It’s SUMMER! And unless you’re willing to get up at 4 am to avoid the heat, a trip to the Jersey Shore is your best bet for a temperate bike ride. The easiest way to reach Atlantic City from Philadelphia is to take your bike on the Atlantic City Line from 30th Street, Pennsauken, or Lindenwold Stations. If you don’t want to bring your bike, several locations offer bike rentals starting at about $25 a day.

The Ride

You may recall that we showcased a longer ride from Atlantic City to Ocean City in our 2022 Summer Beach Bike Ride Series. However, there is plenty to explore on this tour of Absecon Island.

The ride starts at the rail station, working your way towards the new bike lanes on Atlantic Avenue getting on the boardwalk at Gardner’s Pier. After Albany Ave the crowd thins out and you can take a break at the Ventnor Pier.

At the end of the Ventnor Boardwalk turn right and then left onto Atlantic Ave into Margate. You’ll see a sharp contrast in the road configuration between Margate and Ventnor, as two years ago Margate reduced the travel lanes on Atlantic Ave and created a bike lane with buffers on both sides. Earlier this year, the city also added green paint to the bike lane between Ventnor City Line and the Margate Library.

As you continue, you’ll pass Lucy the Elephant, a quirky six-story elephant-shaped building. It’s a must-see!

The route continues into Longport and then turns onto 29th St to the bayside, we turn back towards Atlantic Avenue but then work our way to Marvin Gardens Historic District in Margate. After exiting Marvin Gardens, you have the option to return to the Ventnor boardwalk here, except on summer weekend afternoons (see below). Otherwise, you’ll travel on Winchester, Ventnor and Arctic Avenues to Michigan Ave in Atlantic City, where you will turn left to return to the train station.

Ride With GPS Directions
Photo Gallery

Getting There by Train

There are 12 round trips every day. and the one-way fare from 30th St Station is $12.35. Bikes are allowed at all times and all stations have high platforms. There is a limit of 2 bikes per car (about 6-8 bikes per train) sometimes conductors will allow more if the train is not crowded and the limit doesn’t apply to folding bicycles. The rail cars with the center doors have the best bike access and conductors usually direct you to go there. If you want to ride the entire boardwalk you will need to catch an early train. Bus service to from Philadelphia and Lindenwold to Atlantic City runs almost every hour around the clock. However bikes are carried in the luggage bay of these motorcoaches but drivers will usually assist.

The bike route parallels NJ TRANSIT’s Route 505 bus which travels along Ventnor Ave. Service is about every 30 minutes and will stop at the Atlantic City Bus Terminal which is just a few blocks from the Train Station.

Boardwalk Bicycle Hours

You can ride a bicycle for the entire length of the Atlantic City and Ventnor Boardwalks on any day between sunrise and 12 Noon.

During the Afternoon, the rules get a bit confusing:

  • From Gardiners Basin to Connecticut Avenue, bicycling is permitted 24 hours, year-round.
  • Between Connecticut Ave and Albany Ave bicycles are permitted after 4PM except between May 15th and September 14th.
  • From Albany Avenue to the Ventnor City Line bikes are permitted 24 hours except on Saturdays and Sundays between July 1st and Labor Day
  • In Ventnor City bikes are allowed during daylight hours, except on Saturdays and Sundays between July 1st and Labor Day.

The bike rules are strictly enforced by the ACPD, by setting up checkpoints to prevent bike access during the summer. You either have to dismount or move on to the City’s streets. And that’s a problem.

Rampant Opposition to a Much-Needed Road Safety Project

Boardwalk aside, riding your bike on the streets in Atlantic City could be a much more pleasant experience. Like many older cities in New Jersey, the city is almost entirely devoid of bike lanes, with road configurations that have not changed since the 1960s. Even bike parking is extremely scarce. You would think that a resort city with lots of competition and challenges would go out of its way to accommodate one of the Jersey Shore’s most popular activities. To its credit, Atlantic City has led a deliberate effort to improve conditions on Atlantic Avenue and has taken steps to develop the Atlantic Avenue Multi-Modal Safety Improvements, including the adoption of a Complete Streets Policy in 2011, the completion of a Citywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan in 2013, and a Road Safety Audit for Atlantic Avenue in 2014.

In 2021, Atlantic City applied for and won a $10 Million RAISE Grant for the construction of the Atlantic Avenue project. However, the local media has been publishing negative articles in the Atlantic City Press and there has been outright contempt from talk radio WFP. Even worse, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA, celebrating Earth Day here) and AtlanticCare Health Systems (which has a robust wellness program) have tried to sue the City to stop the project.

Atlantic Ave Bike Lanes and Road Diet - North End.jpg Atlantic City, NJ
This past spring the first phase of the street redesign was completed, and while the lawsuit was thrown, the CRDA has nonetheless succeeded in halting the project extending the road diet to phase 2. It is unclear what happens next, since the road is in terrible condition and roadway improvements are a requirement for the RAISE Grant.

Whatever happens on Atlantic Avenue may also impact the City’s excellent Safety Action Plan, funded by the Safe Streets For All Program. We’re keeping an eye on any developments.


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