There were three meetings throughout Center City, Philadelphia, on Tuesday, regarding bike infrastructure.
All the meetings went objectively well, and will help move Philadelphia in the direction of a better, safer, connected network throughout Center City.
Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Charlotte Castle, Chris Pulchalsky and Gus Scheerbaum from OTIS and the Streets Department presented to Logan Square Neighborhood Association’s monthly meeting about the results of the JFK/Market Street bike lane pilot project.
They reported the following project’s initial findings:
- Vehicular speeds on JFK and Market have been reduced by 35 percent while maintaining constant vehicular traffic and travel time for cars and buses.
- Center City District’s poll of 600 workers and residents found that 74 percent said that crossing the streets feel safer or just as safe and 76 percent support a permanent change to the streets.
Enabling legislation to make the lanes permanent to be introduced by Council President Darrell Clarke, is still needed.
If this legislation passes, oTIS and Streets intends to design the next version of the bike lanes in Spring 2019 and install it in Fall 2019.
Penn Center and Kennedy House do support a permanent change, although they do not want the lane on the 1900 block of JFK Boulevard to be protected.
The LSNA Board voted unanimously in favor of submitting a letter of non-opposition to Council President Darrell Clarke for making the bike lanes permanent.
Washington Square West Civic Association
The Washington West Civic Association held a meeting to hear more about planned-protected infrastructure along 10th and 13th Streets in Center City. Members of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability presented on the idea for protected bike lanes through Washington West, which would connect to protected blocks through Midtown Village, Chinatown, and other neighborhoods.
As cyclists know all too well, the bike lanes on 13th and 10th Streets in Center City are regularly blocked by motor vehicles, especially Julius Silvert food delivery trucks, the drivers of which seem to have an open contempt for the cyclists whose lives they endanger.
But Philadelphia’s Bicycling and Pedestrian Coordinator, Jeannette Brugger, set the tone for the meeting early on when she noted such loading practices would not stand. “There is a lot of active loading in the bike lane,” she noted at the meeting’s onset. “That’s not going to work when there is a protected bike lane.”
No vote yet at Washington West meeting about protected bike lanes on 10th and 13th. Very positive response from those at meeting. pic.twitter.com/9B37aWnOLn
— Bike Coalition Phila (@bcgp) January 9, 2019
About 50 people attended the meeting, the vast majority of whom supported protected bike lanes through the neighborhood. OTIS asked meeting attendees to vote using stickers. And the sticker count was overwhelmingly positive.
A vote was not held, but OTIS has requested a letter of support from the neighborhood civic association.
Center City Residents Association
In a meeting regarding the parking-protected bike lanes on JFK and Market Streets, Center City Residents Association’s board voted unanimously in favor of making the protected bike lane pilot project permanent.
“There were a few concerns about snow removal, but otherwise, the response has been very positive,” Margaret Mund, CCRA’s Board President, told the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia after the meeting. “We supported the pilot and think it’s going well.”