Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CCD Unveils Cycletrack Plans for West Market and JFK

In today's winter 2009 edition of the Center City District newsletter the Center City Digest President Paul Levy unveiled a proposal to add physically separated bike lanes or cycletracks onto West Market Street and John F Kennedy Boulevard.

Image - Center City Digest Newsletter

The cross-section here is only a concept and design details are not complete, but it appears that on the existing one way portion of the streets (20th to 15th on Market and 16th to 20th on JFK) a left side bike lane would added. It would be physically separated by a six foot wide island with mountable curbs and planters or landscaping. The rest of the street layout would include a parking/left turn lane, three 10' travel lanes and a 10' parking lane on the right hand side. This design is similar to New York City's 9th Avenue bike lane.

View Larger Map


Ben said...

In all seriousness - if this is on the very very far left side, how am I supposed to make a right-hand turn without getting killed?

Peter said...

Also, bikes are going to be pretty invisible to the cars due to the separation. Is there some method to safely merge the bicycles back into traffic at intersections that allow the cars to turn across the cycletrack? Or maybe a separate light phase so only the bikes or the cars are moving at the same time.

Otherwise, these lanes would REALLY set up the bikes for death by "right hooks".

steve b said...

Awesome! To really make this an amenity, they should make the cycle-track 2way so more folks will use it as part of their commute both ways.

The right hook issues could be solved with bike-only signals, or by encouraging the Copenhagen style turns where you cross the street in a manner more consistent with a pedestrian.

In that case, cyclists would queue up and wait for the traffic signal to change in order to turn right/left. The latter is more realistic because of the costs involved for implementing traffic signal devices.

Vehicular cyclists don't like this sort of infrastructure, but this is the sort of thing that makes more timid cyclists comfortable. They may come up with a compromised plan that doesn't involve the more expensive curb/cement/trees separation - plastic bollards or even parked cars could serve as a buffer in the 'experimental' or 'we don't have enough money yet' phase.

Andy B from Jersey said...

I too have misgivings about bike lanes being on the left side of one-way streets but this solution does an excellent job of eliminating most if not all conflicts with buses.

All the other issues such as hooking by cars at intersection can be mostly eliminated with clever roadway design.

And Ben, it's called a box turn (its the only legal way to make turns that cross wide one-ways in Copenhagen). If that's too "pedestrian," you can always leave the lane (cycletrack) a block earlier and merge right, across all the lanes.

I still think cycletrack designed to be on the left of a one-way street lead to a large number of people to riding the lane in an illegal and dangerous contraflow direction at least here in the US.

Ben said...

It's a good idea - as was said earlier having it on the right will cause way too many conflicts with Septa buses. I think if you put in the dashed lines of the bike lane going across the streets as seen in the linked street view, it would make more cars stop and think about the bikes.

John said...

1 - As I stated in the post the bike lanes have not been designed. This includes how to handle turning conflicts at intersections. Fortunately there are working examples in several US cities that can resolve these problems.

2 - No one has signed off on this concept yet. The city will have to do a traffic analysis to make sure that the remaining travel lanes can handle the volume. I also predict that our friend Stu Bykofsky will once again lead the charge to undermine the effort.

3 - Thanks to SEPTA's concern of bus/bike conflicts and a DVRPC report recommending left side bike lanes the City will continue to install them where there is heavy bus service.

4 - JFK and Market are one way street pairs but west of 20th they both become two way streets. These bike lanes need to get to the Schuylkill River to make useful connections.

Taggart said...

Yes! With proper layout and engineering, these could be fantastic!!

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