Protected Bike Lanes Deliver Numerous Benefits, Study Says. But Is it Enough to Change State Law?

Advocates in Philadelphia are pushing state lawmakers to finally pass a law to make it easier to install protected bike lanes on state routes.

April 13, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Protected Bike Lane

Paul Krueger / Wikimedia Commons

Sophia Schmidt reports from Philadelphia, where a recent study into the benefits of protected bike lanes are giving local planners ammunition in their support for a proposed state law that would make it easier to build robust bike infrastructure on state routes.

“There are currently around 20 miles of protected bike lanes in the city, including parking-separated bike lanes,” according to an expert cited in the article. “But state law makes it difficult for the city to install these bike lanes on state routes that are maintained by PennDOT — which are often where they’re needed most.”

H.B. 140 would make it easier for the city to install protected bike lanes on state routes, but the bill is currently stalled in the state senate after passing the Pennsylvania House unanimously last year. The bill is also only the latest attempt, after a string of failures, to pass similar laws.

This time around, however, advocates can call on the evidence supplied by a recent report on the outcomes of a city pilot project.

In a pilot project launched in 2018, city and PennDOT officials installed parking-separated bike lanes on 10 state routes in the city, including Market Street, JFK Boulevard, Race Street in Center City, and the Chestnut Street Bridge. They’ve also evaluated case studies in peer cities, which showed parking-separated bike lanes increase perceived safety and comfort for cyclists, according to a report written by transportation consultant Kittelson & Associates, Inc.

Findings of the report include a 20 percent reduction in crashes, a 6 percent reduction of vehicle speeds, no increase in congestion, and, perhaps most strikingly, a 96 percent increase in bike trips.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 in PlanPhilly

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Puente Hills Landfill as seen from the air

More Funds to Transform the Puente Hills Landfill into a Regional Park

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors just approved an additional $28 million to support the development of the Puente Hills Regional Park at the landfill site.

May 23 - Supervisor Hilda Solis

Denver, Colorado

Denver Freeway Widening Plans on Hold

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s plan to widen the Interstate 25 freeway through Denver is one of a few plans to widen urban freeways under consideration in the United States.

May 23 - The Colorado Sun

Fringe Development

Public Perceptions of Sprawl and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Urban density has a bad reputation.

May 23 - Greater Greater Washington

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.