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Maybe you heard we organized a cleanup of the protected bike lane at 45th and Chestnut last week? Well, we did! And, in the Facebook discussion board for that cleanup, local bike shop Transport Cycles asked if we’d planned on cleaning up the new 2-way protected bike lane on 11th Street, too, since it’d gotten pretty grimy. 

So, along with Transport Cycles, a Philly bike shop and meeting space with two locations — one in Howard Street in Olde Kensington and one in South Philadelphia, in the Bok Building — we planned another cleanup, for Monday morning.

A “before” pic


An “after” pic

Along with six volunteers who gave their own time, we cleaned up the bike lane between Whatron and Ellsworth in South Philadelphia. 

As many know, the installation of the protected bike lane on 11th Street has taken a long time (it’s still not done) and just the idea to switch the bike lane from outside parking to the inside caused a few very contentious neighborhood meetings, including one in which a neighbor threatened to end the life of someone riding a bicycle, if she saw them in the lane.

During our cleanup Monday, a neighbor along the corridor actually came outside to thank us, and tell us some of the leaves and trash we were cleaning up were intentionally dumped by someone else on the block as a protest against bicycle riders.

Change takes some getting used to, and the bike lane (located in the 4th-most biked neighborhood in the United States) is very well used. Transport Cycles, the Bicycle Coalition, and the volunteers who were able to come out on Monday, care about the safety of the people using the lane to get to their destinations. A clean bike lane is a safe bike lane. The person who intentionally dumped trash and leaves into the bike lane will eventually stop sabotaging the right of way.

A cool thing happened when we were finished: A Philadelphia trash truck came by and picked up the litter.

Special thanks to Simon Firth at Transport Cycles for organizing this cleanup, and for the volunteers who took time out of their days to help us out.

And don’t forget: Kidical Mass Philadelphia is hosting a Luminary Light Bike Ride on December 21st, which will take place along the 11th Street Bike Lane. RSVP on Facebook here.

There will be plenty more opportunities to help us clean some bike lanes in 2020, so keep a look out on our calendar and Facebook page for more chances to help.

Randy LoBasso


Randy LoBasso is the policy director at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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