Philly has $800K to make Spring Garden the bike path of our dreams but the clock is ticking - PlanPh
Spring Garden Street through Center City may only be 2.1 miles long, but it represents an opportunity for the cycling community — in Philadelphia and across the entire east coast.
In 2009, the street was selected through a Center City Greenway Feasibility Study conducted by Pennsylvania Environmental Council as the East Coast Greenway alignment through Philadelphia. As a recognized greenway, the corridor would act as the city’s official east-west trail connection between the Delaware and Schuylkill River Trails, completing the city’s segment of the 3,000 mile long traffic-separated bicycling and walking path that runs from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida.
Already, Spring Garden Street already has some of the most-ridden bike lanes in Philadelphia, used by about 150 people on bikes per hour getting to work, school, the grocery store or wherever they need to go.
And with the city’s new plans for protected bikeways along American Street, Second Street, Fifth Street, Sixth Street, Tenth Street, and 13th Street (all of which would connect with Spring Garden), we’re about to see even higher daily bike traffic on Spring Garden Street.
But since the plan was originally birthed in 2009, there’s been little progress on Spring Garden.
The city has made few strides in turning the corridor into what it could be: a major artery that includes a safe, separated path for cyclists, whether they’re getting to work, on a recreational bike ride between the Schuylkill and Delaware River Trails or taking a once-in-a-lifetime ride up or down the East Coast Greenway.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has already provided one extension to the Streets Department for a $400,000 grant to realize that vision, but that money is due to expire by the end of 2019.