Friday, July 18, 2008

Centennial and Parkway Plans Lack Bicycle Design Details

Two major Park Initiatives have been announced in the past weeks the Centennial District Master Plan and the Ben Franklin Parkway Plan. Other than bike lanes being mentioned as part of the Ben Franklin Parkway (lanes that by the way already exist) there are no specific details on the actual road configuration and it is unclear if bicycle access is really being improved in the plans.

With the exception of the Free Library Bike Parking is scattershot on the Parkway, with most of it away from the institutions that so desperately need it. The Academy of Natural Sciences is exploring the installation of bike racks but what about the Franklin Institute, Moore, Rodin, or Barnes?

The Centennial District is already undergoing changes with the imminent arrival of the Please Touch Museum. We have noticed they're installing curbs that extend across the width of the parking lane... the same parking lane that usually functions as a nice wide bicycle shoulder. It remains to be seen if bike racks are added at the new location.

One of the biggest challenges is getting to the Centennial District from the River Drive paths, Sweetbriar is a bicycle and pedestrian unfriendly connection, one has to cross two unprotected intersections to access the bike path to Memorial Hall, which itself is in less than stellar condition.

Clearly the devil is in details and we at the Bicycle Coalition have our work cut out for us.