Bicycle Coalition

American Street, before the transformation

All these years later, two Philly neighborhoods will get protected bike lanes. On Thursday, Council passed two bicycle-related bills—one for a parking protected bike lane on West Chestnut Street between 45th and 34th Streets; and one for a raised center-lane protected bike lane on American Street, from Lehigh Avenue to Jefferson Street.

Bicycle Coalition

American Street protected bike lane design

Both lanes come after long (very long) debates and negotiations between several parties, including the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, OTIS, businesses local to the areas, the Council people representing the areas, and others. Thanks to Councilpeople Maria Quinones Sanchez and Jannie Blackwell for introducing the ordinances that led to the passage of these bike lanes.

Bicycle Coalition

Chestnut Street protected bike lane

We’re happy to see the ordinances for these paths, which will improve safety in the areas, and help people on bicycles get to where they’re trying to go with less stress. In the case of Chestnut Street, after six years of advocacy, we are still working with neighborhood residents and stakeholders to eventually get the lane extended to Cobb’s Creek. We will have more information about how you can get involved in that process in the fall.

Read more about the advocacy for the Chestnut Street protected bike lane here.

And read about the advocacy for American Street here.

Unfortunately, the bike lane on West Chestnut Street will not be connected into Center City until a PennDOT project takes place. PennDOT currently does not build parking-protected bike lanes on their own projects because of a state law which we are advocating to change in the state Capitol.

These are the sort of bike lane projects that should be commonplace in Philadelphia. It makes little sense that the privilege of some neighborhood residents who either want to park in the bike lane, or simply don’t like the way they’ve seen some people ride bicycles on streets in the past, should have priority over the safety of thousands of residents who use a bicycle to get to work, school, or wherever they want to go.

Also passed on Thursday was an ordinance that will create a bike lane on 15th Street for one block between Carpenter Street and Washington Avenue. This lane will be part of the 15th Street Neighborhood Bikeway.

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