Here in Philadelphia, they've painted new E/W bike lanes on Pine and Spruce Streets. I was pretty excited about it and took Spruce Street to over to Penn tonight. Now, Spruce and Pine aren't terribly great in terms of potholes and the like. It's a pretty bumpy ride with or without the lanes.
But still, pretty great to have a lane designated just for cycles. Until I got to 16th street, where for the next four blocks, there was a line of parked cars in the lane. Now, I would assume that the point of the lanes would be for cyclists's safety, to keep us out of the way of cars and so cars couldn't crowd us off the street. But, if for four blocks the lane is obstructed, then there's really no point.
Now, I know the cars are parked there because there is some special dispensation for people attending services at the church located on Spruce. I'm not really sure why that is. I mean, you don't get a special parking allowance when you attend a play or concert on Broad St, why give people special treatment because they are going to church? Plus, this is a city, there are many ways to get to church without driving, even if you live out of town. I think that if you want to attend that church or synagogue, you should have to take into account that you may have to park in a garage or find regular on-street parking.