In response to the death of Mario Adamo who was killed by a driver while bicycling on the loop road of FDR Park. The Department of Parks and Rec have been looking at ways to make the roads in the park safer for everyone.
Last fall two sets of speed cushions were placed on the loop road in front of the new Anna C. Verna Playground and Parks and Rec is interested in expanding traffic calming throughout the park. The Bicycle Coalition has made recommendations to make the existing park road safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Any improvements to the park’s road network need to be coordinated with OTIS and the Streets Department.
We also at their request made suggestions for bike parking. A new bike rack was installed with the playground but is non-existent elsewhere.
Suggested Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Improvements and Bike Parking Locations
A Better Bike Lane for the Loop Road
In 2020 a standard single-striped bike lane was added to the loop road. We are proposing a two-way separated bike lane on the left side of the one-way loop road. A real-world example of a similar treatment has been implemented in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park (Google Street View).
Future of FDR Park Access- New Roads and Trails, More Parking and Questionable Road Design
For the long term Parks and Rec are in the process of redeveloping the park transportation network which, unfortunately, includes a wider than needed travel lane (10-11′ width is sufficient for a low-speed park road) and replacing the bike lane with formal on-street parking. The total number of parking spaces in the park will double but will be strategically placed to lesson the impact within the park. While the 5K Multi-Use Trail (shared-use path) is great, maintenance will be needed to keep the trails smooth and debris-free. There is also no indication that the new road to the west side of the park will have an adjacent shared use path. The path system is years out as it is not included in the early phases. We hope that they will include high-quality physically separated bikeways along all the major new and existing park roads, which will reduce pedestrian conflicts on planned shared-use paths.
Proposed cross sections for roads and paths in FDR Park
The conversation continues at Vision Zero PHL 2024
Do Cars Belong in Public Parks? A break-out session at this year’s Vision Zero PHL conference on March 22nd explores the above and more. Attendees will hear from stakeholders how FDR Park should respond to the safety concerns illuminated by this crash and how to plan for a safer park for all in the future. More information here.