Saturday, January 29, 2011

30th Street Contraflow Bike Lane Opens and Closes

The new 30th Street contraflow bike lane cannot get a break. In late December it was opened quietly by the Streets Department, unfortunately the lack of a physical barrier drew scofflaw motorists who parked illegally in the lane, a violation that is dangerous enough for cyclists in a standard bike lane, but in a contraflow lane it can force a cyclist to blindly pop out into opposing traffic.

And now PENNDOT has put in a barricade across the bike lane, they also put up a no bikes sign next to the bikes only sign. The irony did not get past those armed with cell phone cameras and the contradiction quickly showed up on the FAIL blog.

Blocked  Contraflow Bike Lane on 30th Street

Streets Department District Engineer Dave Dlugosz explained that the bike lane will be a staging area for phase 1 of the reconstruction of the 2900 block of Chestnut and Market Streets. The The contraflow bike lane will be open for good in the summer at the completion of stage 1. The standard bike lanes between Market and Walnut will not reopen until the completion of the project in late fall. The good news is that this will give the city time to come up with a fix for the illegal parking problem in the contraflow bike lane.


liz said...

Why is there a contraflow bike lane here anyway? I mean, I am all about convenience but this seems like it has to potential to be dangerous because of illegal parking (as you mentioned) and all the loading zones to the right of the bike lane. I also worry that it will encourage cyclists to travel the wrong way down one-way streets, a big problem in this city already. Is this bike lane meant to keep cyclists off the next street east (Schylkill ave)?

Anonymous said...

This does seem like an illogical or unnecessary location for a contraflow lane, but contraflow is very safe when implemented correctly.

Anonymous said...

Well, I've ridden it and it worked, when it worked. And it worked well.

The fact is that it was a good piece of design that made everything a good bit safer and it will be again, once it's up and running with a bit of enforcement.