Tonight is the first night of meetings that will begin what we believe are a change from Spruce and Pine Streets as they exist today, to comfortable spaces where pedestrians, people on bicycles, and motorists can co-exist peacefully.
I know, it sounds like a pipedream.
But tonight, at the Kimmel Center, the city is leading the first of two meetings that will explain their plan for Spruce and Pine Streets in Center City, between the rivers. The most public idea from the repaving and striping plan is moving the bike lane from the right-hand side to the left. It’s probably the most minimal change that we could possibly imagine, even though there are some added safety benefits of moving the lane, as I wrote about in Tuesday’s Metro.
We also commented on the plan, and wrote about the bike lane switch, here. The biggest benefit to the switch is making the intersections safer.
Considering more than 60 percent of crashes happen at the intersections along Spruce and Pine, we’ve pushed for intersection protection that will protect cyclists from right hooks and believe those changes are possible in this iteration of street changes along the corridors.
People who ride along these corridors in Philadelphia largely want protection on the entire corridor of Spruce and Pine Streets. We do, too. We are looking at this project as a step toward that. The flip and possible intersection change is what can be done this year. Work with neighbors, churches and other stakeholders has not been done, yet, by the city, and, therefore, plans have not been presented to protect the lane. But it’s important that you make your opinion about longer-term protected bike lanes tonight at the meeting, and/or at tomorrow’s meeting.
If you’re headed to the meetings and/or the human-protected bike lane tonight and plan on live-tweeting what’s going on at the events, use the hashtag #BikePHL. The Bicycle Coalition and cyclists around Philadelphia will be monitoring the hashtag and retweeting accordingly.
We’ve also uploaded a PDF of reasons why we think a left-hand bike lane is a good start for these streets — and other one-way streets around Philadelphia. You can download it here.