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Now Officially Open: The Schuylkill River Trail South-Christian Segment

Mayor Kenney speaks at South-Christian opening

Officials and trail enthusiasts were giddy at the packed opening of the new segment of the Schuylkill River Trail opening on Friday, April 20. The new section of trail is between South Street and Christian Street, and includes a stairway from the new Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia building to the trail.

Among those in attendance and speaking at the opening event: Mayor Jim Kenney; Kathryn Ott-Lovell, Commissioner, Parks and Recreation; Michael DiBerardinis, Managing Director, City of Philadelphia; Secretary Leslie Richards, PennDOT; Diane Kripas, Trails Manager, DCNR; Councilman Kenyatta Johnson; State Senator Larry Farnese; State Representative Jordan Harris; Doug Hock, Chief Operating Officer, CHOP; Shawn McCaney, Executive Director, William Penn Foundation.

The new South to Christian trail and greenway extends the Schuylkill River Trail a third-of-a-mile toward South Philadelphia.

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SUCCESS: Philadelphia Announces Sideguards on Trash Trucks

The City of Philadelphia announced on Wednesday that it will begin requiring all new trash hauling trucks to undergo a series of safety improvements, including the installation of side guards.

Side guards—panels installed between the wheels of vehicles—on trucks have been utilized by cities all around the world and led to increased safety in those cities.

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Pedestrian Killed on North Front Street

As the Bicycle Coalition has done throughout 2018, members traveled up to Front and Luzerne Streets on Wednesday to bring more attention to Philadelphia’s traffic death epidemic. As noted in the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan, Philadelphia has the highest per-capita traffic death rate amongst its peer cities. Distressingly, pedestrian deaths by number, and percentage of total traffic deaths, has been increasing in recent years.

And last weekend, a pedestrian, whose name has not yet been released by police, was killed along Front Street in North Philadelphia. According to media reports, the pedestrian was killed around 4am on the 3800 block of Front Street. He later died at Temple University.

There was already a memorial set up to the victim, whom friends and family referred to as “Quil.”

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Last Chance to Reserve Your Seat at Brunch This Sunday!

Our first annual ProfiteROLL wouldn’t have been such a success without the generosity of Philadelphia’s restaurant community.

That generosity will be on display again this Sunday at Le Cheri, thanks to chef/owners Charlotte and Pierre Calmels.

Their connection to the Emily Fredricks Memorial Fund is strong; Emily was their pastry chef before she was tragically stuck and killed last November while pedaling to work.

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Recap: Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling Fun Day

On Saturday, BCYC athletes competed in a scavenger hunt-style alley cat ride through Fairmount Park.

Each team had one hour to gear up and plan their route, then three hours to travel to each location on the hunt and complete a task.

The race ended with awards and a lunch party at Lemon Hill catered by team sponsor District Taco.

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Manayunk Bridge Cyclists: You’re Getting a Curb Cut

At last week’s meeting of DVRPC’s Regional Technical Committee, the DVRPC board approved $30,000 in funding for “Manayunk Trail Gateway Improvements.”

This trail win was the result of users reaching out to us with feedback on how to improve the bike access to the parking lot at the Manayunk end of the bridge, at Dupont St.

Essentially, the curb cut in the parking lot is not flush with the roadway, making for a bumpy dismount.

The award will fund fixing that issue and “better separating bike and car access to the parking lot.”

Now all we need is lighting and 24 hour access.

Trust us, we’re working on it!

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The Highs and Lows of Tuesday’s Streets Department Hearing

The Bicycle Coalition assembled a group of volunteers on Monday morning, going door-to-door in City Hall, advocating for two pieces of the mayor’s proposed budget.

First, we were asking the City Council members we met with to support an increase in Streets Department funding, to better pave city streets.

Second, we were asking for those Council members to support the proposed 13-person Vision Zero maintenance crew that will help maintain bike lanes, crosswalks, ADA ramps, and other street infrastructure.

We spoke with 12 Councilpeople or their staffs.

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Take Action: Help DRWC oppose proposed gas station on Delaware River Waterfront

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is going before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Wednesday, April 18th to oppose a variance application submitted by Tower Development to build a Super Wawa Gas Station at Tasker and Columbus Boulevard.

DRWC wrote a very compelling op-ed last week making the case that gas stations were specifically prohibited from the zoning overlay adopted in 2013 and this exception should not be made.

If you agree with DRWC and want to lend them your voice, please submit a short online note about why you think this proposal should not be allowed on the Delaware River waterfront and negatively impact the Circuit.

They will deliver all letters to the ZBA on Wednesday at the hearing.

Please take a few minutes to submit your comments and speak up for walkable, bikeable waterfront and safe access to the Circuit Trails.

Bicycle Coalition, Volunteers, Advocate in City Hall for Better Funding

Members of the Bicycle Coalition staff and volunteers went room-to-room on Monday, advocating directly for increased Streets Department funds and a proposed 13-person maintenance crew to specifically fix Vision Zero infrastructure, like faded bike lanes, broken flexposts, faded and nonexistent crosswalks, and other safety devices.

In advance of the Monday meetings, the Bicycle Coalition put a call out for volunteers who could join us for those meetings and provide us with photographs of infrastructure in their districts and neighborhoods that could be improved with increased maintenance.

Many volunteers responded.

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How Many Deaths Does It Take To Fix An Intersection?

Fast moving traffic created ghostly images in this panoramic photo of the intersection of Route 130 and Pennypacker Drive where Jacob Williams died on April 10th.

On April 10th at 9:30PM 25-year-old Jacob D. Williams was struck by two vehicles on Route 130 at Pennypacker Dr. on the border of Edgewater Park and Willingboro New Jersey. The official Edgewater Park Police Press release quickly assigned fault to the victim as he was “crossing on the red”.

Since 2011 four people have lost their lives crossing here on foot, making it one of the most dangerous intersections on what is considered the most dangerous road for pedestrians in New Jersey. There are no crosswalks, no pedestrian refuge island, no pedestrian signals and very poor street lighting. The speed limit is 50 mph and the open straight road encourages people to travel even faster, especially at night.

Yes, Mr. Williams crossed against the light, but the penalty for making a mistake should not be death. There are many Route 130 traffic victims who did everything right and still died violently like 20-year-old Christal Smith who died at a pedestrian-only crossing in Delran walking to work. Activating the beg button and crossing on the walk signal, Smith made it 3/4 of the way across through a cutout in the jersey barrier and was struck by the driver who was charged with failing to obey a signal. The outrage from the incident generated a petition to build a pedestrian bridge that gathered nearly 2000 signatures.

Officials have been responded to the ongoing crisis with enforcement campaigns, but no campaign can come close to the effectiveness of good road design. There is plenty of right way on Route 130 to make engineering changes that can make the road safer for all road users. We need a comprehensive redesign of Route 130 so no one else dies trying to cross the street.

Rendering of adding a pedestrian refuge in the Route 130 Median in Delran at the entrance to Holy Cross High School where Christal Smith died in 2013.

Our deepest sympathies go out to the Williams Family. Rest in Power Jacob.

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