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lehigh-viaduct-philadelphia-city-planning-commission.1.0.1338.641.752.361.cAs PlanPhilly reported this morning, the Philadelphia Planning Commission recently released its draft plan for the River Wards, and, in addition to projects like new signage, commercial investment and new park spaces, the report calls for a protected bike lane along Lehigh Avenue, from Richmond Street to Kensington Avenue.

The 1.1-mile proposed lane would be a vast improvement over the current 5-foot lanes on Lehigh Avenue, which currently run from Ridge Avenue to Richmond Street. The protected bike lanes will make that stretch of Lehigh Avenue a safer, more welcoming spot for cyclists—especially those traveling from the El Train to the eventual trolley stop on Richmond Street.

Click the map for a larger version.

Click the map for a larger version.

Protected bike lanes make all road users safer, and encourage more cycling. Better bike facilities are good for communities and good for the economy—which is a noted intention of the Planning Commission. Among the “Priority Recommendations” for this plan are strengthening Aramingo Avenue as a competitive regional shopping center, and preserving industrial zoning in areas with active industrial users and transportation access. So bike lanes are a no-brainer.

If you want to give the document a read, click here (and don’t be alarmed by the long download time; it’s 100-plus pages.)

City planner Ashley Richards is still taking comments or recommendations for the plan. If you are interested in getting some protected bike lanes on Lehigh Avenue, send her an email at Ashley.Richards@phila.gov before August 7.

Randy LoBasso

Author

Randy LoBasso is the policy manager at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.