to find a way to avoid these needless incidents going forward, with a particular concern on intersections where bike share stations were going to be (and are now) located.

12th Street before paving. (Image via Google Streetview)

12th Street before paving. (Image via Google Streetview)

We also met with the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers, who concurred that the inactive tracks and their degraded condition posed a hazard to bicyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles — and should be remedied.

The tracks, once used by the inactive Route 23 trolley, extend from South Philly to Chestnut Hill.  On many streets where the 23 trolley used to roam, tracks have been buried by asphalt at the intersections.

This morning, the Streets Department confirmed that 12th Street had been completely repaved, from South Street to Snyder Avenue, with all track completely encapsulated. Commissioner David Perri also confirmed that striping of the street will be complete by Thanksgiving.

Topics: Biking in Philly, Featured

5 comments on “Trolley Tracks Buried as South 12th Street Repaved

  1. Michael Oswald

    Shouldn’t South 12th Street between Snyder & Market Street be repaved as well? I have had some incidents running into the tracks near S 12th & Spruce St intersections forcing myself to avoid it into the incoming cars which is very dangerous.

  2. Nate

    Why don’t they just remove the tracks instead of burying them?

    • Sandy Smith

      Should it ever come to pass that streetcars resume operations on these streets – admittedly highly unlikely – it will be easier and cheaper to lay new rail atop the existing ties, or restore buried rails to usable condition. Not to mention that removing the rail bed and ties completely adds both time and cost to the repaving job.

Comments are closed.

Search the Blog

Browse the Archives

Stay Connected:

Get our blog
sent to your inbox