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
International

Many deaths as boat with African emigrants sinks…

BENGHAZI Libya (Reuters) - A boat packed with up to 250 African emigrants trying to reach European shores sank on Sunday off the Libyan coast…

Local

State health department warns against rare respiratory virus…

The New York State Department of Health is calling upon parents to be aware of the symptoms of enterovirus EV-D68. More than 12 children across the…

National

Liberal Vermont Senator Sanders may seek U.S. presidency…

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bernie Sanders, one of the Senate's leading liberals, said on Sunday he is thinking about running for U.S. president in…

Money

Second Shift: Turning fun into money

In this week's Second Shift series, meet a New Yorker who has established two successful careers around having fun.

Movies

Dan Stevens kisses Cousin Matthew goodbye

Dan Stevens wanted a change and he certainly got one. After quickly developing a devoted fan base as Matthew Crawley on "Downton Abbey," the 32-year-old…

Movies

Nerd alert: Genesis Rodriguez, robot-maker

Geeks of the world, you're about to fall in love with Genesis Rodriguez. There's no point in resisting. The actress, appearing in Kevin Smith's totally…

The Word

The Word: Kanye West wants everyone on their…

Maybe we can blame this one on the migraine, too. Kanye West is drawing ire for halting a performance in Sydney when his demands that…

Movies

That's a wrap on TIFF 2014

This year's Toronto International Film Festival closes without the satisfying sense of certainty that had become a mainstay in recent years. Last year, for example,…

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

NFL

Giants vs. Cardinals: 3 things we learned

The Giants heard all week about how ragged their new offense has looked, but even when they finally answered the bell they still can’t find a way to win.

NFL

About a quarter of football players will get…

About one in four National Football League players are likely to end up suffering cognitive impairments during their lifetime, according to a report.

Home

DIY design: Try this upcycle furniture project

Tiffany Threadgould is living a DIY life. The Chief Design Junkie at TerraCycle, an international waste management company headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, grew up…

Parenting

The downside of a BFF

For teenage girls a best friend can mean everything, but the way they deal with their problems together can lead to depression

Education

How many colleges should I apply to? Your…

To the average high school senior, creating the perfect college application can seem like a golden ticket into their future. Students and their parents spend…

Career

How Generation Z will change the way Americans…

What to learn how to establish a career in this new economy? Look no further than the current generation of young people - that is,…