• The folks over at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia have created an interesting map that highlights bike-lane deserts, areas of the city that offer no viable transportation infrastructure — i.e. not even any standard bike lanes — for people who’d like to get around on two wheels. Spoiler alert: Center City fares alright, but large portions of North Philly and South Philly, along with swaths of cyclist-heavy areas like Fishtown are considered bike-lane deserts per the map. [Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia]
In case you missed it, this past Saturday marked Philly’s first-ever open streets event, Philly Free Streets. South Street was closed to cars (well, mostly — there were some car-crossing intersections) from Front Street to the South Street Bridge where the route carried on along the Schuylkill River Trail and onto MLK Drive all the way to East Falls Bridge.
A car-free South Street filled with runners, cyclists, walkers, unicyclists, roller skaters and more was quite the (VERY crowded) sight to see, and if you weren’t able to make it, not to fear: We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Instagram photos from the morning (including a great one of Mayor Kenney power-walking with the people in a Bob Marley shirt that you probably — definitely — owned the poster version of your Freshman year of college) so you can soak it all in for yourself. Until next time!
The time has come: Time for Philly’s first-ever open streets event — an event where the city will shut down a stretch of streets to cars so that we can all run, walk, bike and frolic through them, sans traffic. Insert all the ecstatic squeals here.
In case you need a refresher, the open streets event, dubbed Philly Free Streets, will be going down this Saturday, September 24th, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. And the car-free route is nothing to scoff at: It spans nearly 10 miles long, from Front and South Street all the way into West Fairmount Park. Yeah, it’s going to be a good morning.
While you’re welcome to take to the streets in your running shoes or on two wheels on your own, there are also a few group bike rides and runs that will be going down throughout the day. Take your pick! (And note: Philly Free Streets has said they’ll have all sorts of fitness programming across the route, from zumba to boot camps, and more; they’ve yet to announce the schedule and locations of these events, but you can stay tuned here.)
When it comes to spending my time on a bike in Philly, the street with a bike lane that I spend the most time on is Spring Garden Street. And yes, having a bike lane that can take me from the Delaware River basically all the way to the Schuylkill River Trail is awesome with a capital A. But the awesomeness of my rides along Spring Garden Street are never — never — not interrupted by at least one car (that’s on a good day; it’s usually more like four or five) double-parked in the bike lane. And every single time this happens, I ask the same question: WHY?
• Scary fact: Americans spend 37 billion HOURS a year waiting in line. And if you want to cut down on your personal contribution to that time, express checkout may not be your best bet at the grocery store. According to research, hopping in line behind one cart with many items should be faster than getting behind a few people with just a few items. That, plus many more tips to help you spend as little time in line as possible the next time you hit the grocery store. [New York Times]
There isn’t much better incentive to get your heart rate up in the great outdoors come fall than the promise of catching a good glimpse of the season’s lovely, Hallmark-card-worthy red, orange and yellow leaves, are we right? And one of the very best spots to take them in? The Wissahickon, of course. And this fall, Friends of the Wissahickon is challenging everyone to put on their hiking boots, bike helmets and running shoes and tackle ALL of the Wissahickon’s trails — that would be over 50 miles of them — with their All Trails Challenge. Just think of all the Instagram-worthy, fall-leaf-filled photo ops!
Good news, cyclists, runners and flat-out trail lovers of Philly: The new Sullivan’s Bridge, a 14-foot-wide, 602-foot-long bike-and-pedestrian bridge that crosses the Schuylkill, connecting the Schuylkill River Trail by Betzwood Park to the trails of Valley Forge National Historical Park, opens tomorrow.