Last weekend the Streets Department added bike lanes on two blocks of 30th Street between Market and Walnut Streets. The block between Chestnut and Market Street is one way southbound. The City engineers recognized this and added in a contraflow (northbound) bike lane to allow cyclists to avoid using merge crazy Schuylkill Avenue to get to 30th Street Station and the IRS. It's the first official contraflow bike lane in the City and is another innovative design borrowed from progressive bike friendly cities.
Imagine the warm feeling in my heart when I saw that Philly drivers took to the bike lanes immediately. And it was quite a diverse group - Police cars, city trucks, Penn buses, delivery trucks, some guy dropping off his significant other, private contractors and those just stopping for the newly relocated lunch trucks.
Link to 30th Street Bike Lane Set on Flickr
Unlike some of those progressive bike friendly cities Philadelphia lacks an ordinance that specifically prohibits parking in bike lanes. The best place to put in a provision is in section 12-913 of the Philadelphia Traffic Code. Recommendations to the traffic code are already located in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan and the BCGP is exploring ways to move traffic code reform forward.