MAP: 30 Miles of Protected Bike Lanes

Ryan Avenue protected bike lane.

Thanks to the Bicycle Coalition’s advocacy, Philadelphia has begun adding protected bike lanes to its network of bicycle infrastructure.

A protected bike lane was added to Ryan Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia in the summer of 2016. And in 2017, two ordinances were presented to City Council — one for Chestnut Street, and one for American Street — which will put new protected bike lanes on those streets where there was no infrastructure whatsoever.

Additionally, the Philadelphia Streets Department has been planning new protected bike lanes around the city, the information about which is available toward the bottom of this page. More information on those plans will be made available as the infrastructure gets implemented, or when meetings to discuss those projects are scheduled.

The Bicycle Coalition has been pushing for protected bike lanes for several years, and released the below map before the 2015 mayoral election. Keep scrolling to learn more about protected bike lanes.

What is a protected bike lane?

A protected bike lane are “like sidewalks for bikes,” according to People For Bikes. “Because they use planters, curbs, parked cars or posts to separate bike and auto traffic on busy streets, protected lanes are essential to building a full network of bike-friendly routes.” The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has been advocating for protected bike lanes in the city for a long time. Protected lanes make cyclists feel safer than standard on-street lanes, which makes for more cyclists, and a safer, healthier city.

Check out this video via People For Bikes, Protected Bike Lanes 101.

What is used to physically separate bike lanes?

Lots of stuff! Check out this infographic, via People For Bikes’ Green Lane Project:

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Protected Bike Lanes in Philadelphia

Not long after the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia proposed 30 miles of new protected bike lanes under the new Kenney Administration (a promise made by Kenney in a campaign document), the city received word that funding has been approved to begin that process.

As part of the $7.6 million in Transportation Alternatives Program project money recently awarded to the region by the DVRPC, Philadelphia will receive $300,000 for “on-road improvements,” according to the DVRPC’s press release, “including flexible delineator posts, signage, and pavement markings, for cyclists at designated locations throughout the City of Philadelphia.” This is being coupled with an expected $200,000 from PennDOT for improvements.

The Bicycle Coalition believes this is the beginning of a series of high-quality on-street, protected bike lanes, which will make the roads safer for all road users in Philadelphia.

There were 15 projects applied for by the City in the original TAP program, as shown in the map below.

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And PlanPhilly has a nice breakdown of what many of them mean for Philly cyclists.

From the PlanPhilly article:

No. 8. N. 33rd Street Protected Bicycle Lanes: This conventional bike lane will be upgraded to protected.

No. 9. Spruce/Pine Street Protected Bike Lanes: Adds delineator posts to existing buffered bike lane running between 22nd and Front Streets.

No. 10. Walnut Street Protected Bike Lane: Adds delineator posts to existing, left-side bike lane from 23rd Street to 63rd Street. The city piloted protected bike lanes on the Walnut Street Bridge.

No. 11. 30th Street Protected Contraflow Bicycle Lane: The existing bike lane between Walnut and Market Streets will get delineator posts. Between Chestnut and Market, the bike lane is a contraflow lane— 30th Street automobile traffic flows south, but bicycle traffic goes north.  As the Bicycle Coalition has noted, drivers frequently mistake contraflow bike lanes as a parking lane. The posts will help prevent that confusion.

No. 13. South/Lombard Streets Protected Bicycle Lanes: Lombard Street has a bike lane from 22nd Street until it curves at the base of the South Street Bridge. South Street has a bike lane from the bridge until 22nd. Both of these will be upgraded with delineator posts.

No. 14. Lindbergh Boulevard Protected Bicycle Lanes: New protected bike lanes will be painted along this connector street linking the John Heniz National Wildlife Refuge to Bartram’s Garden.

No. 15. Passyunk/Oregon Avenue Protected Bike Lanes: The West Passyunk Avenue’s bike lane currently disappears when the road spans the Schuylkill. Protected bike lanes will be added to the bridge. In a related but separate project, PennDOT will resurface the bridge’s grates, which can be particularly slippery and dangerous for bikes and motorcycles. Oregon Avenue’s existing bike lane between Passyunk Avenue and 22nd Street will also be upgraded to protected.

Of course, there are other projects not included on here, and it’s important misinformation on these projects is not spread. For an explainer on some misinformation about the proposed 10th and 13th Street protected bike lanes, see our post here.

In mid-April, 2016, the Streets Department published this FAQ regarding the TAP award and the protected bike lanes that it intends to install over the next several years.