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October 17, 2011

New Pilot Plan For More Center City Bike Lanes In The Works; JFK Boulevard And Market Street Would Get Landscaped Buffers And A Separated Cycle Track

The proposed streetscape enhancement project for JFK and Market from 15th-20th Streets would transform these two corridors into an attractive space for pedestrians, improve accessibility for bicyclists and maintain traffic flow and loading.
(Image courtesy Center City District)

Green news alert: Center City may be due for some more bike lanes.

This past June, the city added two critical new bike lanes — a southbound lane to 10th Street and a northbound lane to 13th Street to complement the popular east-west bike lanes on Pine and Spruce Streets.

Now the city has turned its eye to the Market West office district. The Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities and Center City District have officially begun testing the bike lane concept on JFK Boulevard and Market Street.

The test project, to continue through October 23, temporarily removes the left-most lane of travel on these two roads, reducing the four-lane road to three lanes between 15th and 20th Streets.

During the two-week test, Streets Department traffic engineers and CCD personnel will observe the capacity and overall environment of the streets to ensure that traffic functionality is maintained.

Important note: on-street parking regulations will remain in effect and zero parking spaces will be impacted whatsoever.

The idea is to accommodate every kind of travel while keeping things safe and convenient and not affecting parking and loading zones, which are especially important in such a heavily trafficked section of the city.

As Plan Philly reports, an original plan to have both JFK and Market run in both directions was shot down because of traffic concerns, according to deputy Streets commissioner Steve Buckley.

If the city moves forward with the bike lane plan, improvements would include a separated cycle track, the retention of three 10-foot-wide travel lanes, new landscaping, parking and loading on both sides of the streets and improved pedestrian crossings. The planted medians would also be able to provide stormwater management benefits.

Sounds like a win-win to us.

As we’ve mentioned before, as part of his ambitious Greenworks Philadelphia plan, Mayor Nutter wants to make Philadelphia one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country.

It’s a completely achievable goal, given Philadelphia’s already solid reputation as a bike-friendly city; see: Philadelphia Ranked The #1 Big City For Bike Commuting Per Capita In The U.S.

Keep it up, Philadelphia!

Check out another image of what the new bike lanes and landscaping would look like, below.

Center City District will be testing the bike lane concept on JFK Boulevard and Market Street through October 23.
(Image courtesy Center City District)

A before and after comparison of JFK Boulevard looking west from 17th Street. The after would appear to be much preferable. (Image courtesy CCD)

Complete Streets Center City: Improved Streetscape [Center City District]
Greenworks Philadelphia: Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled By 10 Percent [Official Site]
via City closing Center City traffic lanes in test [Plan Philly]

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Jess says:

Wow. A bike lane with a barrier so that cars can’t swerve into cyclists? Sounds like heaven.

Matt says:

This is excellent! Nutter is taking the necessary steps to move CC Philly in the right direction. Making it more friendly to those that live here. Wish they would time the traffic lights on the new 10th and 13th Street lanes as they have done on Spruce St., so that the traffic pattern was more fluid.

Andy Dinh says:

This is great, I’m all for more bike lanes…The city is moving in the right direction into making it a more green and personable city…

Josh says:

I think this is great! But now that bikers are getting their own lanes of travel along many different corridors, can we have some enforcement so that they also follow the rules of the road? Wanna share the road? Follow the same rules as drivers – stop at stop signs and red lights, use proper hand signals, have flashing lights at night….

And while it’s well and good that bikers receive travel lanes and safety from cars, these city pot holes are the worst I have ever seen. For everyone, Bikers, drivers, walkers, scooters, etc. can we get these fixed?

Colton says:

This is great! I’ve never seen a study saying bike lanes are a bad idea!

Michael says:

Does anyone know when the JFK bike lane is to be constructed? I live on JFK and would like to know when I can bike from home to where ever I want. This project is very exciting; a curb to keep cars from parking in the bike lane is a major step in the right direction.