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Bicycle Network

CHOP Contraflow Bicycle Lane

Question and Answer

Why a bicycle lane on Civic Center Boulevard?

Civic Center Boulevard is an important link between University Avenue and Spruce Street, two corridors of high existing bicycle demand because of bridge links and employment and residential destinations. The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania and University of Pennsylvania campus are employment hubs and many employees and visitors cycle for transportation. Because of the non-grid roadway network in this area of University City, designated bicycle routes have even greater use and importance than usual.


What does a contra-flow lane look like?

A contra-flow lane is different than most of the bicycle lanes you see around the City. The lane is located between the travel lane and the sidewalk. It is separated from the adjacent travel lane by a solid yellow line striped area. The lane provides a dedicated space for bicyclists to travel against traffic (contra-flow). Within this lane, there are bicycle symbols and arrows to indicate the direction of bicycle travel.


How do I enter the contra-flow lane as a cyclist?

Cyclists coming from University Avenue should get in the left hand bicycle lane to enter the contra-flow lane at the intersection of Civic Center Boulevard and Health Sciences Drive.


What are the benefits of contra-flow lanes?

The contra-flow lane provides better connectivity for bicycles, reduces dangerous wrong-way and sidewalk riding, and decreases trip distance, making cycling a more attractive travel option. A similar design is on 30th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets.


What about traffic?

Traffic flow will remain the same for southbound travelers - one way southbound on Civic Center Boulevard for vehicles and southbound bicycles. Bicycles are the only vehicles allowed to travel both ways. There should be no negative effect on traffic flow.


Will parking or loading be affected?

Access to adjacent parking structures and drop-off driveways remain the same. The only difference is that, on the bike lane (east) side of road, drivers must cross the hatched yellow buffer area to reach the parking garage entrance or driveway. Drivers should first look for oncoming bikes, then, when clear, cross the contra-flow lane and enter the parking structure. No stopping or loading is allowed in the contra-flow lane or buffer area.


Where can I get more information on this project?

Jeannette Brugger, Pedestrian & Bicycle Coordinator, 215.686.5521, [email protected]


Example Images

The beginning of the contra-flow lane at Health Sciences Boulevard:

The terminus of the contra-flow lane at Convention Avenue: