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Construction to begin on Philly’s first one-way protected bike lane

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Along Chestnut Street in University City

A dangerous 1.1-mile stretch of Chestnut Street will be home to the city’s first one-way protected bike lane.
via Google Streetview

A 1.1-mile stretch of Chestnut Street in University City is about to become home to Philly’s first one-way protected bike lane.

The Philadelphia Streets Department announced Monday that construction work will begin on the Chestnut Street Transportation Project on August 7. The project not only includes the city’s first one-way protected bike lane, running from 45th to 34th, but also “shortening the crossing distance for pedestrians walking [...] and removing one motor vehicle travel lane.”

In addition, left turn lanes will be added.

The lane, which will be located on the north side of Chestnut Street, will be protected by delineator posts and a parking lane.

The news comes after a bill for the bike lane was passed by City Council in June just before council was dismissed for summer recess.

What made this stretch of Chestnut worthy of the city’s first one-way protected bike path? As it stands now, it’s a heavily trafficked section of Chestnut, both by cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles. It’s also one of the most dangerous—in 2015, 75 percent of crashes on the street happened within 45th and 34th, according to the Philadelphia Streets Department.

When the bike path opens, it will join the ranks of the city’s first two-way protected bike path, which opened in September 2016 on Ryan Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. In total, Mayor Jim Kenney has pledged to create 30 miles of protected bike lanes in Philly during his tenure.

Construction on the Chestnut Street Transportation Project is expected to take three weeks.

Read the Chestnut Street Transportation Project flyer here for the full breakdown.