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Confused About Biking On N. Sixth Street? You’re Not Alone [Updated]

N. 6th Street looking South. Image via Shannon Wink

Cyclists using Sixth Street for commuting over the last couple weeks may have noticed new striping between Spring Garden and Chestnut Street. The re-striping, depending on the block, has been changed to a curb-side standard buffered bike lane, a parking-protected bike lane, and, between Market and Chestnut, a standard buffered bike lane outside a parking lane.

While the lines have been (mostly) striped, the project is not complete, leading to confusion among many of the city’s cyclists.

On Friday morning, I ran into a person riding a bike in the bike lane at Callowhill, we got to talking, they assumed the lane was finished, as is, and deemed it a failure. I’ve received similar emails and social media messages. After all, the striping is recognizable to people who ride bicycles as being a parking-protected lane. Everyone else, over the last couple weeks, seemed to be walking around and parking their cars with a gigantic question mark hovering above their heads.

Which isn’t unreasonable. There’s been no communication along the corridor or via a press release from the City telling people what this is, how to use it, or when it will be complete (though businesses along the corridor have received this flier).

Some kind of physical delination or protection is going to go in between the parked car lane and the bike lane. Delineation will also be going in the rest of the street, according to Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability plans presented earlier this year at a public meeting at Yards Brewery. Here’s the plan for the project, when it’s complete.

As to when that happens, we don’t know for sure but believe it will be within the next month.

In the meantime, if you’re riding on Sixth Street, it’s best to treat that section, between Spring Garden Street and Callowhill, like any other without a bike lane.

Update: Businesses and civic associations received fliers on Friday, and signs have been put up telling people to park their cars as if this is a parking-protected bike lane.

Update Monday 8/12:

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Topics: Biking in Philly, Featured, Vision Zero

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