On December 13, the Washington West Civic Association will be discussing the potential of turning the buffered bike lanes on Spruce and Pine Streets into protected bike lanes. This is the second such meeting in a month. The first meeting, on November 22, was meant to begin the conversation on Spruce and Pine Streets.
The meeting on December 13 will continue that conversation. Representatives from the City of Philadelphia will give a presentation on what protected bike lanes are, and how they can help create safer streets for everyone.
No protection for Spruce and Pine Streets has been planned yet, despite some rumors flying around in the area — including one we heard saying the city installing plastic bollards without community feedback was imminent.
A group has already begun fliering the area, claiming potential protected bike lanes would “have an effect on emergency vehicles getting through, including ambulances trying to reach Pennsylvania Hospital and Jefferson Hospital,” and implying the Bicycle Coalition endorses that.
We don’t know who is putting up these fliers, the above statement is objectively false.
We support safety for all road users using Spruce and Pine. Bicyclists using the bike lanes on those streets have as much of a right to not getting hurt as those in motor vehicles.
Whatever agreement is eventually reached on Spruce and Pine will of course take emergency vehicles into account. We are not aware of a single protected bike lane, anywhere in the world, that has blocked a single emergency vehicle. In fact, the Philadelphia Streets Department has already taken this into account on their protected bike lane explainer page.
The Bicycle Coalition’s goal is road safety for all, in all cases. Whatever group has put up these fliers is deliberately misleading people.
We do not understand why someone would do this.
Below I’ve attached the time/place of the Washington West Civic Meeting and the objectively false flier. Click here to RSVP to the meeting via 5th Square’s Facebook page.
Washington West Civic Meeting
Tuesday, December 13th, 7:00 PM
Bluemle Life Sciences Building (Jefferson campus)
233 S 10th St, Rm 105