July 16, 2024

Existinglaw

Law for politics

Philly pushes Harrisburg to allow safer bike lanes

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Results are in from a research of parking-divided bicycle lanes in Philadelphia: they sluggish cars down, appeal to much more bikes, and lower deadly crashes. Now it is up to the state legislature to pave the way for Philly to make far more.

“The metropolis has been wanting to put in additional shielded bike lanes in the course of the city as a genuinely sustainable, safe method of transportation that’s available and affordable,” explained Kelley Yemen, Philadelphia’s director of Comprehensive Streets. “We are waiting around anxiously for the passage of H.B. 140, which would make it possible for us to put in these extra on a regular basis on all condition routes.”

Parking-separated bicycle lanes are what they audio like: bicycle lanes placed on the exterior of on-street parking, somewhat than on the inside, so that the line of parked vehicles safeguards cyclists from vehicle traffic.

“Instead of having following-to-the-suppress parking, and then a bicycle lane, we switch them,” Yemen mentioned. “It delivers divided house away from all the relocating autos for bicyclists to function securely.”

There are at this time close to 20 miles of shielded bike lanes in the metropolis, including parking-separated bike lanes, Yemen stated. But condition regulation will make it complicated for the city to install these bike lanes on point out routes that are preserved by PennDOT — which are often the place they are necessary most.

“They’re ordinarily streets exactly where every person variety of needs to be there,” Yemen mentioned. “That’s the commercial street. It is the principal connector that might really go in excess of bridges or rail yards … so it supplies that crucial connectivity as very well as access to all kinds of destinations. But for the reason that the traffic volumes are better, we seriously need a thing safer and extra divided on them.”

In a pilot job launched in 2018, city and PennDOT officers set up parking-divided bike lanes on 10 point out routes in the metropolis, which includes Market place Road, JFK Boulevard, Race Avenue in Centre Town, and the Chestnut Road Bridge. They’ve also evaluated situation reports in peer cities, which showed parking-separated bicycle lanes maximize perceived protection and comfort for cyclists, according to a report composed by transportation advisor Kittelson & Associates, Inc.

The effects of the Philly pilot — unveiled for the to start with time this month — are encouraging.

Officials gathered facts on five-block sections of JFK Boulevard and Industry Road the place parking-separated bike lanes were being set up, and when compared it to information from individuals exact streets before the unique bike lanes were mounted, in 2012 to 2016.

They discovered crashes lessened by approximately 20% (while fewer individuals driving during the pandemic may have contributed). Car speeds went down 6%, but the city did not see evidence of more congestion. Transit speeds slowed down only a bit. And the most encouraging conclusion may possibly have been the variety of bikes employing the streets, which improved 96%.

The city strategies to maintain collecting info, notably on safe intersection styles and the greatest resources for the barriers amongst lanes. But Yemen sees the early info as evidence that parking-separated bike lanes work in Philly.

“[The lanes are] giving that additional welcoming place for extra sorts of cyclists,” Yemen claimed. “It gives them that safety that they’re not going to be sideswiped or strike, which can be some of the most fatal bicyclist crashes.”

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