When it comes to the #unblockbikelanes and the Philadelphia Police Department they have a unique relationship. There is the WaWa at 22nd St. & Lombard where the bike lane is treated as an active loading zone, which encourages civilians to park in the bike lane as well. At 13th St. & Arch you can expect the bike lane to be blocked by six police cars on a daily basis, due to its proximity to the courthouse. This one is particularly frustrating as there is a gated lot for police parking on one side of the street and a public parking garage on the other.
Over the Labor Day weekend the Philadelphia Police Department had to add insult to injury at the bike lane on Spruce St. between 38th & 39th. Traffic cones were placed along Spruce St. between 38th and 39th, creating a buffered bike lane. To keep people from using the bike lane as quick parking for the WaWa and other restaurants on that block. This didn’t stop the PPD from repeatedly parking in the lane to block access to it, as confirmed by this Twitter thread.
Now I get it, on duty police officers need their breaks and an opportunity to eat just like everyone else. They also need to stay close to to their vehicles, but to deliberately block a buffered bike lane means a cyclist can’t go around the offending vehicle and get back into the bike lane. They have to ride the length of the street putting themselves at risk and impeding the flow of traffic.
So what is the solution? I don’t think the the PPD will have the same sense of humor as the Philadelphia Parking Authority did when Kid Hazo ticketed one of their vehicles.