Philly’s First Two-Way Protected Bike Lane Will Be Protected by Parked Cars
It’s about time.
A two-way protected bike lane is coming to the city by August, according to the Streets Department.
The lane will also work to open up additional parking. As the Streets Department announced in plans last year, parked cars will serve as additional buffers … from moving cars.
The lane will go in on the east side of Ryan Avenue, between Lexington and Rowland avenues and next to Pennypack Park in Northeast Philly. It will feature an eight-foot-wide lane for parallel-parked cars as well as a painted four-foot-wide actual buffer, complete with flexible traffic delineator posts, to further separate the parked cars from bikers. This will leave about 12 feet between bikers and traffic.
With the painted buffer, people can get into and out of cars safely without “dooring” bikers – without flinging cars doors open suddenly into the paths of unsuspecting bikers.
And with the delineator posts (which are essentially just those bright, skinny traffic poles you see on the road), cyclists won’t have to worry as much about bad parallel parkers overtaking the bike lane in their efforts to secure a spot. And cars won’t be allowed to make temporary parking spaces out of the bike lanes. Which happens. Often.
The Streets Department picked Ryan Avenue because of its proximity to Pennypack Park, as well as the fact that it’s convenient – there are existing bike lanes and an underutilized median area.
The development is the product of a long-time push for protected bike lanes by 6th-district Councilman Bobby Henon. Henon worked closely with the Bicycle Coalition to find a suitable spot for the lanes, which Philly’s bikers have long requested.
The Ryan Avenue bike lane is the first of many protected lanes to come, PlanPhilly reported in April, following a $500,000 increase in funds to the Streets Department from the federal Transportation Alternative Program and PennDOT.
The Bicycle Coalition built an interactive map featuring some of the other plans.
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