Bike Lanes Are Coming to … Washington Avenue?

Busy thoroughfare will be repainted, end to end.

PlanPhilly reports that Washington Avenue, the major east-west thoroughfare in South Philly, will be repainted with bike lanes—an effort to reduce deaths and injuries where one bicyclist is injured, on average, every three weeks.

As part of this project, bike lanes will be painted from end to end. The bike lanes will be positioned between the vehicle travel lanes and the parked cars. When PCPC and the consultants held a public meeting in November, there was talk of making buffered bike lanes or putting the bike lanes between the sidewalk and the parked cars, creating a cycle track.

Adam Vest, a project consultant, said the consultants chose not to create a cycle track because the curb juts out at each intersection. If there were a cycle track, bicyclists would have to maneuver around these bumpouts rather than travel in a relatively straight line. A cycle track or buffered bike lanes would have required a lot more room and a mix of angle parking and parallel parking on the same blocks. Instead, consultants chose non-buffered bike lanes.

“I know it sounds minimal, but just having paving markings out there and making sure they’re clean and fresh and people know what they’re doing is a start,” Vest said.

Bike lanes on one of the city’s most heavily trafficked roads? Stu Bykofsky, call your office, stat!

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  • Jane

    There are already bike lanes on Washington Ave. They’re right there in the picture on the article you’re “reporting” on. They are being repainted because they are fading. Great reading comprehension.

    • Joel Mathis

      Also from that article:

      In the last three years Washington Ave. has seen 915 crashes. Six crashes occur each week, and one pedestrian or bicyclist is injured every three weeks. A major goal of this road restriping project is to reduce those crash numbers.

      “You probably won’t be surprised to know a lot of these are locations where there are no bike lanes,” Vest said.

      So I could’ve been clearer. But there are parts of of Washington that are getting ’em for the first time.

  • sans

    The main problem with the lanes on Washington is that all the warehouses and construction companies, especially West of Broad, tend to park their trucks protruding in the lane. Of course, this happens anywhere there is a bike lane (which the city continues to ignore), it’s just more dangerous on Washington because of the speed of traffic. I’ve never really had a close call biking there, but I do tend to avoid it.

  • Gareth

    Bike lanes which aren’t separated by traffic are not bike lanes they are commercial vehicle parking spaces. NYC has the solution yet no bike lanes in philly are bicycle lanes. There will be bicycle lanes when pregnant woman with children can ride in them without feeling like they are taking their life in their hands until then what you have are make work jobs for the streets department. You want to really do a story report on how many people have gotten tickets for parking in bike lanes my bet is zero.

    • Northeaster

      People are ticketed constantly for parking in bike lanes.

  • I bike on Washington West of Broad several times a week commuting. Rare is the day that I don’t have to swerve into the lane less than three times during that ride. I would not want to go around those curb cutouts every block so glad that’s not happening.

    I’d love to see a more bike-friendly program throughout the city, but while that’s in the middle of not happening I certainly appreciate a little paint to freshen up the whole Ave. Those lanes in spots all along Washington are hard to see.

  • Justin

    Can’t wait to see how that restructures things from about 8th to 10th. Italian Market double-parking has caused awful bottlenecking for as long as I can remember.