The implementation of an east west bicycle route through Center City is a top priority of the Bicycle Coalition. But the lack of political will to remove street parking and/or travel lanes on city streets has been and remains a large hurdle that only strong public support can overcome.
The Pine and Spruce street pair have always stood out as potential candidates. They are mostly residential and small business so truck and bus traffic is lighter than on parallel streets. And they are simply great urban streets, architect Bob Thomas describes Spruce St in Center City as the 18th and 19th Century history of Philadelphia with colonial era homes in the east and the elegant brownstones in the west.
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Two quick and dirty concepts of Pine St involve removing one of the two travel lanes and replacing them with bike lanes:
The first photo is a 6' bike lane with two feet added to the sidewalk and one foot added to the remaining lane. The second is a physically separated bike lane with a three foot buffer between the bike lane and the inside parking lane much like 9th Avenue and Grand St in Manhattan.
There are other options of course that wouldn't involve lane removal, examples are signage, traffic calming and sharrows. Any or all these elements could be applied together to create a bicycle boulevard.
We welcome your thoughts on how to make Spruce and Pine bicycle friendly streets.