Mayor Kenney: Make Eakins Oval Safe for Bicyclists

by | April 26, 2021 | News, Biking in Philly | 3 comments

The parking lane is protected, while the bike lane is not.

As this weekend’s death of a 74-year-old person on a bicycle at the intersection of Spring Garden, Kelly Drive and Eakins Oval reinforces, the bicycle infrastructure on the Oval is inadequate to protect the lives of bicyclists. Currently, the parking lane in front of the Art Museum apron is protected with crowd barriers while the bike lane is unprotected.

In fact, on most weekend days, the area in front of the Art Museum is a free-for-all of parked cars, food trucks, pedestrians running across four lanes or motor vehicle traffic and bicyclists trying to weave around cars. It’s a hot mess. And it’s been this way for years.

But, more importantly, it’s unsafe. As are many other parts of Eakins Oval, which was highlighted this weekend by the loss of bicyclist at Spring Garden and Kelley Drive.

Since October 2019, as outlined in a letter sent to the City, the Bicycle Coalition has been asking for the following:

  • Protection of the bike lane in front of the Art Museum apron
  • Protection of the outbound bike lane around North Eakins Oval
  • Stronger protections of the bike lanes at key conflict zones and high speed zones
  • A review of traffic data to determine if a lane drop could occur on North Eakins Oval (outbound) to reduce the lanes from five to four and to limit the volume of speeding traffic next to the outbound bike lane that is currently proposed to be buffered only
  • Make funding available for an interim capital project to upgrade the lanes and intersections with higher quality infrastructure, such as plastic or concrete curbing, pre-cast concrete, bike signals and other treatments. 

These requests have not been responded to.

We call on Mayor Kenney to address these issues as soon as possible and allocate funding in the FY22 budget to make  Eakins Oval safe for bicyclists.

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  1. Shannon O'Malley

    Please make this bike lane safer! I travel this route every single day to get to work, and every day I watch cars blow through the red light.Even at 7 AM on weekdays I see cars parked in the bike lane to work out at the art museum. We have got to make this safer!!

  2. Suzanne Hagner

    I second everything the Bicycle Coalition has been asking for to provide safety for bicyclists and pedestrians around North Eakins Oval. As a senior bike rider, I feel very fortunate to still be riding, but I know the latest death of the woman bicyclist in this area could easily have been me or any of the many bicyclists in the City. All ages of bicyclists have increased during this last year and I am sure our numbers will keep increasing. We need the Mayor and City Council to take action and provide the safety that is long overdue.

  3. Matthew Banks

    Please make this bike lane safer! My partner commutes via bike every day on this road and I am concerned for his safety. The city needs to do more to promote cycling and protect those who do it.


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