Bikers in Spring Garden, Francisville, and Fairmount will have a safer ride this spring as bike lanes are likely coming to Fairmount Avenue between Broad Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Community opinion was collected during the last three months, according to Nicholas Mirra, communications coordinator for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. That includes members of the Fairmount Civic AssociationSpring Garden Community Development Corporation and Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation. The next step is a City Council review.

Fairmount from 25th St

The City’s current Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan represents an effort to connect the city through a series of trails and bike lanes as part of the Phila2035 initiative. It measures street traffic and highlights popular pedestrian and bicycling areas, making suggestions for appropriate bike path locations. But “the reality [of those suggestions] is more difficult,” said Mirra. That reality includes issues like neighborhood input and funding. Because Fairmount Avenue is wider than a standard city street, it presents a situation where parking and driving areas will be impacted less prominently than on narrower streets.

Fairmount near 21st Street. Penitentiary on the right, some cafe on the left.

The City most recently installed bike lanes along parts of Walnut Street and two summers ago painted north-south lines along 10th and 13th Streets. Just as Philadelphia’s real estate market has jumped in the past two years, so have its sustainability efforts. From greening school yards and planting trees to creating safer and more accessible bicycling options, the city continues to improve in various little ways. And with new parks like Franklin’s Paine poised to open, they are plenty of interesting places to ride.

–Lou Mancinelli