Back in 2012, the Bicycle Coalition put out the concept proposal of a connected high quality bikeway network called “Safe Streets, Healthy Neighborhoods”, which included the idea of high quality protected bike lanes on Market, Walnut and Chestnut Streets from the City Hall to Cobbs Creek Parkway.
In 2017, after several years of advocacy, community engagement and a state grant, the City installed a parking protected bike lane on Chestnut Street between 45th and 33rd Streets. It was limited to those blocks by then District Council member Jannie Blackwell, who did not want the bike lane west of 45th Street.
What a difference elections make! When Council member Jamie Gauthier was elected in 2019, oTIS began to conduct outreach to solicit feedback on extending the Chestnut Street bike lane from 45th Street to 63rd Street. Looks like it’s finally moving forward! A Streets & Services City Council hearing is set for Tuesday, March 1st at 2pm to consider two bill that authorizes the Chestnut Street bike lane (Bill #21097), plus a bike lane on Market between 30th and 34th Streets (Bill #221045). We will be testifying at that hearing. As Chestnut Street is on the high injury network, this is great news that it will be upgraded with a high quality bike lane to act as a traffic calming device. And that the lane will go towards making up 40 miles of high quality bike network committed to by Mayor Kenney.
Speakers interested in giving testimony on any of these legislative matters must call 215-686-3446, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by 3 p.m. the day before the hearing and submit the following information:
• Full name • Callback telephone number where you can be reached • Identify the bill number or numbers that will be addressed
The Chestnut Street bike lane is part of a pilot agreement between the City and PennDOT to test out parking protected bike lanes. The state’s vehicle code still needs to be amended to make these types of bike lanes possible on all state roads, which is why we are advocating for passage of HB140.