Protected Bike Lanes at Risk Due to State Law

by | June 26, 2019 | Biking in Philly, Biking the Suburbs, Connecting Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Network | 0 comments

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This is what the Chesnut Street Bridge will look like post-construction if HB 792/SB 565 is not passed

The confluence of the paving season kicking into high gear and the rapidly approaching Pennsylvania General Assembly’s “summer break” (the day the state’s FY20 budget is passed, the House & Senate go out of session until September) is putting at risk a number of planned parking protected bike lanes that the City of Philadelphia wants to get installed.

PennDOT is prevented from installing parking protected bike lanes until the state’s vehicle code is amended by HB792 or SB565.

HB792 passed the House on Wednesday by an overwhelming vote of 200-1. The legislation now moves to the Senate, but it will be extremely difficult to pass before Summer Recess, as the Senate is not scheduled to meet after June 28th (Friday).

Therefore, for a number of Philadelphia roads that PennDOT is planning to repave or finalizing design in the coming months, it is entirely possible that parking protected bike lanes on the following roadways will not be installed, will be installed by PennDOT after the legislation is passed, or will have to be installed by the City using its own resources:

  • 5th Street

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  • 6th Street

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  • Lindberg Boulevard

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  • Parkside Avenue

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  • Chestnut Street Bridge

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Amending the state’s vehicle code as soon as possible, therefore, is important.

That’s why we have been pushing for Senator Farnese’s bill (SB565) or Representative Maloney’s bill (HB792) to be passed in both chambers and sent to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.

Now that the House bill has been passed, this may be the simplest way of getting this legislation turned into law, but, as of the time of this writing. a Senate Transportation Committee meeting has not been scheduled before the Legislature’s summer recess, and if the state budget is passed by the end of the week, the next session won’t happen until September.

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