Red Light Camera Revenues Paying for Philly Bike Lane Improvements

by | May 23, 2014 | Biking in Philly, Featured, Uncategorized | 2 comments

6th and Market Green Bike Lane

The bike lane at 6th & Market has been painted green, replacing old faded blue paint (you can see it in lower-left corner).

You may have seen some new green paint in Philadelphia bike lanes. You can thank red light cameras for some of that paint. The City of Philadelphia is using Automated Red Light Enforcement funds (ARLE) to stripe new bike lanes and improve existing bike lanes at intersections.

Known as the Bicycle Encourage and Enhancement Project, the bulk of the money will pay for installing green paint at 34 conflict zones where bike lanes cross over right-turn lanes. The first one going in is at 6th and Market. Fifteen years ago, Philadelphia painted these conflict zones blue, which at the time was an innovative treatment. The anti-skid green paint is more durable than the now-faded (or entirely gone) blue paint of yore.

Some other highlights of this project include:

  1. Spring Garden Street West Gateway: new and improved bike lane markings and bike boxes connecting Spring Garden St to Eakins Oval. (This project is being funded by the William Penn Foundation and was coordinated by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.)
  2. Columbus Blvd: new bike lane lines between Race St and Spring Garden, replacing the City’s first shared-lane markings (installed before the adoption of the modern sharrow).
  3. Torresdale Avenue: refreshing bike lanes along Torresdale from Linden Ave in the far Northeast to O Street adjacent to the Erie-Torresdale Station.

The red light camera program is expanding, due to their proven safety record, plus the safety improvements that the red light tickets are funding. In January, Abington Township installed the first red light cameras outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will be activating cameras in the summer.

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  1. Linux Guy

    I seem to recall the Philly Inquirer reporting crashes went up, after red-light cams went in? Did you check that out, before writing this?

    • John Boyle

      Crashes went up on Roosevelt Blvd, but fatalities went down dramatically in that time period (124 to 43). But more to the point, the article offers no specific data from the intersections with cameras and how they compare with non-camera intersections on the highway.


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