Philadelphia is already known as a bike-friendly city, ranking number one in bike commuting per capita in the United States (2011). Perhaps this rank has spurred inspiration for their new city-wide redesign, which will accommodate more bike lanes for commuters. The city has recently conducted a test project, which turned a driving lane into a bikes-only lane for two weeks.
Located in the busy Center City area of Market West, not far from City Hall, the test area turned the left-most lanes of JFK Boulevard and Market Street into bike lanes, changing the four lane streets into just three. With parking spots remaining the same, the city will assess the impact of losing one car lane and gaining a bike lane. The plan seeks to encourage and accommodate the city’s commuters, whether they use cars or bikes. Realizing that more and more people are choosing green transportation, a new bike lane could ensure a safer commute for everyone.
Since JFK and Market Street are parallel, one would serve for east bound bike riders and the other for west, rather than allowing for both on one street. In June, the city added new bike lanes to southern and northern running routes, on 10th Street and 13th street, respectively. These joined the already crowded east and western bound bike lanes on Pine and Spruce Streets.
Should the city assess the test successful, the new bike lanes will include a separated track, ten foot lanes, improved pedestrian walkways and a planted median with stormwater management. Philadelphians have embraced green transportation, and the city can only improve by helping it grow.