Hank's Take: Bicycle lane safety

- Philadelphia cut the ribbon on a new traffic safety initiative on Tuesday – a bike lane protected by parked cars.  

Bicyclist Seuss Metivier says the improvements are good, but not perfect.   “There’s pros and cons but I think it’s better than a regular bike lane,” said Metivier, who was riding with his young daughter.  “As long as they work out some of these problems, maybe put a few breaks in the parking so that there is a place to get out of the bike lane if you need to.”

I checked out an Indiego bike to see for myself.  The new lane is insulated from traffic and parked cars by delineator posts and a buffer zone, but it’s still big city riding.   People walk right out in front of you without a glance, trucks cross in front of you, or just stop.   The same things happen over on Walnut, which has the old bike lane design, but there’s no separation.  Once bike messenger Dylan Hill saw the new lane, he preferred it.    “It definitely makes it easier.  Iit makes it a lot safer to be riding in a parking protected lane,  especially on a big street like Chestnut where people are going pretty fast.

Mayor Kenney has plans for thirty miles of such protected bicycle lanes in Philadelphia.The improvements also shorten the distance pedestrians have to walk in order to cross the street.


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