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DRPA Approves Ben Franklin Bridge Ramp Construction

This is happening.

It’s official. Today, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the contract for the construction of the Ben Franklin Bridge walkway ramp. The total cost of the project is expected to be over $9 million.

The project will begin in the fall, it will probably start with the demolition of the existing stair-tower and adjacent walkway. During the 18 month construction bicyclists and pedestrians will be detoured to the north walkway.

However, the last 800 feet of the north walkway, on the Camden side, narrows down to a three foot wide cattle chute.

At the Board meeting, during the public comment period, BCGP Member and Camden Resident Patrick Miner proposed that DRPA expand widening that narrow section of the north walkway with tiles and/or concrete.

Our Recommendations for South, Lombard and 27th Streets in West Center City

The proposed Lombard-South-27th Street safety project was rejected by apparent “near neighbor” concerns late last month, but the Bicycle Coalition has continued working with cyclists, neighbors, neighborhood organizations, and the city, to figure out a compromise and make the streets as safe as possible for cyclists and pedestrians.

That’s why, in the wake of the South of South Neighbors Association voting in favor of a protected bike lane on South Street, we wrote a letter to Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Philadelphia’s Director of Complete Streets Kelley Yemen, explaining what we’d like to see happen on those West Center streets.

Among the changes we’re recommending: we’d like to see new loading zones installed on Lombard Street, raised crosswalks, a ‘Tuff Curb’ protected bike lane along 27th Street, a protected bike lane on South Street, and newly-timed traffic signals. Check out our full recommendation letter below the fold.

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Support CYC Alum as he returns to Charlottesville

 

Cadence Youth Cycling alum Allen Williams speaks to the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia (Photo: Travis Southard)

Cadence Youth Cycling (CYC) alumni Allen Williams addressed a crowd of Bicycle Coalition supporters at a small, private event. He told the crowd how CYC helped him develop discipline and commitment, gave him a network of support, and provided him opportunities to travel outside of Philadelphia.

And he’s brought that leadership with him to the University of Virginia, where Allen is chair of the Leadership and Development Committee of the Black Student Alliance. As the chair, Allen is responsible for designing retreats and leadership, fostering exercises to bring out the leaders in the black community. (In support of Allen, and all black students at the University of Virginia, please consider giving a donation directly to the Black Student Alliance here.)

Less than 24-hours after Williams spoke at the Bicycle Coalition event, racist protests broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the University of Virginia is located. Neo-Nazis and affiliated groups descended on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.

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CYC Race Team Takes on the Millersburg Stage Race

Last weekend, the CYC Race Team, made up of our most elite athletes, competed in the 11th Annual Tour de Millersburg Stage Race, which consists of three parts: time trial, a road race, and a criterium. There were no junior categories at this event, which meant that CYC athletes competed alongside adult cat 4 and 5 cyclists.

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Update: The Chestnut Street Protected Bike Lane is Not Complete

Photo: PhillyOTIS

I put out a video on Monday explaining that the West Chestnut Street protected bike lane’s striping has begun.

Since then, the Bicycle Coalition has gotten a lot of emails and messages about the lane, and people have been riding the lane.

I know it’s confusing, given construction is happening at night. But the lane is not complete. It won’t be done for a while, perhaps a couple more weeks? We really don’t know, we are not afforded access to work schedules.

Until then, we don’t recommend riding in it, especially since most of the lane doesn’t have bollards installed yet, and, therefore, motor vehicle users are likely unaware of the rules that will be enacted once the lane is done and laws are enforced.

That all said, we’re excited for this project to be completed, and for Philadelphians to have access to the city’s first one-way protected bike lane. We’ll provide updates as we get them. It took six years to get to this point. Just give it another couple weeks.

14 Year Old Josh Goldinger Struck and Killed By Motorist in Lower Makefield

Josh Goldinger was struck and killed at around 2:45 PM on Tuesday August 8th while trying to cross Makefield Rd at N. Old Homestead Rd. in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, according to news reports.

Josh is believed to be the fourth person on a bicycle killed by a motor vehicle drivers in 2017 in the Greater Philadelphia Region. He is the second victim in Bucks County.

There is no doubt that this young man was loved by many.

A Change.org petition to Lower Makefield Township has been created, asking to add sidewalks to Makefield Road.

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Reader Response #4: The 85th Percentile Speed Rationale is Archaic

Hi! I’m here to answer your questions and comments!

Let’s say you’re a parent, and you have five kids. Then, let’s say four of those five kids tells you their favorite food is Oreo cookies. The fifth kid says they like grilled chicken, kale, carrots, and fruit.

Would you put all your kids on a strict diet of nothing but Oreos? Probably not.

And would you set all nutritional guidelines according to the kids who are super into Oreos?* Ha!

But that’s how speed limits were once determined, and how some people think they still should be—even in cities.

A search through the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s blog comments finds more than 30 comments critical of the Bicycle Coalition’s activism for safer speeds throughout Philadelphia, citing something called the 85th Percentile. This may come as a shock (or not!), but the 85th Percentile approach is outdated and should be ignored.

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WATCH: West Chestnut Street Bike Lane Striping Begins

Striping for the West Chestnut Street parking-protected bike lane began on August 7, 2017 — right on schedule.

To mark (and explain) the occasion, we created the below video. Enjoy.

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SOSNA Supports South Street Protected Bike Lane

Readers of this blog know that even though Councilman Kenyatta Johnson recently wrote a letter against the Lombard Street portion of a proposed South Street-27th Street-Lombard Street protected bike lane project in West Center City, we have continued our efforts to create a safe passageway for road users who use west Center City to get to and from the South Street Bridge for commuting.

The Bicycle Coalition and others have been in talks with neighbors, cyclists who use the area, and neighborhood associations to figure out how we can make this commute better, and safer, for cyclists.

So we’re happy to report the South of South Neighborhood Association released a letter in support of the South Street section of the project.

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Our Message for 30th Street Station: More Bike Parking

30th Street Station is getting a facelift, and as part of the comment and recommendation process around that, we’ve proposed at least 300 additional parking spaces underneath SEPTA Regional Rail and

“We recommend that the Plaza incorporate rolling access to the areas where bicycle parking will be located,” wrote Sarah Clark Stuart in a letter to Senior Manager Natlie Shieh. “A designated route for cyclists from the City’s street grid to the planned bike parking facility is important as cyclists will most likely not willingly dismount and walk their bikes. We acknowledge that routing cyclists through the plaza with directional signs or pavement markings to separate cyclists and pedestrians is difficult.”

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