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13th and 15th Still Unfinished After 5 Years

The long suffering 15th and 13th Neighborhood Bikeway project is going to stretch into its fifth year because line striping was not accomplished this fall as long planned.  The edge lines separating parked cars from moving traffic on 13th and 15th Streets in South Philadelphia will not be striped until spring 2019, the Bicycle Coalition has learned.

This summer, after four years of waiting, new green-backed “super sharrows” were installed on 13th and 15th Streets (some blocks of 15th await the completion of another PWD project.)  The project was supposed to make these streets into “Neighborhood Bikeways,” with treatments for single lane streets with parking on both sides. As anyone who bikes in South Philadelphia knows, it is a stressful experience when cars aggressively harass bicylists who they perceive as being in the way.

A $250,000 Transportation Alternatives Program grant was secured by the City for this project in 2014, which grew out of a Community Design Collaborative project started in 2011. The original goal was to create shared streets in some of the City’s tightest grid and provide a north south bikeway from heavily bike South Philadelphia into Center City by diverting and/or encouraging motor vehicles to Broad Street.

Time ran out this fall to install the edge line, we have been told, due to a backlog of striping projects.

Seeing this project drag out another paving season is very discouraging.

A striping project that is fully grant funded doesn’t need to take five years to complete.  We don’t think this should be acceptable practice by the City of Philadelphia.

The 2014 grant was to cover the expenses of laying down green-backed sharrows, solid parking lines delineating the parking lanes from the vehicular travel lane, new crosswalks at each intersection, signage on Broad Street directing people to the bikeways, and new signage along 13th and 15th Streets from South to Oregon (4 miles and 20 blocks in total.) As of this fall, sharrows have been installed on 13th and 15th and signage has been placed along both streets marking them as Neighborhood Bikeways.


Through advocacy and education, the Bicycle Coalition leads the movement to make bicycling a safe and fun way to get around for anyone in Greater Philadelphia. We’re a member-funded organization, and we can’t advocate for building out the region’s bicycle network without your support. Join or donate today to partner with us and make your ride better.

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Topics: Biking in Philly, Featured

One comment on “13th and 15th Still Unfinished After 5 Years

  1. Ethan

    Note that the “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” signage has not been installed to spec. On 15th St. south of Washington, they are placed much more sparsely than every other block, which is what the design calls for. On 13th from Oregon to Washington, they are essentially absent. I have notified OTIS about this — I’m not sure if there’s going to be any follow-up on their end.

    Additionally, the buffered bike lane on 15th between Carpenter and Washington has not been striped, though legislation was passed to do this.

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