Sunday, November 07, 2010

20 Years and 12 Days

That's the time lapse between the opening ceremonies of the Walnut and South Street Bridge. What a difference 7,317 days make.

Photo - Ken Yanoviak. In case you were wondering 215-BICYCLE is still a valid phone number.

On October 25th, 1990 the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley (BCDV) staged a die-in at the ribbon cutting for the Walnut Street Bridge. Walnut St bridge was converted from a neighborhood bridge to a four lane high speed artery. BCDV President John Dowlin is seen here holding that sign that made the Philadelphia media headlines the next day.

"There's the bike lane" - Photo Michael McGettigan

November 6th, 2010 - John Dowlin who now serves as Vice President of Neighborhood Bike Works is seen here at the the South Street Bridge debut admiring the bike lane.

Changing attitudes towards bicycle travel and community input on the design of the South Street Bridge made all the difference in the world. Thanks to everyone who worked to make this bridge a showcase for all future urban bridge projects in Philadelphia.


Fritz said...

I guess my biggest question would by why are the South St. bridge facilities about the same as the Walnut St. ones are now? No buffer, no real separation. It would have been great had they elevated them to almost sidewalk level (as is common in Europe) or had a buffer.

All in all, it's still another bike route. :)

John Boyle said...

While the coalition of community groups on both sides of the bridge did not get everything they asked for, it should be noted that this bridge could have been about the same as Walnut St-Bike lanes on a high speed road.

Unlike Walnut, there is a single through lane that connects to buffered bike lanes on the east side. Instead of a high speed crossover at the hwy we have a red lead ped/bike signal and advanced stop bar in the bike lane. The city also has federal approval to paint the bike lanes green.

Unknown said...

my first commute over the new south st. bridge this morning, and i am so thankful that it is back open. however, can we get some light timing on lombard between 22nd and the bridge? i was stopping every block.
also, not sure how i feel about the lack of a crossover at the highway entry/exit. i feel more comfortable on the left side of a right turning vehicle.

thanks for all your hard work on getting this and other bike-friendly works accomplished in philly!

Unknown said...

What a great pic above!

vectorizer said...

Thank you to John Dowlin and all the other folks who have done so much work for so many, and produced substantial results for all of us.

caduceus said...

Yes, a great first day of commuting over the new bridge. What a great photo - thanks to activists like John we have a rapidly improving bicycle network.

I was surprised at the lack of a crossover for cyclists on the new bridge - it's hard to imagine when I would actually be able to ride in the bike lane all the way to the light. Most of the right-turning cars were standing in the bike lane today, so I rode on the left side of the right hand turn lane. :( Still, thanks for the lane! Perhaps clearer signage about yielding?