The Streets Department began restriping the bike lane along 22nd Street on Monday morning, which is long overdue maintenance, and needs to happen to the entire lane (at least between Passyunk and Race Street), and should be reinforced by physical protection along the lane, too.
But for now, it’s worth noting that the numerous demands bicyclists around Philadelphia made have begun being met.
As more and more Wawa customers and delivery trucks obstructed the bike lane over the past six weeks, cyclists amped up their activism, holding a human-protected bike lane demonstration, signing the Bicycle Coalition’s petition that made three demands for the area, and meeting with Wawa and Councilman Johnson’s office, to make changes that will protect cyclists riding from South Philadelphia into Center City, and beyond.
Councilman Johnson’s office confirmed with the Bicycle Coalition they worked with Streets Department to arrange for Wawa and their landlord, Alterra, to restripe the bike lane and crosswalks. We thank the Councilman and all parties involved for taking swift action against this constant issue.
That said, restriping the lane is not enough. And even Wawa’s policy of no longer parking their delivery trucks in the bike lane – which, anecdotally at least, has been followed for the last two weeks – is not enough.
As we know from experience, paint does not force motorists to follow the rules of the road. Physical protection of the 22nd Street bike lane, which we first proposed and studied here, is what’s required to keep the lane clear. I mean, the paint was barely dry before a United States Postal Service truck parked itself in the 22nd Street bike lane.
Additionally, the 7-11 at Lombard (on the same block as the Wawa) has also been a huge problem for cyclists along 22nd Street, and today’s striping does not even make it to the 7-11.
Only half of one block was striped.
Here are the demands made in our petition:
1) Wawa should protect the lane with plastic bollards, signage, and direct customers out of the bike lane and into a legal parking spot.
2) The City of Philadelphia should create a Loading Zone on the west side of the street, so patrons have a place to park, and delivery trucks have a legal space to unload.
3) The Philadelphia Parking Authority needs to better enforce this corridor. A mere 34 tickets were handed out during the first five months of 2018 for motor vehicles parked in the bike lane at 22nd and South Streets — only two of which were given out in May. The PPA should up its enforcement at this intersection, deterring Wawa’s delivery truck drivers, and customers, from parking in front of the convenience store and endangering the lives of people on bicycles who use this street.
All of these issues need to be addressed, as soon as possible.
As far as what comes next, and when, we are still working on that. We’ll keep our supporters updated about this, and other problem areas, and let you know what you can do to help these efforts going forward.