Travel in the city causes congestion and may result in numerous traffic accidents. Inclement weather, traffic backups, and city life may prevent safe travel for pedestrians, including bicyclists. As bicycle lanes in Philadelphia are often difficult to see, the chance for a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle is high and may result in unexpected injuries or fatalities.
Following a recent accident where a bicyclist was fatally injured after being struck by a privately-operated truck while riding, protesters have gathered in Philadelphia to demand safer bike lanes for commuters. Requested safety measures include protection for bike lanes, such as flexible posts and curbs. To prove a point, protesters lined up in the bike lane space by placing their bodies in the places where they felt protection was most needed.
What is a Protected Bike Lane?
A protected bicycle lane is a lane of traffic that has an adequate barrier between motor vehicles and cyclists. A protected lane is composed of two components, a lane of travel and a barrier, and must be nine feet wide. Lanes of travel are six feet, while spacious dividers are given three feet to offer adequate protection from vehicle collision. Dividers used to create protected bicycle lanes primarily consist of flexible posts, but may also utilize planters and parked cars to separate motor vehicles from cyclists on roadways.
Protected Lanes in Philadelphia
While Philadelphia has 200 miles of streets that include bike lanes, only two and a half miles of protected bike lanes have been created where a barrier exists between cars and bicyclists. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, efforts are being made to create protected bike lanes throughout the city. The city received a $250,000 grant to assist with creating protected bicycle lanes this year, putting the total revenue for the cause up to $550,000.
Since 2010, 26 bicyclists have suffered fatal injuries in accidents on Philadelphia streets, with seven being the direct result of a truck collision. Due to an increase in bicycle accidents, installing protected bike lanes was listed as an action item in the Philadelphia Vision Zero safe streets initiative report, making the safety of cyclists a major concern of 2018. While efforts have been slow, the city is aiming to have at least 30 miles of protected bicycle lanes by 2022.
As the city works on creating more protected bicycle lanes, cyclists should be cautious when traveling on unprotected lanes in the city. As of right now, many bicycle lanes have low visibility, so it is important to make yourself visible while traveling. Cyclists should wear protective gear and reflective clothing, and they should travel in groups to improve visibility to motorists when necessary.
Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Assist Victims of Unexpected CollisionsUnprotected roadways, negligence, and distracted driving may result in unexpected collisions for bicyclists on congested city streets. If you or a loved one has experienced personal injury due to a bicycle accident, our team of experienced Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC can assist you. We will work with you to help you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. With an office conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, do not hesitate to contact us online or call 215-569-8488 to schedule a free consultation.