Bicycle Coalition Policy Coordinator Bob Previdi and Communications Manager Randy LoBasso met recently with West Philadelphia YMCA Executive Director Terry Henry to discuss bicycle infrastructure and increased safety standards in West Philadelphia.
The meeting came about after the first passage of the new West Chestnut Street protected bike lane, which will span 11 blocks in West Philadelphia, from 34th to 45th Streets.
The Bicycle Coalition—as we’ve explained before—had in the past advocated for that bike lane to go all the way to Cobb’s Creek in West Philadelphia, and had garnered the support. We plan on continuing that advocacy after the bike lane gets installed.
One of the people interested in an expanded bike lane is Terry Henry, the executive director of the West Philadelphia YMCA, a facility and community center with more than 10,000 members.
Henry noted in our meeting that motor vehicles on West Chestnut Street have a tendency to drive way too fast on the three-lane street. The YMCA also hosts summer camps for kids, and Henry noted the dangerous traffic patterns that occur when parents pull over to drop their kids off in the morning.
The idea of a bike lane covering all of West Chestnut Street to Cobb’s Creek is something Henry, and many West Philadelphia neighbors and stakeholders, are interested in. Henry noted it would be ideal if more neighbors felt comfortable riding their bicycle to the YMCA with their children.
The bike lane, as currently designed, will not go past the YMCA, located at 5102 Chestnut Street.
After the productive meeting, Henry contacted Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s office noting her support of the West Chestnut project (Blackwell publicly supported the bike lane to 45th Street during first reading in City Council last Thursday.)
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia will also be continuing meetings with stakeholders and representatives in West Philadelphia, where we believe we can continue making streets safer for all road users, and make sure that soon all people who want to and can, will be able to ride a bicycle.