Fairmount Ave. neighbors will have say on proposed bike lane

    Philadelphians love to debate controversial topics — including the best hoagie vendors, Eagles coaches, and, of course, bike lanes. 

    Neighborhood residents will have a chance to share their opinions at meetings this week about a new bike lane proposed for Fairmount Avenue west of Broad Street.

    Fairmount Avenue would make a great spot for a bike lane, says Sarah Clark Stuart, policy director with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

    “The street is much wider than it needs to be for one lane of travel for motor vehicles in either direction. And because it’s overly wide right now, there’s a fair amount of weaving in and out that goes on,” she said.

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    There is room to put in a 5-foot-wide bike lane without removing a travel lane and without removing any parking, she said.

    Stuart thinks the bike lanes will encourage bicyclists not to ride on the sidewalk as well as bringing more order to the street. 

    There already is some neighborhood support for the proposal, according to Stuart.

    Bicycle Coalition members met with about 40 business managers and owners in the area and 80 percent of them support the bike lane on Fairmount Avenue, she said.

    “There is no evidence that bike lanes detrimentally impact businesses,” Stuart said. “And, in fact, it makes the street a lot more attractive and in some cases has had a positive economic impact.”

    Stuart said the bike lane could be added to Fairmount Avenue without removing a travel or parking.

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