Saturday, August 08, 2009

Summer Streets Starts Today But What About Philly?

It's Saturday in August and New York City's Summer Streets began this morning hanging on to last years streak of low humidity and pleasant temperatures. Photos have already begun to show up on Flickr. This year we have heard little of the grumbling from business owners who believed that this event would hurt their bottom line.

New for this year is a plethora of bike sharing demos, making the trip on NJ TRANSIT or Bolt Bus worthwhile even if you don't bring your bike.

Closer to home prospects don't look good for a similar experiment in the near future. Even if the political will was there we would still need a fairy godmother to chip in the several hundred thousand dollars needed just to pay the cost for police closures.

TD Bank's Bike Philly will offer that car-free bicycling experience on September 13 and should not be missed. But perhaps the most underused resource is the weekend closure of MLK Drive.

Tying in a car-free MLK Drive with the PleaseTouch Museum and Fairmount Park's Centennial District is one possibility. Black Road connects directly with the path and Sweet Briar Cut off offers a connection to the multi use path to Centennial Park.

Staging activities, entertainment and vendors at the Disabled Rowers Boathouse parking area is another possibility, giving people who gather in the Boathouse Row and the Art Museum area a reason to take advantage of a car-free MLK Drive.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should contact Gil Penalosa, who created Bogota's Cilovia and runs this group that designs this type of event. Including NYC's Summer Streets, http://www.walkandbikeforlife.org/.

If Bogota can do this largerly with civilians so can you. Of course a free Philadelphia Bike Free Streets would undercut your pay to play event.

BlueMingo said...

One of the things slowing down use of the MLK drive is the fact that Kelly drive is frequently (almost every Saturday and Sunday) closed for regattas. Which means that people who come in from the 'burbs don't know where to park as they "drive their bikes", skates, etc.

Anonymous said...

If there isn't a regatta on Kelly Drive, River Drive get tied up every weekend. Marathons, 5k, triathlons, and assorted charity walks.

Brian said...

The one thing I don't understand about MLK closures though is the section from the Art Museum to Greenland Dr. Sometimes it's closed to traffic, sometimes it isn't...

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keith said...

Brian: MLK is closed from the art museum to Sweetbriar drive on Saturdays and Sundays 7AM until noon. The section from Sweetbriar to Falls Bridge is closed 7AM until 5 PM. Occasionally, special events will have the art museum to Sweetbriar closed at other times.

Keith said...

PS: Do you need prior permission to enter MLK drive at Montgomery Drive on saturdays and sundays, or can you simply show up and say "I want to use the park/have a picnic"? I always ride my bike there, so I don't know; if you can just show up and, you know, go flashers at idle speed to a parking lot, this should be selectively publicized to boost use. If it requires prior permit, meh, it won't really help.

jessica said...
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jessica said...
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