Philly’s first raised bike lane with a concrete buffer is nearly complete - PlanPhilly

The bikeway runs along the middle of North American Street, connecting Northern Liberties to Fairhill.

Philly’s first-ever bike lane protected by a concrete buffer is almost complete.

Raised from vehicular traffic and separated from cars by a wide gray curb, the 6½-foot-wide lane stretches along the median of North American Street, running from Northern Liberties to Fairhill.

Philly began revamping the historically industrial street a little over two years ago, using a healthy grant from the federal government. City officials put forth a plan to outfit the roadway into a pedestrian-accessible plaza, with grassy medians and extensive bike lanes.

Originally slated for completion this past December, the American Street Improvement Project has been delayed by the pandemic and spouts of bad weather. But it’s still happening.

Key evidence: The 1.3-mile buffered bike lane, which is nearly ready.

Twelve blocks of the bikeway are finished so far, from Cecil B. Moore Avenue to Norris Street. The rest of it, between Master and Lehigh, is just awaiting final touches — the jagged curb cuts need to be smoothed over, and the lane is missing pavement markings.

Those finishes are coming soon. “​It is anticipated that we will complete the final wearing course and pavement markings in early spring of 2021,” said Streets Department spokesperson Joy Huertas.

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