Bike Lane Sweeping
March 1, 2013
One of the many responsibilities of Philadelphia’s Streets Department is to maintain the sidewalks and roadways in the city, this includes laying down salt, plowing snow, and sweeping the street of trash. In addition to sweeping the roadways, the Streets Department sweeps the bike lanes as well.
Street sweeping of bike lanes, sidewalks, and roadways is an important part of successfully developing Philadelphia’s Complete Streets. Not only are Complete Streets about building and expanding the transportation network for all modes, but also about maintaining the existing complete streets for everyone’s safe and convenient use. Street sweeping of the bike lanes is of vital importance to all bicyclists, because the bicycles are especially susceptible to flat tires from bits of glass, metal, or even hard plastics.
Although many cyclists have advocated for more bike lane only sweeping, it is important to know that the Streets Department regularly sweeps 426 miles of bike lanes as part of their standard street sweeping operations and the most used bike lanes, such as Ben Franklin Parkway, Spruce Street, 13th Street, and Grays Ferry Avenue are swept every week. Incorporating bike lane sweeping into the standard street cleaning allows the city to achieve two goals with fewer resources. It’s just another way that Philly is doing more with less.