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Bicycle Coalition

A pair of gloves, a portable leaf blower and a pair of loppers.

That is all the tools that I had when I decided to spend a late weekend afternoon at a decrepit sidewalk on State Rd near the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. The photos were AFTER I removed the shrubbery and blew the glass off the walkway. As I was working I had to step aside to let two middle school age boys heading for the bridge to pass-by on their bikes.

This sidewalk is part of an important route between Palmyra NJ and NE Philadelphia.

Amazingly, there is no bus service between the two densely populated locales. You either walk or bike over the bridge or endure a 3 vehicle, 90 minute transit trip via Center City to get to the other side. The problem is that when you arrive in Philadelphia you find yourself on a grassy traffic island with no clear pedestrian or bicycle path to follow.

State Road has heavy truck traffic and vehicles travel at a relatively high speed and has no shoulders. If you are not up for “taking the lane” then this sidewalk is your only option.

Neglected for decades, the sidewalk next to a former industrial on State Road will soon become the front face of Mast Charter School.

The school construction project will include a connection to the K&T Trail. Hopefully, the connection between the bridge and the trail along with the presence of school children will encourage better sidewalk maintenance and perhaps finally convince the City and the Burlington County Bridge Commission to make it safe to access the bridge sidewalk as well.

John Boyle

Author

John has been a commuting cyclist for more than 20 years. In 1994 he began working as a volunteer for the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley after attending a volunteer night, and later served as a board member in 1997-98. In 1999 John left Philadelphia for Charlottesville, VA, where he helped establish the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT), a bicycle and walking advocacy group.

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