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The Bike Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has made a number of missteps recently, most recently their uncritical support of the now-stalled Project 250 Velodrome.
Their leadership was late to the party and failed to oppose or even seriously question plans by Children’s Hospital to jam a parking garage ramp onto the South Street Bridge; this will pour 500 to 1,000 cars across the sidewalk and bike lanes of the best (for now, at least) bike-and-ped span in Pennsylvania. The BCGP even backpedaled on their own blog ( this blog entry seems to have been removed), apologizing for expressing concern over CHOP’s suburban-style development. Of course, CHOP has one of their execs on the BCGP board, who did not bother to keep the BCGP in the loop about the garage ramp plan. The ramp will be a disaster for east-bound cyclistsand the BCGP appears to have given up on any protections for them.
Their recent merger with the Cadence Cycling Foundation looks to be a win for sport and racing cyclists but will commuters and Fairmount Park supporters get traction for their concerns? The decision to support an entertainment-and-bike-racing venue and its giant billboard seems like a real stretch away from the Bicycle Coalition’s original principles of a civil and beautiful city, and a bit of a sharp stick in the eye to Parks – Rec. a natural ally.
When Councilman Greenlee scotched the 22nd Street Bike lanes, the BCGP was well behind parents’ groups and Philly Kidical Mass on the issue.
With regressive forces on City Council and within local neighborhood groups gearing up to protect parking at the cost of commuters and kids’ safety, the BCGP might need to be a little less insidey and work on their advocacy chops a bit!