Yesterday's article in the Inquirer that pitted bicyclists against other path users contained some inaccuracies that we would like to address:
The Bicycle Coalition has been in discussions with Fairmount Park for over a year to improve safety on the River Drive pathways.
Due in part to our encouragement, Fairmount Park staff developed a re-striping plan for the entire loop (and the trail down on Schuylkill Banks) to help keep everyone to the right and at safe speeds. Fairmount Park is putting the final touches on the plan, and will be putting it out to bid this fall.
We also met with the Police Department about enforcing vehicular speed limits to make it safer for peds/bikes to cross MLK Drive, for bicyclists who are in the traffic lanes during normal hours and for people on the path who are vulnerable when cars lose control and crash up onto the path. We urged the Police Department to enforce the speed limit and to put up “driver feedback” signs (placed under a speed limit sign saying “your speed is……”). We have also been urging the Administration to fix the path on MLK Drive that has been damaged by tree roots.
This problem has finally risen to the point where Fairmount Park are the Streets Department meeting in the fall to figure out how to pay for repaving. The Coalition has also initiated a Bicycle Ambassador program to get trained bicyclists out on the trail to engage all trail users about safety.
In the long term we urge the City to reinstate full weekend closings to MLK Drive and to consider an extreme makeover on the Drive that would slow traffic down, invite cyclists to use the roadway and breathe life into an underused section of the park.
An incredibly simple rendering of a two lane MLK Drive with bike lanes and center greenspace.