The crazy turn in the bike path at the corner of Kelly Drive and Ridge Avenue has been widened! I am a happy, happy commuter! Hi-hip Hooray! This is particularly good news with winter approaching. I have had numerous near wipe-outs trying to make this tight corner (pre-widening) on ice covered cement, only to notice at the last minute a cyclist or jogger coming the other way. This should make the transition from the Schuylkill path to the Lincoln path much more pleasant. Hooray!
See the Bicycle Coalition Blog for before and during construction photos.
This morning, I was able to ride on the completed, widened corner (and didn’t have to go flying out into angry morning traffic). I was so delighted, I stopped to take a picture:
Newly widened corner at Kelly Drive and Ridge Ave.
And boy was I lucky I stopped! I felt lucky enough to have the construction completed of course, but then I noticed one of my panniers had fallen off (something that has happened only twice over a few years of riding daily)! I rode back to find it and see this handsome man riding toward me with an extra bag. My knight in shining spandex! Ivan, it just so happened, had been running late behind me, after dropping off the little ones so I could get in early for a meeting, saw my bag on one of the Wissahickon bridges and picked it up, recognizing it as mine. So, not only did I get my bag back quickly–and didn’t miss my meeting–but I got to ride in with my love after all. Great start to the morning!
For those of you who walk, run or bicycle along the Schuylkill bicycle path in Center City, you’ve probably noticed the bridge in progress for the last few weeks (months?), between South and Walnut.
I noticed it in progress on a ride a while back, but because I cross the river at Chestnut, I hadn’t really been down to investigate, and I couldn’t figure out where it was going. I thought I’d read something about it on the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (an awesome organization), but I couldn’t remember. Was it going to lead to Penn Park? South Street? The Moon? Nowhere? My hope was Penn Park (although the Moon would also have been nice), and it would eventually be a lovely bicycle/pedestrian bridge (preferably one designed so I did NOT have to walk my bicycle on it!) going straight from the path to Penn Park, flowing nicely right toward the building I work in so that I’d hardly have to cross a single street in my 10 mile bike commute! But that would have been much too good to be true, and of course it was. In fact, the bridge is designed to help pedestrians cross the train tracks on the east side of the river to connect the path to the park.
It is a much desired improvement for many, for sure, but I’m still waiting for that magic bridge that will get me from the path to my building in West Philly without having to deal with traffic! With the construction near the 30th St. train station and old post office, riding a bicycle in that area, particularly heading east on Chestnut St., between 30th and Schuylkill Ave (where they’ve completely obliterated the bike lane!) is pretty treacherous. The South Street Bridge green bike lanes are nice, but there still isn’t a simple and easy way to get to that bridge from the SR path. Maybe this Schuylkill River Parks Connector bridge will help. We’ll see in the fall of 2012! Stay tuned (and hooray for TIGER grants!)…
A couple fun asides:
Some fun facts and figures for those of us who love bicycle commuting (especially here in Philly): http://www.bicyclecoalition.org/resources/stats
(And hey, look at that! I am part of the 1%! OK, so it is 1.2 %. That is, the 1.2% of workers (in 2006) in Philadelphia who biked to work as their primary mode of transportation.)
Oh, and here is more great Philly cycling news: http://articles.philly.com/2011-10-21/news/30305487_1_schuylkill-river-trail-trail-system-high-line