Bicycle Coalition

Half blocks of 22nd Street and South Street are receiving flex-posts to better protect cyclists from parked cars, with more to come.

On Wednesday, a crew was seen installing plastic flex-posts on 22nd Street, for a half block, between South Street and Rodman Street. The work crew was hired by the building owner, who agreed to put in the infrastructure after community concerns, public and private meetings, and the threat (but not filing) of a lawsuit. Councilman Johnson, who represents the 2nd Councilmanic District, and the Streets Department were also involved.

As noted by Councilman Johnson’s office, constituents and community organizations raised concerns about the intersection. Among the constituents raising concerns: About 25 cyclists who showed up earlier this summer for a human-protected bike lane, after Elisabeth Zasiris had been hit by a driver, after trying to avoid a vehicle parked in the bike lane.

As many will recall, cyclists have long advocated for better infrastructure along 22nd Street, with plungers once being glued to the edge of the bike lane overnight in the summer of 2017. The Bicycle Coalition is also advocating for a complete protected 22nd Street, between South and North Philadelphia.

Anyway, after hearing about this intersection from constituents, Johnson then reached out to Wawa and Alterra (the property owner). Both Wawa and the owner were “very responsive,” according to Johnson’s office.

The short-term solutions were to get the 17th Police District to increase traffic enforcement, seek PPA approval of a loading zone, and to restripe the intersection.

The long-term solution was to get delineators installed in front of the store. Alterra agreed to purchase and install the delineators, which they did shortly after receiving formal approval from the Streets Department.

The better news is that, as noted by Johnson’s office, the installation of flex-posts on South Street is imminent.

As many will recall, the city unveiled a plan last summer to put protection along Lombard Street, 27th Street, and South Street, east of the South Street Bridge.

The South Street part of that — which will be installed off the bridge to 21st Street — is ready to be installed after the street was recently repaved and a Water Department project was completed.

As weird as this may sound, 22nd and South will soon be the first intersection in Philadelphia with protection on both cross streets, even though the protection along 22nd is nil.

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