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22nd Street Safety Upgrades

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

Vision Zero Committee Proposes Safety Upgrades and a Protected Bike Lane on 22nd Street

The SOSNA Vision Zero committee is focused on making our neighborhood streets safe for all users with a special focus on the most vulnerable users, pedestrians, and cyclists. We were excited when, in 2019, the Philadelphia Streets Department proposed a protected bike lane to be constructed on 22nd street north of South Street to coincide with the scheduled repaving this year. However, they did not propose extending the protected bike lane south of South street through our neighborhood. Studies show that protected bike lanes save lives and reduce crashes - especially those that result in injuries and death. We want to use this opportunity to show that the neighborhood supports a safer configuration for 22nd street. One that increases safety for pedestrians and cyclists by protecting the bike lane, and removing illegal parking next to crosswalks and in bus stops.

These safety upgrades will:

  • Reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians, making it easier and safer to cross the street

  • Clear illegal parking from bus stops, making it safer to get on the bus and more accessible

  • Make it much safer for people riding bikes on 22nd street

  • Encourage people who are on the fence about biking to give it a try, reducing congestion and traffic

  • Increase visibility for drivers so they can better see other people crossing the street

Philadelphia has parking protected bike lanes on JFK Boulevard, Market Street, Chestnut Street and north 22nd street near the Ben Franklin Parkway

For more details about the current conditions and how we plan to address them, read on!

Please attend our informational and voting meeting on Thursday, March 19th at 7pm via teleconference (call in info at the bottom of this page).

Conditions on 22nd Street

Currently, 22nd street has two parking lanes - on the left and right side. The unprotected bike lane is on the right with the travel lane on the left. There is no permit parking on 22nd street currently. No Parking zones are marked with an X box but many do not have signs which would allow for enforcement of those zones.

Even with an unprotected, faded bike lane, 22nd street is one of the most biked corridors in one of the most biked neighborhoods in the City. Census data shows that the area around 22nd street has one of the highest bike commuting rates in the City, at nearly 30%. Our team did a traffic survey last Fall and found that about a third of the travelers during peak AM commute time were bicyclists. By far, the vast majority of people using 22nd street are walking, biking or on public transit.

22nd street is also a major bus route. The Route 7 northbound bus operates on the street with stops at Carpenter, Christian, Catharine, Fitzwater, and South. Currently, the Catharine Street and Fitzwater street bus stops do not have “No Stopping” zones posted, which means they are often blocked by vehicles. This reduces visibility for people embarking and disembarking from the bus and means the bus can’t pull up to the curb to pick up passengers with disabilities.

When cars are parked right up to crosswalks, it is more difficult for drivers to see crossing pedestrians, especially children

What about crashes?

There were a total of 23 reportable crashes between 2014-2018 (the most recent year we have data available). A reportable crash is one that is recorded by the Police and sent to PennDOT for record-keeping. This doesn’t count minor incidents that may have been only recorded by Police and deemed insignificant at the time. There were six crashes reporting struck pedestrians. These incidents occurred at Bainbridge, Fitzwater, Christian, and Washington. There have been four crashes involving struck bicyclists at Washington, League, Christian, and Fitzwater.

Our detailed plans

We are proposing a parking-protected bicycle lane and the removal of illegal parking next to crosswalks and in bus stops. A typical cross section of 22nd street with this configuration would look like this:

The configuration, from left to right is: protected bike lane, a buffer between the bike lane and parked cars, a parking lane, travel lane (wide enough for buses and trucks) and a parking lane on the right.

Seen from above, we have detailed line striping plans for each block.

To protect sightlines so all road users can see each other at intersections, parking will be restricted near intersections. A total of 10 parking spots will likely be lost, including both sides of the street. We modeled the proper turning radius for trucks and erred on the liberal side for parking loss. Note that some parking is already illegal (parking in X boxes) so that will need to be enforced so that vehicles can turn and all users can see each other at intersections.

Details on the loss of parking (legal and illegal):

  • 3 spots between Washington and Carpenter (1 for a bus stop)

  • 2 spots between Carpenter and Christian

  • 1 spot between Christian and Norfolk street

  • 2 spots between Norfolk and Catharine Street (1 for a bus stop)

  • 1 spot between Catharine and Fitzwater Street (bus stop)

  • 1 spot between Fitzwater and Bainbridge

Other safety improvements include:

  • We will ask the City to study installing a crosswalk at St. Albans street and another at Montrose for easier access to Julian Abele Park

  • We will ask the City to study replacing traffic signals with stop signs at Catharine and Fitzwater to reduce speeding

Please take a second to vote on the improvements on 22nd Street from Washington Avenue to South Street!


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