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With posts gone, bikers concerned over 5th Street tunnel
Biking

With posts gone, bikers concerned over 5th Street tunnel

Winter weather has been blamed for DRPA’s removal of the bike-friendly posts. The Bicycle Coalition has ideas of how to make the bike lane safer year-round.

Bike Commuters have voiced their concerns about the danger of cycling through the 5th Street Tunnel without flex posts, which have been removed due to snow plowing concerns.

This year the flex posts will be reinstalled by March 15th.


In 2015, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia proposed adding flex posts as a visible barrier between the cyclists and the vehicles on the 1,200-foot roadway that connects between Race and Callowhill.

The posts were installed in the tunnel three years ago, helping keep bike commuters safe from cars. However, the DRPA has been regularly taking them out in the early fall and replacing them in the early spring. But the Bike Coalition pointed out that the DRPA took the posts away earlier than expected this year.

Proposed steps to keep 5th Street safe.

John Boyle, research director of the Bicycle Coalition, hopes the DRPA can take measures to change the way bike posts are dealt with in the 5th Street Tunnel. The coalition has four requests for the DRPA:

  • Annually install flex posts by April 1st.
  • DRPA to commit to taking the flex posts as late as possible.
  • DRPA to raise money to purchase the necessary equipment to have the bike lane plowed
  • Maintain the bike lane throughout the year

Boyle explained last year the coalition asked the DRPA to place the posts back in the tunnel by early May. He further claimed that the DRPA has been getting the posts removed earlier and have been placing them back in at a later time frame.

Moving up the installation to April 1st is a “reasonable time,’ according to Boyle.

The organization plans to have its requests announced at the next Delaware River Port Authority meeting.

The lane is often dangerous to ride in the winter as the DRPA does not provide regular maintenance.

Other institutions, such as Rutgers University, have a Bobcat that can plow through narrow bike lanes.

What’s next on the Bicycle Coalition’s wish list? Boyle hopes that the DRPA can obtain bike-lane-friendly Bobcat equipment for riders to make their commute easier through the 5th Street Tunnel.

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Jessica Rogers

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