Report: Philly area bridges are bad for bicyclists

benjamin franklin bridge
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge is the only bridge spanning the Delaware River bicyclists can actually ride across. (Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro).

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia on Thursday released an analysis of bicycle and pedestrian access to area bridges spanning the Delaware River.

The report, “Crossover: Bridge Ahead Impassable,” found only five of 12 bridges studied were accessible to bicyclists or pedestrians, stunting burgeoning alternative transit networks in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“Municipalities on both sides of the river are investing heavily in better and safer bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure,” Bicycle Coalition Research Director John Boyle said in a statement.

“But the benefits of these networks are stymied by bridges which, somewhat ironically, serve as barriers to connection.”

Of the five bridges where bicyclists are allowed, access is further limited by other restrictions.

For example, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge is the only bridge bicyclists are permitted to actually ride across, rather than walk their bikes to the other side.

Still, the report notes the Ben Franklin lacks directional signage, has no plan for snow removal, doesn’t have a clear method for rider to connect to bike lanes on either the Philadelphia or Camden, N.J. side and is only open to pedestrians and bicyclists from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the spring and summer and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the fall and winter.

“The ‘Complete Streets’ concept driving much of this investment does not exempt bridges,” Boyle said.

“Traveling from Pennsylvania to New Jersey should not require immediate automobile access, especially when communities on both sides of the river are seeking to facilitate cross-river access to drive economic activity.”

Bicycles are totally banned from the Betsy Ross, Commodore Barry and Walt Whitman bridges, with the report calling the failure to include a pedestrian or bicycle path in the ongoing redecking of the Walt Whitman “a missed opportunity.”

The reports recommends retrofitting bridges with accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians when they undergo major rehab projects and collaborating between transit agencies, police departments and taxi operators to provide reliable transportation services over bridges where bikes aren’t allowed.

It also urges all bridges open to bicycles connect on either side with bike lanes, sidewalks and major trails.

“As far as we know, this report is the first comprehensive examination of bicycle-pedestrian access across the Delaware,” Boyle said.

“Our region needs more travel choices between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Bicycling and walking are already legitimate and important transportation options for people traveling between both states.

“Whether for commuting or recreational purposes, by itself or combined with mass transit, regional planners are responding to demand by emphasizing bicycle access on both sides of the Delaware. This emphasis extends to pedestrian access as well, as the same infrastructure typically supports both modes of travel.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…