The two proposed driveways for the new CHOP office building seriously degrade the safety of the bike lane on the South Street Bridge. While it would be optimal if the project could be designed to require only one driveway, whether with one or two driveways we believe the safety of the bike lane can be restored by repositioning and protecting the bike lane.
The driveways onto the bridge came as a response to strong community desire, expressed at CHOP-held community meetings, that the project not create increased traffic on neighborhood streets. The second driveway was added to facilitate SEPTA buses reaching the site, as transit access is a priority and buses can't otherwise make the difficult turn from the bridge onto Schuylkill Avenue.
For bicyclists, adding one or two driveways creates additional turning conflicts, on a downhill, on the most bicycled bridge in Pennsylvania. Continuing the existing bike lane to the right of these new turning conflicts seriously degrades the safety of this bike lane.
To mitigate this danger, the bike lane should be:
- Repositioned to the left of the vehicles turning into the new driveways.
- Protected from encroachment by vehicles crossing the bike lane to get to the right turn lane.
We have asked for the chance to meet with CHOP and the Streets Department to develop a solution that repositions the bike lane and protects it from right-turning traffic.
We made a word choice error in an earlier blog post by suggesting that CHOP had only recently shared plans for the new building with the Bicycle Coalition. In fact, CHOP’s designs have been publicly available but we only commented on them earlier this month.
Peter Grollman, CHOP’s Vice President for Government Affairs, Community Relations & Advocacy, serves on the Bicycle Coalition board.