Recently news broke of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)'s plans to build a new building adjacent to the South Street Bridge on the east side of the river. The building will impact the bike lane and sidewalk on the bridge.
CHOP's proposed expansion at 700 Schuylkill Avenue is going to be reviewed at two public meetings this week. On Tuesday, April 1st at 1 pm, the project will undergo a Civic Design Review (CDR) at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (1515 Arch Street). On Wednesday, April 2nd at 5:45 pm, CHOP will present to the South of South Neighborhood Association Zoning Committee at the Philadelphia School's new addition (2501 South Street, aka the new complex across 25th St from the liquor store).
We are concerned about how this project will impact bicycling and walking on the South Street Bridge. The South Street Bridge is the most biked and walked bridge in Pennsylvania, and bicycle and pedestrian safety must be prioritized in any changes that are proposed for the bridge and its bicycling and walking facilities.
Under the City's existing Complete Streets Policy, full consideration to the accommodation of the safety and convenience of all users must be made, and the safety of those traveling in the public right of way shall be prioritized. It goes without saying that "all users" includes bicyclists and pedestrians.
CHOP has already presented several versions of plans on its proposed impact to the bridge, and it is expected to announce new plans this week. We will review those plans and work with CHOP and the City's Streets Department to find a solution that provides the highest protection for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Disclosure: CHOP's Vice President for Government Affairs, Peter Grollman, serves on the Board of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.