Protected Bike Lanes
September 18, 2019
Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) is planning to create a new two-way bike lane on 11th Street between Bainbridge and Reed Streets. This project will bring the number of two-way protected bike lanes in the city to a total of three, including the Ryan Avenue bike lane in Northeast Philly and the Penn Street Trail lane in Northern Liberties. The 11th Street lane is in the heart of the popular Passyunk Avenue restaurant corridor and will help move cyclists through the busy South Street area.
Increasing Safety in the City
The 11th Street bike lane addresses the need to improve street safety in Philadelphia. Among large cities in the U.S., Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of traffic fatalities. Statistics from 2016 show that the city of Brotherly Love had 6.4 traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents, compared with 3 for the city of New York. According to OTIS, there were 31 crashes between 2013-2017 on 11th Street where the new two-way bike lane is being installed, with 90 percent of those crashes resulting in injuries.
Research shows that bike lanes improve street safety in many ways including:
- Keeping cyclists off sidewalks
- Slowing the speed of motor vehicle traffic on roads where bike lanes exist
- Maintaining a minimum distance between bikes and cars
- Removing the need for cars to swerve into another lane to pass a bike where no bike lane exists
Data available from Europe, where bike lanes are commonplace, shows that on high speed roads (45 mph), the accident risk is lowered by half when bike lanes separated by a physical barrier are present.
Eliminating Unused Trolley Tracks
Part of the 11th Street bike lane project involves paving over the unused trolley tracks between South and Reed streets. When a cyclist gets a tire caught in a track, they can be thrown from the bike and seriously injured. Many dedicated bicyclists have stories about accidents caused by trolley tracks. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has been campaigning to eliminate unused trolley tracks for many years. Although the Route 23 trolley was suspended in 1992, many of the tracks for the route still existed as a safety hazard to bicyclists until 2013, when SEPTA and the Streets Department formulated a plan to eliminate the old tracks at 24 intersections between South Philadelphia and Chestnut Hill.
Compensation for Bicycle Accidents
If you are injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses such as physical therapy and rehabilitation, property damage, lost wages, and more. Be sure to take photos of your injuries, your bike and any other vehicles involved, and the accident scene. Get contact information from eyewitnesses and consult with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer before talking with representatives from the insurance company.
Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Fight for the Rights of Bicyclists
Contact the skilled Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP if you have been injured in a bicycle accident. Call 800-222-USWA (8792) today to schedule a consultation at one of our five convenient locations. You can also contact us online. Our experienced attorneys represent satisfied clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including the those in the communities of Philadelphia, Reading, Bethlehem, Allentown, and Harrisburg.