Philadelphia opened up new bike lanes this week as part of the Chestnut Street Repaving and Safety Project. The new bike lanes are part of Philadelphia's Vision Zero initiative to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.
A new parking-separated bikeway was added on Chestnut Street from 45th to 63rd streets as part of the project.
“These improvements will keep every Philadelphians safe on this corridor, no matter how they get around,” said Council member Jamie Gauthier. “I’m so proud of what we’ve delivered for the West Philadelphia community, and I’m proud of what we showed that we could do on a street like this.”
Deputy Managing Director Mike Carroll said adding more protected bike lanes is a good thing for Philadelphia. It’s just one part of an effort to limit speeding and traffic fatalities in Philadelphia.
“We’re finally looking at a project that provides people with safe options no matter what mode they take down Chestnut Street,” said Carroll.
In an effort to slow people down, speed cameras are looked at to be utilized in areas like Broad Street, Henry Avenue, Lincoln Drive, and Cobbs Creek Parkway.
The city plans to request additional cameras from Harrisburg next year, along with making the pilot program along Roosevelt Boulevard permanent.
In 2021, there were 121 traffic deaths on Philadelphia streets, making it the second-deadliest year for traffic crashes since 1999.
Despite the safety efforts, the city’s Vision Zero Annual Report showed Philadelphia has among the highest rate of traffic deaths, with seven per 100,000 residents. Only Los Angeles had a higher rate among major U.S. cities, with 7.38 traffic deaths per 100,000. New York City’s rate was much lower at 2.59 deaths per 100,000 residents.