An outdated parking rule in Pa. law threatens the safest kind of bike lanes - Philadelphia Inquirer


PHOTO CREDIT: TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer The Philadelphia Inquirer

by Thomas Fitzgerald, The Philadelphia Inquirer


Bike lanes separated from traffic by parked vehicles on several busy state routes in Philadelphia have drawn flocks of cyclists, slowed cars, and reduced collisions, a study of the lanes shows. They also could be among the last of their kind in the city unless the state Senate acts to clarify the definition of a curb.

Parking-separated bike lanes have historically been barred on state-owned roads because Pennsylvania law requires parked vehicles to be within 12 inches of the curb, or the edge of the pavement.

The lanes, also referred to as “parking-protected,” are dedicated tracks for cyclists with a row of parked vehicles to shield them from being hit by cars and trucks. A marked 5-foot wide lane abuts the curb and drivers park on the other side of a safety buffer — putting them up to 8 feet from the curb, a violation of the Pennsylvania law.


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