Center City Residents Association President Wade Albert wrote a letter to Councilman Kenyatta Johnson in support of changes being proposed to the westernmost parts of Spruce and Pine Street bike lanes in Center City, Philadelphia. Such letters of support are vital to get the Councilperson to support changes to city bike lanes.
In their letter, CCRA supports the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems’ proposal, provided they work for several changes in the future, including neighborhood amenities like bike corrals and explore turning some meters currently installed on Spruce and Pine Streets into bike racks.
The origin of this letter comes from meetings held earlier in May 2018, when the CCRA and Washington West Civic Association held their final meetings on changes proposed for Spruce and Pine Streets, Philadelphia’s first buffered bike lanes and some of the most-biked in the city.
After a presentation from a representative at oTIS, CCRA voted in favor the changes, 16-0. Washington West Civic Association also voted in favor of the changes at their own meeting, and had agreeable things to say about making the streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
Several board members spoke up in favor of the project and we thank them for being so helpful in making last night’s vote possible. “The bike lanes aren’t going anywhere,” noted one board member. “We should make them as safe as possible.”
Among the highlights, members of these boards specifically noted that added safety benefits are needed, including better maintenance of the bike lane, enforcing No Stopping zones during rush hour.
City Council will hold hearings on these changes on June 4, from 1pm -4pm. Councilpeople Squilla and Johnson recently put forth four ordinances to change the streets to put the bike lane on the left hand side, and add protection to the intersections.
We urge all supporters of cycling in Philadelphia to find time in their day on June 4 to come to the hearing and support these changes. While they don’t go as far as we would like, we support these changes in the name of safety and, once complete, will advocate for something better.
In CCRA’s letter of support to Councilman Johnson, Albert notes their support is based on the city and PPA figuring out a final plan for parking, loading, and “the installation of bollards, flexible delineator posts” on the street.
As many will recall, two terrible crashes took place on Spruce Street this past winter. 24-year-old Emily Fredricks was killed by the driver of a private trash truck, and cyclist Rebecca Redford was badly injured a crash less than a month later. Both were riding in the bike lane.
Click here to RSVP to the hearing on June 4, and read Wade Albert’s letter below.
More needs to be done, but these improvements will work towards keeping more cyclist safe. I hope that more resident associations will involve themselves, and take cycling, and cyclist safety and their respective neighborhoods more seriously.