As we noted in March, several protected bike lane projects have been moving forward in Philadelphia, including on some of the most-ridden streets in the city. After a City Council Streets and Services Committee meeting last week, the following streets are primed to be updated. Philadelphia Magazine has a good summary of what’s been primed for new bike lanes, but we’ve provided some additional information and context here, including which of these streets will need the approval of Pennsylvania State Legislation to be completed. I co-wrote an op/ed for the Inquirer on Sunday, noting the importance of that legislation. Read it here.
A protected bike lane was proposed on the left side of the street between Spring Garden Street and Race Street and was presented at a public meting at Yards Brewery on January 29, 2019. The meeting was met with a mostly positive reception. Since then, multiple bills have been introduced regulating parking and to allow for a protected bike lane along Second Street.
Councilman Mark Squilla introduced legislation that would allow a vehicle lane to be taken for a bike lane between Wood and Race Streets. That legislation passed in Council Committee last week.
A protected bike lane has been proposed on 5th Street, between Market and Spring Garden Streets. This would create a high-quality route for cyclists traveling out of Center City. This plan was presented at the same public meeting where we heard about 2nd Street. We have not heard information about any community opposition to the 5th Street protected bike lane project and are attempting to pinpoint when it could be installed. Legislation allowing for parking-protected bike lanes on state streets may need to be passed by the state Legislature before this project can be completed.
A protected bike lane has been proposed on 6th Street to accompany the 5th Street protected bike lane, which would bring cyclists into Center City. The lane would go between Spring Garden and Market Street. We have not heard any community opposition to this plan. Like 5th Street, state legislation may be needed for this project to move forward.
10th and 13th Streets
In January, meetings were held with three civic associations to propose a protected bike lane along 10th Street, between Spring Garden and Lombard Street, save Chinatown. We have not heard any opposition to this project since the January meeting and several pieces of legislation clearing the way for these projects to proceed. These are amongst the most important, and bike-trafficked streets in the entire city. Read more about 10th and 13th Streets here.
Spanning from Bainbridge to Reed Streets, OTIS’ project calls for a two-way protected cycletrack on this already well-used corridor. Despite a bizarre interruption by a local business owner at the spring community meeting about this project, there has been little opposition and significant excitement from cyclists in South Philadelphia—which is the fourth-most biked neighborhood in the country, according to the U.S. Census. Legislation was recently passed that details truck parking along the corridor, and out of the protected bike lane.
A new solution was recently proposed for 22nd Street, including re-paving/re-striping the lane between Snyder and South Streets in South Philadelphia, then a protected bike lane between South and Market, then a standard bike lane to connect to the already-protected bike lane between the Parkway and Spring Garden Street. This project does not need legislation, since parking will not be removed.
A small section of Germantown Avenue, between Master Street and Second Street, is up for protection as well, as part of a project between OTIS, the Water Department and the Streets Department. The project will include flood relief, a new signal at Germantown and Girard, and a concrete island at Thompson Street to make crossing safer for pedestrians. This project will also create a connection south past Girard Avenue when the American Street project is complete.
The American Street project, to create a protected bike lane is currently in-process and ongoing. When done, it will span from Indiana Street to Master Street, with connections to 2nd Street. This will likely be completed in 2020.
South Street/27th Street
Protected bike lanes on South Street and 27th Street, leading off and onto the South Street Bridge, respectively, have been installed. A bill making the bike lanes “No Stopping” zones, so the PPA and PPD can better enforce people who park in the bike lane, was recently passed. This is good, as it will allow for easier ticketing of drivers infringing on cyclists’ right of way.
The Chestnut Street Bridge will be closed for construction, and in the meantime, the City is planning a protected detour for cyclists. The Chestnut Street protected bike lane will be extended to 30th Street, then a detour will begin, for cyclists, down 30th Street, to Market Street. The Market Street bike lane will then extend to 23rd Street.
The end goal for Market Street, and JFK Blvd., of course, is protected bike lanes the entire length, starting between City Hall and 30th Street Station, then well beyond that. On JFK, we are advocating toward a sidepath over the bridge to take cyclists to-and-from 30th Street.
A small section of Columbus Blvd., between Dilworth and Swanson (a high-speed, highly-trafficked area) will get flex posts to make it safer for cyclists using that street.
…More updates to come