SEPTA, City Eliminate Trolley Track Dangers for Cyclists at 18 Intersections

After a Bicycle Coalition member suffered a nasty fall due to old trolley tracks, the city and SEPTA have paved over or removed them at 18 intersections.

Paved over tracks

The Streets Department recently paved over trolley tracks at 15 intersections to make things safer for bicyclists. One of those intersections was 11th and Pine. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Just in time for Indego’s rollout, bicycling in Philadelphia has gotten a bit safer.

Last year, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Katie Monroe was injured when she fell at 11th and Reed streets. Her bicycle tire was caught in an unused track from the old 23 trolley. She fell off her bike, breaking her jaw. The accident led to a plan to cover the trolley tracks at several high-trafficked locations. “It had just gotten rocky at those particular locations,” SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams said.

SEPTA removed trolley tracks at five locations in 2014. And, in the past 2 to 3 weeks, the Streets Department has completed paving over 13 more intersections, plus additional paving at two locations SEPTA said it worked at last year.

The 23 trolley was suspended “temporarily” in 1992; it has yet to return and has run exclusively as a bus line since. (SEPTA now plans to split the 23 bus into two routes, the 23 and the 45.)

SEPTA removed trolley tracks at 11th & Girard, 12th & Girard, 11th & Spring Garden, 12th & Bainbridge and 11th & Bainbridge. (Obviously, the Route 15 trolley tracks remain at the two intersections on Girard.) Fear not, trolley lovers! If the 23 trolley were to come back, those trolley tracks SEPTA removed would’ve needed replacement anyway. “If the trolleys were to come back, those track areas were old and they would have need to be refurbished,” Williams said.

The Streets Department worked at 15 locations in the last two to three weeks. Along with additional work at 11th & Girard and 12th & Girard, the city said it paved over tracks at these intersections:

  • 11th & Snyder
  • 12th & Snyder
  • 11th & Passyunk
  • 12th & Passyunk
  • 10th/Passyunk/Reed
  • 11th & Washington
  • 12th & Washington
  • 11th & Pine
  • 12th & Pine
  • 11th & Spruce
  • 12th & Spruce
  • 11th & Cecil B. Moore
  • 12th & Cecil B. Moore

Combined with SEPTA’s five spots, that’s 18 locations that have been made safer for cyclists (or whatever your wheeled conveyance of choice) since last year.

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