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Philadelphia Officials Consider Bike Lanes For North-South Streets

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File photo of the bike lane on Spruce Street (by KYW's John McDevitt)

File photo of the bike lane on Spruce Street (by KYW’s John McDevitt)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - More than a year after the city created bike-only lanes on Pine and Spruce Streets, officials are looking at the same thing for some north-south streets.

Deputy Mayor for Transportation Rina Cutler, at a budget hearing, told council members that her office has finished an analysis of adding two more dedicated bike lanes, the next pair running north-south. Bike lanes running east and west on Pine and Spruce Streets were begun in 2009.

Before revealing which north south streets are being looked at, Cutler will do some neighborhood outreach.

“And so we will shortly go into the community and start working with the community for the next two,” she said.

Sharing the road isn’t always an easy compromise for drivers when it comes to cyclists.

“Its very hard to see them coming up from behind especially on the blind spot. I think it’s kind of dangerous,” said driver Megan Murphy.

“The other day we were in traffic, the lady was a biker, she hit the car and she fell back and her hand got rolled over,” recounts driver Gabrielle Ward.

For some cyclists, the designated bike lanes on Pine and Spruce streets makes them feel safer.

“People are more cognizant of the bikers when they’re riding on one of the streets that has the bike lanes,” cyclist Stephanie Moleski said.

Cutting down on bicycle and car collisions is one reason why Alex Doty is pushing for the expansion of bike lanes.

“Philadelphia already has per capita twice as many bicycle commuters as any other big city in the united states,” Doty said.

Doty is the executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. He contends adding bike lanes on two north and south streets which would eliminate two vehicle lanes should not dramatically increase congestion.

“Where is the massive congestion? This is an idea that has worked on Pine and Spruce streets,” Doty said.

The city is expected to announce in late April which two north and south streets in Center City it will use for a six month pilot program. The two streets will run between Spring Garden and South Streets.

Look for pilot program to start in the Summer.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio; Todd Quinones, CBS 3

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