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.