13th Street Bike Lane – Ride on

The 13th Street bike lane pilot is coming to an end and a permanent lane will be installed in the coming weeks.    When we first announced our pilot program last May, the 13th Street was met with broad support and few concerns.   The data collected during the pilot validates the public and our intuition: vehicle traffic flows well with a bike lane and the street attracts lots of cyclists.   The complete report is linked to here


Here are some highlights:

–      Nearly a quarter of all vehicle traffic (anything with wheels) were bicycles during the morning peak at Walnut Street, up from about 10 percent before the lane.

–      The introduction of a bike lane meant that all cars now have to line up single file or queue in a single travel lane making where there is no turn lane.  Some have noticed longer queues where there is no turn lane. However despite these longer queues’s cars have not been significantly affected.  Under normal circumstances vehicles can pass through an intersection at the rate of one vehicle every two seconds.  In such circumstances queue lengths in excess of 12 to 15 vehicles may result in some vehicles being unable to pass through the intersection during a 25 or 30 second signal phase. Even the longest queue at 13th Street was well below 12 vehicles.


Some tweaks are suggested at the Walnut Street intersection and the Market Street intersection, both of which had delays before the pilot. SEPTA has agreed to move its bus “layover” location from the south side of Market Street to the north side of Market Street. This will allow three lanes of traffic to approach Market Street at all times – one for left turns, one for right turns and one for through movements.  This modification would have been recommended even in the absence of a bike lane. Two metered parking spaces should be removed south of Walnut Street in order to create a short queue for left turning vehicles. This too would make sense even in the absence of a bike lane.


Thanks to everyone who shared their views along the way.


So, what about 10th Street?  You ask.


As we posted last week, the pilot bike lane along 10th Street north of Market Street is now painted.  We are collecting data and will be working with stakeholders both north and south of Market Street to review findings in the coming months.  Just as we did regarding 13th Street, we will hold a public meeting.







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