As noted at a Chamber of Commerce business briefing last week, the city is encouraging bicycle use during the Democratic National Convention as, among other things, a way to make sure traffic isn’t more tied up than usual. The city is expecting anywhere from 50,000-100,000 additional people in Philadelphia between July 22 and July 29—the weekend before, and weekend after, the DNC.
Whether you’re here as a delegate representing people back in your state, you’re here to protest, or you live here and are just trying to get around, here are some things to keep in mind if you’re using a bicycle in Philly.
Indego is, of course, a great way to get around the city. That said, the nearest bike share stations are just over a mile north of the Wells Fargo Center, so don’t plan on taking a bike share bike to Wells Fargo.
Like most bike share systems, your charges keep accumulating each half hour ($4).
We suggest that if you are using Indego to sign up online for a one month subscription ($15). More info here.
There will be a “security zone” and closed roads around the Wells Fargo Center. You’re not allowed to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in Philadelphia and if there are barricades you won’t be able to ride in the street either, so be sure to walk your bike. Here’s a map put together by the Bicycle Coalition’s John Boyle based on the information we have about where people are, and are not, allowed during the DNC. The map also includes commercial bike rental locations and suggested bike routes to and from Center City.
Parking Your Bike at the Wells Fargo Center
If you’re bringing a bike down to the Wells Fargo Center, keep in mind there are no bike parking spaces around that particular venue.
That said, there are 144 bike parking spaces around Citizen’s Bank Park, which is not far from the Wells Fargo Center. There are also 8 bike parking spaces at SEPTA’s AT&T Station.
While not official spaces, there are gates around the Wells Fargo Center to which you can hook your bike. And remember: Don’t park your bike on a tree!
Parking Your Bike in Center City
Parking your bike at the various racks in Center City should be business as usual—so, please, don’t believe it if someone tells you can’t park your bike somewhere (unless it’s against a tree!). That said, the Office of Emergency Management wants people to use discretion if they’re parking their bike in areas where demonstrations may take place.
“There is no prohibition on bike parking, but we encourage riders to use discretion when parking in congested demonstration areas,” the Office told us in an email.
Where You Can – And Can’t – Ride Your Bike
Unlike when the Pope visited Philadelphia in the fall, there won’t be any traffic boxes, or open streets, next week.
According to the Office of Emergency Management,
- Bikes are allowed to ride up and down Broad Street, as far south as Pattison Avenue. Once at Pattison Avenue, bikes may turn westbound.
- Twenty-Sixth Street will provide bicyclists access to the Navy Yard.
- Bike are additionally allowed on 11th Street, but once the United States Secret Service perimeter is in place, bikes will not be allowed inside that perimeter.
- Bikes are allowed in FDR Park.
Broad Street Ride
There will be non-political ride down Broad Street on Wednesday, July 27, beginning at 6:30pm. You should come! And if you want to take out an Indego bike for that ride, check out the map below for Indego stations along, and near Broad Street.
Clean Energy March
Many cyclists are serious about green energy, and if that’s you, we suggest you join the March for Clean Energy on Sunday, July 24. Organized by 350.org, the Sierra Club, and others, the march will begin at Philadelphia City Hall at noon on Sunday.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
There will be additional bus service in Philadelphia throughout the week, to transfer delegates between their hotels, the Wells Fargo Center, and the Convention Center.
Bicyclists should be aware of additional buses making additional stops.
Bicycling is the best way to get around Philadelphia, and most cities. Bike during the convention, before it, and after it.
And hey, don’t forget about appreciating your democracy next week. America is awesome.