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Creative Ideas for PHL: Let’s Hire Artists to Paint Our Bike Lanes!

April 27, 2016


(Photo via MTL Blog)

What if we employed artists and graffiti writers to paint Philly’s bike lanes?

Currently, Philadelphia is already paying to paint many of our bike lanes green, so why not use that money to make them even more eye catching!

According to this article on the MTL Blog, which I saw today on Facebook (shared by Marcus Ferreira), it looks like Montreal is thinking about doing just that, and I think Philly should borrow the idea.

And before people start freaking out, I’m not suggesting that we paint every bike lane. Just a handful around the city in key spots, like on The Parkway, along 13th street in the Gayborhood’s restaurant district, on Spring Garden in Northern Liberties… I mean, really any stretch of bike lane where the community wanted it! I’ve just named these spots in an effort to think of places with less residential homes and more businesses, etc., assuming some home owners would probably put up more of a fight against something like this.

What are some possible benefits and drawbacks to such an operation? Let’s explore…

-Philly continues to solidify itself as THE East Coast city for artists, as an innovative city, and a city that supports a 21st Century creative community/economy
-Tourism! In our Instagram and Snapchat centered world, you’ll now have every tourist in the city showing all their friends and loved ones just how cool and colorful the streets of Philly are on social media
-We’d be the first city in America (and only the second city in the world, behind Montreal if their proposals pan out) to have artist-painted bike lanes!

-The people who park in bike lanes will now also be ruining everyone’s Instagram photos in addition to forcing bikers to veer into traffic
-Literally can not think of another one

Ok, now does anyone know anyone at the other Streets Department? Let’s do this, Philly!

Creative Ideas for PHL, a new Streets Dept series exploring creative opportunities for the City of Philadelphia. Have a creative idea for Philly? Email me at StreetsDept[at]Gmail[dot]com!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2016 10:16 pm


  2. April 28, 2016 11:23 am

    this is the dumbest idea ever. people are going to take the bike lanes even less seriously then they do now and its going to make it more confusing to identify and avoid bumps and holes

  3. Nicole permalink
    April 29, 2016 5:34 pm

    What about when that paint comes off from wear and tear from bikers and gets into our waterways? Sure, you can say “oh just use waterproof high traffic paint”. But eventually, it WILL crack and seep into the ground and water. No thanks.

  4. Grant permalink
    May 8, 2016 11:05 pm

    No. Harder to see cracks/holes/bumps as Andrew said. Paint will most likely be slick when wet also.

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