After several years of anticipation, the City of Philadelphia has begun installing green-backed so-called “Super Sharrows” on 13th and 15th Streets through Center City and South Philadelphia.
As we’ve noted over the years, these sharrows are the result of several years of community meetings, surveys, and grant proposals that largely went on in 2012. We had originally pushed for this project (and others) to be done by the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Though that did not happen, it’s good to see this project has finally begun.
As the Bicycle Coalition noted in 2014 of the project:
South Philadelphia has some of the highest rates of bicycling in Philadelphia. There is an immediate need for better facilities to accommodate all that bicycling because currently, bicyclists in South Philly share narrow roads through intersections with poor sight lines. Although the City’s pedestrian/bicycle plan proposed “bicycle friendly streets” on either side of Broad Street between South and Oregon, that plan did not suggest in detail what a such a street would look like.
With professional design work donated by the Community Design Collaborative (CDC), we held a series of community meetings in 2011 and 2012. We asked residents what kinds of bicycle, pedestrian, and transit improvements they wished to see made to their South Philadelphia streets…
Long term, we need north/south bike lanes through South Philadelphia. We need to create streets where bicyclists of all abilities feel safe taking the lane, where the culture does not encourage or tolerate drivers intimidating bicyclists onto the shoulder or the sidewalk. Getting there involves sincere neighborhood engagement, City Council backing, and more funding for the Streets Department.
The city issued several online surveys asking about street treatments and what results cyclists, drivers and pedestrians are looking for in South Philadelphia, and the results, we believe, will help determine what else needs to be done on these streets.