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As the quarantine rages on amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Philadelphians are increasingly accessing the city’s trail system as a means to safely get out of the house for physical and mental exercise.

And those trails are quickly becoming packed — in some cases, more packed than could be deemed medically responsible. Staying six feet apart from fellow trail users, at least yesterday afternoon, proved increasingly difficult as I personally rode along the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk and trail. We have heard similar complaints from cyclists and pedestrians using the trails as of late: There just isn’t enough room for all the demand right now.

That’s why we are calling upon the city to shut down Martin Luther King Drive, immediately, to motor vehicles, opening it up for cyclists, pedestrians, and other trail users. The Drive, which closes on weekends beginning April 1 each year, would be a great way for trail users to utilize a city street for exercise while maintaining six feet of social distancing.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has reached out to the mayoral administration and the Councilmember representing the area comprising Martin Luther King Jr Drive to figure out how we can get MLK Drive closed to motor vehicles.

Here’s the petition:


Note: Public health recommendations around mitigating the spread of COVID-19 may be subject to change. This content may not reflect the current recommendations. For current recommendations around social distancing and outdoor activity, please check the CDC website.

Randy LoBasso


Randy LoBasso is the policy director at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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