New American Street Bike Lane Comes With Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Philly is soon to have its first raised, concrete barrier-protected bike lane — and it comes with an exciting green addition.
Spanning 1.3 miles from Northern Liberties to Fairhill, the bike lane on North American Street is projected to be completed around April 2021. Construction of the six-and-a-half foot wide bike lane was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Once complete, cyclists will be able to ride on the raised, concrete barrier-protected platform from Master Street to Lehigh Avenue, with a short unprotected stretch to Indiana Avenue. While center bike lanes have been criticized for their relative inconvenience and potential safety risks, the elevation and thick concrete barriers running along a majority of the lane make this a safer option than riding along bike lanes with no barriers or flimsy flex posts.
Twelve blocks of the bike lane stretching from Cecil B. Moore Avenue to Norris Street is already complete and accessible for use, so you can head over to try it out.
New Green Stormwater Infrastructure additions
The bike lane isn’t the only sustainable addition coming to American Street. The new lane is a part of the larger American Street Improvement project, including sidewalks, new light poles, and installation of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) in the center of the road. The American Street Improvement Project is associated with the city’s Green City, Clean Waters initiative. (In case you need a green stormwater infrastructure refresher… without proper drainage and absorption, rain water can infiltrate the sewer system, causing sewage overflow and contamination. (Yuck!)
The project was funded by the BUILD program (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development), a federal grant program which funds the development and restoration of road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure across the country. American Street has long awaited change with sections fallen into disrepair.
As crumbling factories are replaced by new businesses, the ongoing project is expected to bring new residential and commercial growth to the area.