Atlantic PILOT Project FAQs

Atlantic Avenue PILOT Project Frequently Asked Questions

What is the project?

All Aboard Atlantic is a temporary pilot project geared at testing out designs that are proven to increase safety for different modes of transportation. The program is offered as part of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s EXPO program:

Why did the Borough begin this project? In 2019 and 2020 the Borough worked with stakeholders, traffic engineers, and transportation planners to conduct a study and developed a bike and pedestrian master plan called Connect 2020. During extensive public outreach and surveys, residents identified Atlantic Avenue as a route in need of improvements.

What are the specific changes?

The design consists of minor changes such as painted traffic-calming bump-outs, additional and improved crosswalks, and signage.  The painted bump-outs will feature various degrees of separation from drivers. At Collings, there are tall orange flexible delineators. At Lees, there are raised pavement markers – affectionately called “armadillos,” and at Conard, there is only paint. The project also includes advisory bike lanes.

What are advisory bike lanes?

An advisory bike lane is used on roads that are too narrow to accommodate traditional bike lanes. They are marked with a solid white line on the right (next to parked cars) and a dotted line to the left. These markings give bicyclists a space to ride but are also available to motorists if space is needed to pass oncoming traffic. These are also known as “suggestion lanes.” Advisory bike lanes have been used effectively in other areas throughout the country and are widely used throughout Europe.

A simple explanation:

The traffic pattern is not much different than what it is now, except there is paint to “advise” vehicles and bikes of where to be. Currently, if you are driving down Atlantic Avenue and a bike is in front of you, you stop or yield to the bike (we hope). If there is no oncoming traffic, you pass. The same traffic pattern naturally occurs throughout town on many of our narrow streets.

Here’s a helpful video explainer:

Let’s review:

  • Each side of the road has an advisory cycling lane.
  • Drivers move into the right-hand cycling lane when passing oncoming vehicles.
  • Motorists must yield to cyclists in that space.
  • Motorists travel behind cyclists until it is safe to move back into their lane.

Where can I learn more about Avisory Bike Lanes?
Advisory bike lanes have been implemented and studied in North American cities since 2010 and have been shown to be more effective than the lower intervetnion “share the road” treatments. They have been implemeted on roads with average daily traffic volumes of 200 to 5,000. You can read more about advisory bike lanes an article from the Institute of Traffic Plannign Engineers Journal. 

Why can’t you just put the bike lane on one side?

Because bikes, like cars, travel in two directions and offering a bike lane on only one side of the road is extremely dangerous for cyclists.

Can’t you just put protected bike lanes on Atlantic? 

It’s possible, but not without removing residential and business parking and in some areas widening the road which is very costly.

Will any parking be removed?

All on-street parking will remain. The only affected parking will be the approximately 17 pull-in spaces on the PATCO parking lot between Irving and Lees Avenues. The Northside of this segment of Atlantic has no curb and no sidewalk creating an unsafe condition for all modes. This parking will temporality be blocked during the duration of the demonstration project to provide a safer experience.

What data will be collected during the project? 

We will use data such as before and after traffic counts, survey results, and onsite observations.

Are the modifications permanent?

No, this is a temporary demonstration project that begins on August 14 and ends on September 3. It is an inexpensive way to test the new crosswalks, bump-outs, and advisory bike lane design. By doing a demonstration it allows us to gather data such as traffic counts and feedback from the community via onsite and online surveys. We’ll collect and review that feedback and consider for future improvements.

Check out this quick video explainer from an advisory bike lane project in Ottawa. We’ll be posting Atlantic Avenue videos during the project as well, so stay tuned!