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Bike ‘sharrows’ planned for the length of 13th and 15th streets

A $1.5 million grant announced last week will pave the way for bike infrastructure improvements, including along 13th and 15th streets through South Philly, but they’re not the full bike lanes that cyclists want and parkers fear.

Plan Philly reports that a slice of the money will fund what are called “sharrows” — a combination of the words “share” and “arrow” — to be painted on the roadway between South Street and Oregon Avenue. The bulk of that funding, however, will go toward the city’s planned (and delayed) bike share program.

Pic of a sharrow comes from Plan Philly.

Pic of a sharrow comes from Plan Philly.

The South Philadelphia Neighborhood Bikeway will also include signage on Broad Street to direct bikers off that busier street.

Says Plan Philly:

These improvements to 13th and 15th aren’t the bike lanes many may dream of, but sharrows and signs do help reinforce the message that all users must share the road. South 15th Street is a commonly biked street which already does have some sharrows. 13th Street’s existing northbound bike lane begins at South Street, so the sharrow will carry cyclists to the bike lane.

The neighborhood bikeway project should “help get bike users off of Broad Street, especially off of the sidewalks on Broad,” said DVRPC’s Joe Banks.

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21 Responses to Bike ‘sharrows’ planned for the length of 13th and 15th streets

  1. Dan July 1, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    As a biker, I dread the city spending money on something useless like this.

    Drivers barely pay attention to full bike lanes, and the sharrows are just a joke.

    • Philly Ray July 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

      As a walker, I dread the city spending money on something useless like this.

      Bikers barely pay attention to full bike lanes, and the sharrows are just a joke.

  2. Dan July 1, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    I just noticed that this is supposed to get bikers off of the nice broad expanse of Broad street, and on to the narrower, more dangerous, and just-as-steadily trafficked 13th and 15th streets. Ridiculous.

    • mjg58 July 2, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      Have to disagree with you about Broad St. It’s far more dangerous than 13/15th streets. Sharrows are good at reinforcing what bikers should do, which is take the lane.

  3. Steve July 1, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    As a non-biker who walks and/or takes public transportation more often than I drive, I am dreading this. A majority of bikers already ignore traffic laws that apply to them (i.e., stopping at stop signs and red lights) and this will just empower them to be more brazen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been hit by people on bikes while walking or have them fly through a stop sign without even attempting to brake after I have come to a full stop in my car and checked both ways

    • Gunter July 2, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      You’re dreading this? Tell us more…

  4. BikeGurl July 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    Some form of driver education is sorely needed, and sharrows are fairly low-cost and better than nothing. I bike all around the city and South Philly is where I encounter the most abuse from drivers. And for the record, I stop at stop signs, signal my turns, and obey traffic laws, so it’s nothing I did wrong, just the fact that I’m there. Sadly there are too many ignorant people who feel that bicycles aren’t allowed to share the road. On the contrary, under PA motor vehicle code a bicycle is a vehicle and is required to be in the street – and not just where there are bike lanes.

  5. Steve July 2, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    BikeGurl – I realize that there are some bikers who DO obey the laws. It works both ways…there are many drivers who are ignorant and there are others who obey the laws and are respectful to bikers who are equally respectful. Education is needed on both sides. However, living in South Philly, I do have to say that the majority of bikers completely disregard rules of the road and cause more potential hazards. A few anecdotal examples I can share:

    1. Biker trying to pass a SEPTA bus on the right shoulder while passengers (myself included) were exiting the bus. Nearly plowed right into us

    2. Biker making a left turn in front of my car from the right shoulder after failing to stop at a stop sign. I nearly hit him since he was in my blindspot (and illegally trying to pass me at a stop sign)

    3. Biker failing to stop at an intersection while also going down the wrong way of a 1 way street causing me to nearly hit him when I had the right of way.

    These are just 3 of MANY examples I have seen in the past 5 years that I have lived in South Philly. I’ve seen a big change in Center City and more people are mindful of traffic laws, but for some reason it just seems to be a free for all in South Philly (and again, I acknowledge it is drivers who are at fault, too).

    Please keep doing what you are doing and hopefully help to educate bikers at large.

    • Ian July 2, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      Have you seen drivers in South Philly?
      3 whole examples of jerk bikers- golly!
      I walk a lot, I bike a lot, and I drive to work during the week.
      There are a ton of idiots in each class. If everyone just took a second to slow down and do the right things more often – we’d be alright. (Bikers yielding at stop signs, pedestrians stop doing dumb things and drivers calming the heck down)

      • Steve July 2, 2014 at 11:25 am #

        Ian – Yes, as I said 3 of MANY examples. I could easily rattle off dozens more examples. Regardless, I agree with you, everyone needs to pay more attention and stop being a bunch of jack@$$es all around.

      • Philly Ray July 3, 2014 at 8:08 am #

        Bikers yielding at stop signs? Aren’t they supposed to stop at stop signs?

        • SouthPhillyPhun July 4, 2014 at 3:10 am #

          Stopping at a light? HA, I rather yield.
          It goes on EVERYWHERE in the world, if you want bikes to stop at lights and signs, teach it to the world.

          • ProvWitout July 9, 2014 at 5:30 am #

            SouthPhillyPhun.. I completely agree with you. Traffic laws are for motorized vehichles. And while cyclists should still show an awareness of them, they shoukd not have to wait at a red light for no reason. How could you not cross the street while all the foot traffic crosses..? Why even take a bike in the first place then?!? Again… I conpletely agree with ya.

      • AnthonyG July 3, 2014 at 9:09 am #

        @Ian, I can’t recall the last time I saw a car going down the street the wrong way, blow the Stop sign, and turn the corner going the wrong way again. Almost hitting a woman, with a baby carriage, who’s in the crosswalk. All while giving her the finger and yelling “a-hole!”.

        Oh, nor can I recall the last time I saw a car driving on the sidewalk.

      • ProvWitout July 4, 2014 at 4:00 am #

        Yeah if there is no traffic coming for blocks… And I’m on a bike… Good luck convincing me I should stare at that traffic light till it turns green. You guys are nuts. I’m on a bike. Not in a car.

        • uhhhhh July 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

          you’re on a bike, not in a car ehhh? then i guess that means you don’t have rights to the road and should get the f out of the way of my vehicle

          • ProvWitout July 9, 2014 at 5:37 am #

            I’m sure your insurance company wouldn’t approve of that outlook on driving. Try telling people at the shore that bikes shouldn’t be on pavements and should obey laws that the cars do… The whole world recognizes that bikes are not motorized vehicles and that traffic laws are for motorized, vehicles… Whats next? Nobody can ride a bicycle anymore unless they have a license? LoL!!! You people are ABSURD!!!

  6. Dan P. July 3, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Ride or walk as if no one can see you… drive as if a six-year-old is ALWAYS about to jump out in front your car. Everyone follows those rules and we should all be fine.

    • Albert Stumm July 3, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      That is great advice. Fear is a good safety motivator.

    • ProvWitout July 4, 2014 at 4:02 am #

      Yeah common sense is the answer. Not overbearing punishment for not obeying these ever more creative lines in the streets…

  7. Raul July 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    Why do we need those, I just ride on the sidewalk, way safer for me

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