Philly Is Finally Getting Its First Protected Bike Lanes

Streets Commish says they'll become "the standard" in future years.
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Photo via Shutterstock

Good news, cycling comrades: Philadelphia is planning to add more than 10 miles of new bike lanes in the next year.

But that’s not all. For the first time ever, the city is also expected to install two protected bike lanes, which will run along Frankford and Ryan avenues in Northeast Philly.

Streets Commissioner David Perri said the protected bike lanes will be placed between the curb and the parking lane, so that cyclists are guarded by a row of parked cars. The city is also planning to place traffic delineators or “armadillos,” which are essentially raised humps, on the street in order to prevent cars from parking in the lanes.

So why is Northeast Philly the first place that will be blessed with protected bike lanes?

Perri said it’s partly because Councilman Bobby Henon, who represents parts of Northeast Philly, has been a vocal advocate for them.

“Councilman Henon has been very proactive in wanting protected bike lanes,” said Perri, adding that the two streets are also favorable spots to place the lanes. “There’s a minimal amount of curb cuts, and Ryan Avenue needs to be repaved anyway.”

Perri predicts that protected bike lanes will snake throughout all parts of the city in future years.

“That’s where everything is headed,” he said. “We need to understand how it impacts our maintenance. We need to get more experience with how to do them. But I think that these will become the standard for many more streets in the future.”

Check out the streets department’s map of its new bike lanes, which was provided by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, below:

2015-Bike-Infrastructure

Courtesy of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia