Last Monday, November 8th, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Policy team took some time out to clean the Parkside Ave two-way protected bike lane. We started at the 5300 block of Parkside Ave shoveling and sweeping our way back to 52nd St and Parkside Ave. Philadelphia’s streets — as has been well documented — are rarely swept, and bike lanes even less so.

We took to our grassroots ways and went guerrilla-style on the Parkside Ave two-way bike lane. We found plenty of leaves, plastic bags, large tree branches, beer bottles, and diapers. Most of the debris accumulated closer to the 5200 block of Parkside Ave, due to the wind and curvature of the street.

There was one blocked water drainage in the bike lane, too. We spent two hours filling up eight trash bags, that are biodegradable, with all of the debris in and around the bike lane. It was the perfect day to be out of the BCGP office and work outside with our hands. Take a look at the results below.

Before: 5200 – 5300 Block of Parkside Ave Protected Bike Lane

After: 5200 – 5300 Block of Parkside Ave Protected Bike Lane

The Parkside Ave protected bike lane was completed earlier this year as part of the City of Philadelphia’s Complete Streets upgrade protected bike lane network in 2020. For what it’s worth, it’s a fantastic bike lane. The two-way protected bike lane helps create a slow, comfortable ride through West Philadelphia and there’s even a bike traffic light along the way that’s been installed. Philadelphia needs more protected bike lanes like the one on Parkside Avenue.

Getting these new bike lane upgrades was the hard part, and maintaining them is the next challenge. We would love to hear your suggestions for the next bike lane that needs some cleaning. Please leave a comment or email me at

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