(Philadelphia) – City officials today announced their commitment to construct a protected bicycle lane in the coming year on a portion of South Street adjacent to the South Street bridge.

The project will run along the painted bicycle lane on South Street from 21st Street to 27th Street at the base of the bridge.  It will also include 27th Street from Lombard to South (see map below).  The project will include the restriping of the existing paint buffered lanes, and the installation of flexible delineator posts within the painted buffer on South and 27th Streets. Completion is expected in mid-2018.

“This announcement follows months of community outreach, during which hundreds of residents and community groups voiced their views,” said Deputy Managing Director for Transportation & Infrastructure Michael A. Carroll.  “While consideration of Lombard Street continues, we believe it is important to move forward with this limited project on South and 27th Streets to improve safety for hundreds of bicyclists riding to or from the bridge.”

The community outreach included a well-attended community listening session in July, 2017, attended by more than 200 people, including neighbors. The scope of the project at that time included Lombard Street. The information boards and small group discussions garnered support and concerns on the proposed project. The City worked through the issues and concerns with neighborhood groups and Councilman Johnson’s office.

“Protected bicycle lanes on these streets are particularly important as the City looks to build a bicycle network for people of all ages and abilities for everyday trips to work, school, and for recreation,” said Kelley Yemen, the City’s Director of Complete Streets. “Protected bicycle lanes will create a safe space for people of all ages to bicycle, eliminate loading and parking in the bicycle lane, and clearly separate bicycle space from vehicle space.”

Grid displaying the length of protected bike lane on South St.

The project is supported by the South of South Neighbors Association, Center City Residents Association, and South Street West Business Association. The City will work with these groups, Councilman Johnson’s office, and SEPTA on final design, further outreach, and scheduling for the project. The project is funded by a grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development Multimodal Transportation Fund.

South and 27th Streets are the major routes to and from the South Street Bridge, the bridge with the most pedestrian and bicycle traffic in Pennsylvania. According to the most recent counts in 2015, the South Street Bridge had nearly 1,000 people on bicycle per day in each direction. The South Street Bridge is also an access point to the Schuylkill River Trail, which extends more than 60 miles along the river to Valley Forge National Park.