by Thomas Fitzgerald, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Bike lanes separated from traffic by parked vehicles on several busy state routes in Philadelphia have drawn flocks of cyclists, slowed cars, and reduced collisions, a study of the lanes shows. They also could be among the last of their kind in the city unless the state Senate acts to clarify the definition of a curb.
Parking-separated bike lanes have historically been barred on state-owned roads because Pennsylvania law requires parked vehicles to be within 12 inches of the curb, or the edge of the pavement.
The lanes, also referred to as “parking-protected,” are dedicated tracks for cyclists with a row of parked vehicles to shield them from being hit by cars and trucks. A marked 5-foot wide lane abuts the curb and drivers park on the other side of a safety buffer — putting them up to 8 feet from the curb, a violation of the Pennsylvania law.