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April 09, 2016

Slew of protected bike lanes planned for Philly streets

Philadelphia Streets Department reveals plans for $300,000 in federal TAP funds

As the city of Philadelphia increasingly embraces shared roadways to provide safer routes for pedestrians and bikers, the Philadelphia Streets Department has revealed a series of new protected bike lines that will be phased in using funds from the federal Transportation Alternative Program.

Last month, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission announced it would commit $7.6 million in TAP funds to 11 projects throughout the region, including light fixtures for the Manayunk Bridge Trail and a $300,000 program called "Safe Spaces for Cyclists: Building a Protected Bicycle Network."

The specifics of the initiative were revealed this week to PlanPhilly by Streets Department deputy commissioner of transportation Mike Carroll, who detailed the location of new protected and buffered bike lanes on streets spread across the city. Protected lanes use plastic delineators to separate automobile traffic from bikers, while buffered lanes offer a wider pathway with additional paint to alert drivers of the demarcation.

The list of projects below, while not exhaustive of the city's long-term bike lane goals, will expand upon existing protected bike lanes on Ryan Avenue and along a strip of Frankford Avenue.

Torresdale/Frankford Avenue: A two-way protected bike lane with delineator posts placed along the current bike lane on Torresdale Avenue. The bridge over Pennypack Creek on Frankford Avenue will also get protected lanes that allow bikers to travel both ways on the same side of the road.

Race Street: A protected bike lane from 9th Street to 5th Street.

Parkside Avenue: Protected upgrades to bike lanes along Fairmount Park.

North 33rd Street: Conventional bike lane to be upgraded to protected lane.

Spruce Street/Pine Street: Delineator posts will be added to buffered lane between 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue.

Walnut Street: Delineator posts will be added to bike lane on left side from 23rd Street to 63rd Street.

30th Street: Delineator posts will be added to bike lane between Walnut and Market streets. New posts between Chestnut and Market streets, where the bike lane flows against automobile traffic, will help drivers recognize and anticipate bikers.

Lombard Street/South Street: Delineator posts will be added to Lombard Street bike lane between 22nd Street and the South Street Bridge. The South Street bike lane from the bridge to 22nd Street will also be upgraded.

Lindbergh Boulevard: Protected bike lanes will be painted onto street connecting John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge to Bartram’s Garden.

Passyunk Avenue/Oregon Avenue: Protected bike lanes will be added to West Passyunk Avenue where roadway crosses the Schuylkill River. PennDOT, which is expected to kick in $200,000 to bike lane upgrades, will also resurface grates along the bridge to address slippery conditions for bikers.

Philadelphia bikers looking for additional resources can check out the Bike Lane Toolkit, the city's Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan and the Complete Streets Design Handbook.

On Friday, May 20, Philadelphia will celebrate Bike to Work Day, with support from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Those who sign up will have access to "service stations" with free giveaways and coffee along specified bike lanes.