In the 2015 mayoral race, then-candidate Jim Kenney pledged to build more than 30 miles of protected bicycle lanes in Philadelphia, to accompany the more than 400 miles of unprotected bicycle lanes that already separate bicycle and automotive traffic.
Last April, the city won funds for thirteen protected bicycle lane projects, which would fulfill the thirty miles pledge. But actual construction on those projects has lagged since, frustrating many bicyclists who voted for the Mayor.
At the end of August, the city celebrated the opening of a protected bike lane on Chestnut Street between 33rd and 45th Streets. Last year, a section of protected bicycle lanes were built along Ryan Avenue Next to the Pennypack Creek Park and another section on Frankford Avenue as a link to the Pennypack Creek Trail. The city also has plans to install protected bike lanes on American Street in Kensington — though recent renderings show inconsistencies in the lane placement and level of protection for the project, which is set to begin construction in 2018 and finish sometime in 2020.
Very few of the planned protected lane projects have rolled out. The stretch of Race Street between Fifth and Ninth streets remains unprotected. Much of the painted infrastructure across the city is withering away, particularly along 22nd Street and Moyamensing Avenue. White striped lanes erode over time, leaving what seems to be an awkward and dangerous extension of space unreserved for cyclists. The plastic delineator posts lining parts of South Street and Walnut Street Bridges have been destroyed by cars repeatedly, only to be replaced months later — or not at all as is the case with short strip along the eastbound lane of the South Street Bridge.
2016 ended with the Kenney administration fulfilling their pledge to add 15 miles of bike lanes, protected or unprotected, by installing 16 miles of bike lane infrastructure. However, as of autumn 2017, construction of protected bicycle lane has sputtered. Even though the funding is there, the will to build is not.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Executive Director, Sarah Clark Stuart, expressed mixed feelings about the state of Philadelphia’s protected bicycle network. “Progress has been slow to ramp up… more progress needs to be demonstrated on the ground going forward,” Clark said. “I’d like to see the mayor help by getting a little more involved and help sell the safety benefits of protected bike lanes.”
The creation of the Office of Complete Streets and hiring of Kelley Yemen to run it represents actionable proof that the Mayor is pursuing his pledge, says BCGP.
Click here to read the full article:http://planphilly.com/articles/2017/09/26/during-the-mayoral-campaign-kenney-promised-to-build-30-miles-of-protected-bicycle-lanes-almost-2-years-later-where-are-we-1