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Lansdowne Borough is hosting a Community Bike Ride and Walk along the Lansdowne Loop with the Delco Bike Coalition and Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition on Saturday, September 17.
The event begins at 1:00 at Highland Avenue Parking Lot with a community celebration at the end.
What is the Lansdowne Loop? We have a new network of bike lanes that loop all around Lansdowne, and connect to bicycle routes into Upper Darby, Philadelphia and Swarthmore. The loop follows Greenwood, Eldon, Lansdowne, Highland and Wycombe Avenues, and Scottdale Road.
The loop includes both dedicated bike lanes (where vehicles are not allowed to drive or park) and sharrows, where bicyclists share roadways with vehicles.
The new Loop reflects the fact that Lansdowne is one of the nicer places for walking and bicycling. We offer a “Tree City” landscape; our neighborhoods feature hundreds of attractive houses and gardens; and a walker or bicyclist going any distance is likely to encounter an interesting park, waterway, historic building, useful business or, with any luck, a friendly neighbor.
But not everyone appreciates the benefits of walking and bike riding in Lansdowne, and many residents rely overwhelmingly on their automobiles. There are reasons for this. Often, automotive uses dominate our streets, so that streets don’t feel safe for biking, crossing streets is hard, and sidewalks don’t feel like a good place to walk. Today, speeding drivers ignoring speed limits are one of the commonest complaints.
To remedy this, Lansdowne and hundreds of municipalities, counties and states across the US are turning to a “Complete Streets” philosophy governing road projects and other development. Complete Streets is a transportation policy requiring streets to be planned and maintained to enable safe access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of whether they are walking, cycling, driving automobiles, riding public transportation, or delivering goods.
As Ben Hover, Borough Council President, puts it, “For the past five years, Lansdowne Borough Council has been working towards the completion of projects envisioned in the Walkshed Plan and providing safe streets for pedestrians and bicyclists. The Complete Streets philosophy underpins the goals of Council to make Lansdowne a more walkable town and a town that is for bicyclists.”
The new Loop supports this philosophy in several ways:
Traffic calming. Traffic studies show that the presence of dedicated bike lanes motivates drivers to slow down.
Car diet. The new dedicated bike lanes and sharrows, plus the signage and markings proclaiming that an entire network is available for bike trips, encourage residents to consider going by bike rather than assuming that a trip by vehicle is their only option.
Community identity: the Loop makes an unmistakable statement that Lansdowne is working to reduce the dominance of automobiles and make travel by bicycle or foot safer and more enjoyable.
And what could be more enjoyable than exploring the new Loop with friends and neighbors, with a celebration at the end of the route?
For Carol Martsolf, Chair of Lansdowne’s Environmental Advisory Council and a civil engineer, “Complete Streets is all about inclusion and justice, something I believe in strongly.” Age, disabilities and aggressive drivers should not be allowed to prevent people from walking and cycling.