Cyclists on Spruce Street.

Cyclists on Spruce Street.

On Tuesday, November 22, the Washington Square West Zoning Committee held a meeting to discuss, in part, the potential for protected bike lanes on Spruce and Pine Streets in Center City. About 25-30 residents showed up and expressed a desire to see a more safety improvements to the bike lanes along Pine and Spruce Streets.

The Zoning committee invited the Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator Jeannette Brugger and the newly-arrived Complete Streets Program Director of the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, Kelley Yemen, to discuss what the project to install delineator posts was about.

Brugger announced the intent of the project is to make the bike lanes safer with a physical barrier.

Though in attendance, the city intentionally had no drawing and planned only to hear the concerns of the board and residents before they move forward.

Zoning board members expressed concerns with competing uses, church parking, bad signage, lack of enforcement and bad cyclist behavior.

One concern was raised about the whether or not flex posts could be run over by ambulances, and whether or not they would be properly maintained. The concern is that these flex posts would look run-down in a historic neighborhood.

This was met with polite push back from residents. “Cars are not historic,” said one resident.

“Safety should be the first concern,” said another.

All agreed more study of competing users was needed, and both drivers and cyclists could use more education.

One woman who uses Pine and Spruce Streets regularly with her child suggested we need a crosstown street that would be bike only. The exchange was positive and there was a consensus that what the Streets Department was doing was the proper first step.

The Streets Department announced that at the December 13th Washington Square West civic meeting they would have some sample ideas to discuss and that more public outreach listening sessions would be scheduled in the first half of 2017.

The Bicycle Coalition encourages anyone interested in this process to join us at the December 13 meeting.

The Wash West Civic Association Board Meeting on December 13th at 7pm will take place at the Bluemle Life Sciences Building on Jefferson’s Campus, 233 South 10th Street, Room 105/107.

-Bob Previdi

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