The Philadelphia Commission on Parks and Recreation rejected the potential velodrome project in South Philadelphia earlier today. Citing the open lands protection ordinance, the Commission found the privately-funded project that proposed using 3.9 acres of FDR Park in South Philadelphia didn’t meet three requirements of the ordinance when transferring or converting park land.
We respect that decision. We also hope the city can find space for a velodrome for Philadelphia’s adult citizens and youth in the near future.
Our support for the velodrome in FDR Park was largely based on the project providing space for Philadelphia’s youth who need more places to go to learn new sports. In particular, we were excited about what the Velodrome could do for Cadence Youth Cycling, a project of the Bicycle Coalition which currently works with youth in North and West Philadelphia on becoming track cyclists, participating in activities all over Philadelphia, and races and rides all over the region. Cadence Youth Cycling fosters healthy habits, independence and leadership in our students through the sport of cycling.
In our original letters of support for the velodrome last spring, Coalition staff noted a new track like this one could help bring our programming to South Philadelphia. Cadence is currently in eight schools in the region.
Given the work of Project 250, who headed up the velodrome project, we hope their continued efforts can find a spot for a Philadelphia velodrome.