North-south bike lanes are on the fast track

The city of Philadelphia will announce plans Friday to paint new bike lanes on 10th and 13th streets.

Standing at the corner of 13th and Spruce Thursday, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler watched the cars, trucks, bikers, and pedestrians streaming past.

“In just the first 10 minutes we were out here, we had more bicycles on 13th Street coming north than we had automobiles,” said Cutler. “So that’s pretty interesting. We believe we have the capacity to handle the current traffic in one lane versus the current two lanes that exist. It connected really well from South Philadelphia to North Philadelphia and it is a pretty large commuter route in the morning.”

Cutler said the city plans to paint the lanes in late June, then test those pilot bike lanes for about six months to decide if they should stay.

“We’re really going to do the ultimate decision at the end of the pilot with real data,” she said. “And the real data are the number of vehicles traveling–because we will be down to one lane–the number of bicyclists, what the speed of the automobiles is before and after the pilot.”

Cutler said the city has already met with some community groups, and a public meeting will be held in early May. She said the city will also be stepping up enforcement–to make sure drivers and bike riders follow the law.

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