City

City Weighs Plans to Revamp Spruce and Pine Bike Lanes

The move would switch the lanes (as well as parking and loading) from the right side to the left side of the streets.


spruce street, bike lanes

The Spruce Street bike lane. | Image via the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Roughly four months after a 24-year-old cyclist was struck and killed by a trash truck on Spruce Street, officials say they are considering moving the Spruce and Pine street bike lanes from the right side to the left side of the roads.

The city’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, which announced the potential plans this weekend, said the move would place bicyclists “in better line of sight with drivers” and reduce the possibility of right-hook incidents — the type of crash that proved deadly for Emily Fredricks in November — on Philly’s busiest bike lanes.

“According to the Institute of Transportation Safety Engineers, left-side bike lanes increase safety at intersections by making people on bicycles more visible to drivers,” oTIS said in a press release. “This is especially true for truck drivers, who face larger blind spots on their right sides than on their left sides due to height and driver position. Moving the bike lanes to the left would also decrease conflicts between bicyclists and SEPTA buses.”

The switch would also require officials to move parking and loading from the right sides to the left sides of the roads. Officials say they’re coordinating with City Councilmen Mark Squilla and Kenyatta Johnson, who oversee districts that include Spruce and Pine streets. Double-parking in the bike lanes, especially by delivery trucks, is a common and dangerous issue on the two roads.

Squilla, Johnson, oTIS and the Philadelphia Parking Authority reportedly plan to discuss parking and loading configurations on a “block-by-block basis.” The project does not include plans for protected bike lanes, which cyclists have long advocated for on Spruce and Pine streets.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia called the project “a good start” but said that “what Spruce and Pine need, in our opinion, are protected bike lanes and protected intersections.”

The plans would alter Spruce and Pine from Front to 22nd streets.

The city will hold two public meetings to discuss the potential changes. The schedule for meetings, per oTIS:

  • Wednesday, April 4th: For residents and business owners located on the west side of Broad Street, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Merck Education Center, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street. (Meeting flyer here.)
  • Thursday, April 5th: For residents and business owners located on the east side of Broad Street, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Elaine C. Levitt Auditorium in Gershman Hall, University of the Arts, 401 South Broad Street. (Meeting flyer here.)

For more information, visit oTIS’s website.