Philadelphia Parking-Protected Bike Lanes
September 20, 2017
The City of Philadelphia is working to keep bicyclists safe with the installation of parking-protected bike lanes, similar to the one on Chestnut Street, between 34th and 45th Streets. This section of Chestnut Street used to have three lanes of traffic, with parking available on both sides of the street until the city created a new configuration. The designated bike lane is lined with plastic protective posts, a buffer segment, one parking lane, then two traffic lanes, and a second parking lane.
The City reports that more than 14,000 people bike to work and school each day in Philadelphia. This is a considerable risk for potential car and bicycle accidents. On average, there are 500 bicycle accidents reported each year in Philadelphia, many of them resulting in serious and even fatal injuries. The parking-protected bike lanes will hopefully reduce, and possibly eliminate bicycle accidents altogether in the city.
Even with cyclists wearing protective safety gear like helmets and knee or elbow pads, a collision between a bicycle and a car can have catastrophic consequences. Streets with designated bike lanes help ensure the safety of those riding on the shoulders, but motorists unfamiliar with the rights of pedestrians and cyclists still travel far too close to these lanes.
Laws in Pennsylvania for Bicyclists
According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania state laws require motorists to yield the right of way to cyclists and maintain a buffer of four feet when passing them. Cyclists claim that drivers are so intent on watching out for other motorists that they fail to see them, despite their use of reflective clothing and having lights installed on their bikes. Motorists say that cyclists do not always follow the rules of the road and can make sudden and unpredictable turns.
Even with clearly marked bicycle lanes, cars, trucks, and delivery vehicles continue to park in these areas. The city is working in conjunction with the Philadelphia Parking Authority to help increase awareness and respect for the new bike lanes. Cyclists are put at extreme risk when they have to maneuver around parked cars while riding in these narrow lanes.
A bike lane on Spruce Street has helped to dramatically decrease the number of bicycle accidents on that road. The city removed one lane of traffic to widen the bike lane to nine feet, which gives motorists plenty of room to provide the state-mandated four-foot buffer when passing a cyclist. The results have been positive with a 25 percent decrease in bicycle accidents along that stretch of road.
Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Victims Injured in Bicycle Accidents Claim Compensation
A collision between a bicycle and a car can leave cyclists severely injured. Our Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP help cyclists claim the compensation they deserve when they are injured in an accident. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, call us at 800-222-8792, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.