Friday, March 12, 2004

Bike the Strike! an Intermodal Approach

With a looming SEPTA strike threat bikes will suddenly become news although current news releases or strike contigency plans don't acknowledge that bikes will be an alternative.

Here are some bike the strike tips for intermodal cyclists during the strike

1- Consider parking your bike at the station and avoid taking your bike on outbound on regional rail between 2:30 and 4pm, long lines cue up at all Center City stations and conductors said no to me more than once during the last strike. The R7 and the R8 experience heavy loads during a city transit strike. Most Evening, Weekend and mid day trains (10:30 to 2:30) should still have plenty of capacity.

2 - Tacony, Holmesburg and Mayfair cyclists may want to try NJ Transit's River Line. Take the Tacony Palmyra bridge and turn left at Temple Blvd. Make a right at Cinnaminson Ave (Blinking light) the station is across River Road next to the Wawa. Train stops at Walter Rand for Patco and bus connections or you can continue to Rutgers station and then ride your bike over the Ben Franklin Bridge.

3 - If you are going to or from West Philadelphia you may want to try bike on bus. Since the El won't be running to 69th street it is likely that these buses and trolleys will be less crowded than Regional Rail. Routes 103 (Ardmore), 107 (Primos) and 122 (Springfield Mall) carry bicycles. Spruce Street has bike lanes from Cobbs Creek Parkway to 33rd St. My observations during the 1998 strike were that at least some Route 100 drivers were allowing bikes on the Norristown Line during peak hours and there were literally dozens of bikes parked at 69th St.