For the time being, 22nd Street will have no lane markings. At-Large Councilman Bill Greenlee has rejected two different pavement marking plans prepared by the Streets Department that would have made 22nd Street safer for all users, including motorists.
As we reported a month ago, when the Streets Department “milled” 22nd Street earlier this summer, it planned to install a new bike lane on 22nd Street between Spring Garden Street and Fairmount Avenue to help calm traffic and extend the existing bike lane northward to help complete a bicycle connection. When he learned of the Streets Department’s plans (despite hearing from some of his constituents that they supported a bike lane), the Councilman objected. Consequently, the street was resurfaced and crosswalks painted as a temporary measure.
Earlier this month, the Streets Department prepared a second pavement marking plan; one that would have channelized the motor vehicle traffic into a single wide travel lane and did not include a bike lane. Councilman Greenlee rejected this second plan as well.
The Streets Department informed us that for the time being, they will only add parking “edge” lines to the four blocks, but do nothing else to the street due to Councilman’s objections.
What was on the table?
What would these two plans have looked like? The street varies in width across the five blocks, so it would not be uniform. We created a rendering of how the Streets Department’s first proposed plan (Plan 1) would have added in a bike lane and how the second proposed plan (Plan 2) would have channelized traffic into one lane.
Why object to a bike lane or traffic calming?
By all accounts, Councilman Bill Greenlee objects to any striping of the roadway because he says he is concerned that one travel lane is not enough to handle the volume of cars and buses that use 22nd Street. Additionally, he says several residents have expressed to him their opposition to a bike lane or one wide travel lane.
We know that there exists neighborhood support for the bike lane, as several (presumably different) neighbors have expressed their support to Councilman Greenlee and Council President Darrell Clarke, then informing us that they did so.
Our requests for a meeting with Councilman Greenlee and a public meeting for him to hear from all near neighbors were both refused.
Council Should Let the Streets Department Do Its Job
Streets Department engineers determined that 22nd Street would be safer if it was striped as one lane. Councilman Greenlee believes he knows better. We can reduce motor vehicle crashes, injuries and deaths in Philadelphia through safety improvements on streets like 22nd Street. But, we can’t make progress if Streets Department traffic engineers keep running into City Council opposition.
Tell Councilman Greenlee to stop opposing safety improvements for all road users by signing our petition.