PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Bicyclists may be rejoicing, motorists perhaps not, now that the Nutter Administration plans to add two more bicycle-only lanes in Center City.
The Nutter Administration has chosen southbound 10th Street and northbound 13th Street as the latest locations for bike lanes, complementing the east-west bikes lanes on Spruce and Pine Streets that began in 2009.
Officials in late June will remove one lane of auto traffic from both 10th and 13th, from South Street to Spring Garden to create the bike lanes. Deputy Mayor for Transportation Rina Cutler the demand for north south bike lanes is already there.
“This isn’t really as much about creating additional biking lanes, as trying to accommodate users that are already riding, and trying to do it in a way that balances safety for all those who use the roadway.”
And Cutler says 10th and 13th were chosen for three reasons.
“We believe there’s enough capacity to take a lane out and create a bike lane. Secondly, there are no SEPTA bus routes. Thirdly, if you stand out there now, there are so many bicyclists out there commuting (already).”
Walt Hunter reports…
Cutler says studies show previously created bike lanes on other center city streets have not caused traffic congestion. Drivers, however, seemed to feel, almost unanimously, that the lane cuts were a bad idea that would lead to still more delays and gridlock.
Cutler also said that with more bikers than ever on city streets, she hopes the bike lanes would encourage bikers and drivers to cooperate. Extra police officers will be enforcing traffic laws, looking for violations among both drivers and bikers.
The lanes for on-street parking on 10th and 13th will remain. The pilot will last six months, and Cutler says the plan may need some tweaking.
“But we will think it will work on both streets.”
Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio