Bike lanes created in Center City

CENTER CITY - September 23, 2009 It's a Center City expressway for bicyclists.

Bike only lanes have been created right through the heart of the city.

Mayor Nutter cut a green ribbon, symbolizing the environmental and health benefits of biking, to signify the start of the bike lanes.

The new bike lanes run through Center City from river to river, eastbound on Pine Street and Westbound on Spruce Street.

There are other bike lanes around town, but these are the first designated as "bicycle only," removing a traffic lane. Both cyclists and drivers will have to adjust.

"Spruce Street is very difficult to drive up and down to begin with and this just makes it 30 times more difficult to drive up and down," Sean McMullen of Society Hill said.

"We're going to need folks to pay attention, particularly when they're making those right turns, they're not used to having bicyclists in the lane next to them," Deputy Mayor for Transportation Rina Cutler said.

Cars are allowed in the bike lane only to make a right turn.

Already bikers were enjoying the new lanes this morning.

Among them, Mayor Nutter who had a bit of fashion advice. The Mayor strapped on a helmet and was ready to ride, in his suit, in a light drizzle. The last time he wore the suit the mayor got caught in a downpour.

"Apparently, this is my rainwear," the Mayor said as he rode off to City Hall and a much safer and quicker bicycle commute.

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