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A faded bike lane on Washington Avenue. (Photo: PlanPhilly)

A faded bike lane on Washington Avenue. (Photo: PlanPhilly)

The Streets Department will be working this week to re-establish the edge line as an interim improvement on Washington Avenue. Edge line striping is a safety measure that will clearly define the vehicular travel lanes in the areas where they are most faded. The line will be at, or just under, five-feet between parked cars and the outside travel lane. It will be, in effect, a very wide shoulder with permitted parking.

Studies have shown that the inside stripe (of a shoulder or designated bike lane) results in more predictable behavior and comfort for both motorists and bicyclists.

Screenshot 2015-11-17 14.44.27

According to an email from the Washington Avenue Safety Project Team, “This interim safety improvement does not reduce the number of vehicular travel lanes. Beyond what you will see on the street, this winter, (the City) will continue to evaluate loading demands to better inform next steps. Before the next construction season, we will reach out to the public to discuss options for further safety improvements along Washington Avenue…”

New edge lines will not be an end all for Washington Avenue. We are optimistic that this is a first step towards better bike lanes and a safer complete street for all who travel on the corridor.

John Boyle


John has been a commuting cyclist for more than 20 years. In 1994 he began working as a volunteer for the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley after attending a volunteer night, and later served as a board member in 1997-98. In 1999 John left Philadelphia for Charlottesville, VA, where he helped establish the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT), a bicycle and walking advocacy group.

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