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