Biking Gets Safer for Riders

Biking is one of the most efficient ways to navigate busy city streets and is an increasing popular way to navigate around campus. In recent years, the University has seen the number of bikes on campus double.

But biking on city streets can pose a number of safety risks to riders, according to Maureen S. Rush, Penn’s vice president for public safety. Specifically, cyclists riding in dedicated lanes on the right side of streets must steer around SEPTA and LUCY buses that pull over to drop off or pick up passengers. In addition, parked vehicles can create obstacles by temporarily blocking the lanes, and driver’s-side doors can quickly open in a cyclist’s path.

In an effort to improve public safety, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have moved the bike lane on Walnut Street to the left side, starting at 22nd Street and continuing to 48th Street.

The new buffered bike lane on the left side of Walnut Street makes riding safer for cyclists pedaling from Center City to West Philadelphia. Riding on the left side of the street minimizes the interference from buses and cars, and can lower the potential for accidents and injuries.

Bicycle safety on campus is one of the key components to the Division of Public Safety’s annual “Share the Road” campaign. “Share the Road” educates bicyclists and motorists about local laws and basic safety practices.

The city will resurface the entire length of Walnut Street, and plans to add left-side buffered bike lanes on Walnut that will stretch from 22nd to 63rd streets.

Text by Jill DiSanto
Video by Kurtis Sensenig