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Spruce and Pine Work to Begin—Join ‘Pop Up’ Meeting Thursday

A project to update Spruce and Pine Streets will finally begin this week, the Streets Department has announced, and members of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability will be at Broad and Spruce Streets on Thursday, from 5pm-7pm, to answer any questions you may have.

The new engineering concept for Spruce and Pine Streets includes moving the bike lane from the right side of the streets to the left, adding protection to the intersections, and green paint, as shown in the above diagram.

These improvements are, of course, well received, but the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia believes more work needs to be done on these streets to make them safe for anyone who wants to ride a bicycle and turn this re-engineering into a Vision Zero project.

Spruce and Pine Streets are among the most-biked in the City of Philadelphia, and were the first buffered bike lanes to be installed in Center City, river to river.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of maintenance and a culture of illegal parking in those lanes, the streets have deteriorated and the bike lanes have become virtually unrecognizable over the past decade. Repaving, re-striping, and re-engineering the street will hopefully provide a fix to these issues.

This project is a long time coming. There was a public outcry after the death of Philadelphia pastry chef Emily Fredricks in November 2017, which led, in part, to the plan for improvements.

But this plan does not address the number of vehicles parked in the Spruce and Pine bike lanes, which put cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists’ lives at risk.

While the Philadelphia Parking Authority has increased ticketing on Spruce and Pine Streets over the last five years, the issue persists, and Spruce and Pine Streets are still the most-violated streets for vehicles parked in the bike lanes, according to PPA data.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and volunteers conducted ‘car counts’ on Spruce and Pine Streets in 2018 and found that, on average, there were two cars parked in each block of the bike lane during rush hour. Fully protecting the lanes would help solve this problem in the long-term.

The work will be ongoing throughout the summer and the ‘pop up’ meeting will take place at Broad and Spruce Streets on Thursday, from 5pm-7pm.

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Topics: Biking in Philly, Featured

5 comments on “Spruce and Pine Work to Begin—Join ‘Pop Up’ Meeting Thursday

  1. ira josephs Reply

    Just rode Spruce and Pine yesterday and I advise everyone to stay off of them. The road surfaces are a mess and dangerous to cyclists (and there bikes). South St is already a better alternative for the western end where the new protected bike lanes are, and Lombard is better (and has been better) for travelling west.

  2. VICTOR PSORAS Reply

    NON BICYCLES HAVE RIGHTS TOO… AND YOU HAVE SLOWED TRAFFIC IN THE CITY TO MAKE IT HARDER TO GET AROUND WHICH IS BAD FOR THE ECONOMIC HEALTH OF THE CITY IN THE LONG RUN BUT IT DOES HELP THE REST OF US TO SEE THEM AS THEY MUST AT LEAST MAKE TOKEN EFFORTS TO FOLLOW THE RULES. THERE ARE LONG STANDING COMMITMENTS TO LOADING ZONES ECT. THIS IS A BAD IDEA BUT YOUR ACTIONS ARE SET. IT WILL NOT CHANGE THE ISSUE THAT BICYCLISTS ARE A VERY, VERY SMALL SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION AND ARE TAKING RISKS JUST BEING ON A BICYCLE WITH TRUCKS AND CARS MOVING THROUGH AND OUR BUSINESSES DEPENDS ON ACCESS AS WELL. THEIR BICYCLES ARE NON- ESSENTIAL. THESE PEOPLE ARE BEING GIVEN MORE RIGHTS THAN OTHER PRACTICAL CONCERNS WOULD WARRANT. THEY MUST DRIVE DEFENSIVELY IN ANY EVENT AND SUNDAY, FUNERALS AND WEDDINGS MUST BE ALLOWED TO PARK WHERE THE CUSTOM HAS PERMITTED IT IN THE PAST. WE HAVE BEEN HERE FOR 180 YEARS.

    • GG Reply

      Bicycles have been invented and diffused worldwide 200 years ago, they have been here since just before you apparently

  3. George A Reply

    Thanks Ira for the recommended alternative routes. I just moved into Philly and have been using Pine/Spruce to get back and forth to the office and although I’m glad to hear that the roads are getting repaved (they desperately need it) I would have had no idea where to go otherwise.

    Victor – I know I’m not going to change your mind, but one of the challenges that cyclists have is that a number of the bike lanes in Philadelphia and other cities are downright dangerous and we have to get outside of the lane to avoid things. A well thought out traffic plan can make things better for everyone as it can both reduce congestion and help keep cyclists out of the ways of cars (trust me – for the most part we don’t want to get in your way any more than you want us in your way)

  4. Scott Brody Reply

    Parking in bike lanes and broken plastic posts are what will happen if we engineer this bikeway using this antiquated design. Time to move the bikeway to sidewalk level, which allows people to safely cross out of road and onto sidewalk if a car enters the bike lane. This design is used in Europe where bike accident rate is much lower than US, and it is going to be included in the new AASHTO American design guide for bikeways.

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