More Culture:

February 09, 2017

Ask Hickey: What's the deal with bicyclists riding on Kelly Drive?

Ask Hickey
Carroll - Cycling on Schuylkill River Trail Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A cyclist rides along the Schuylkill River Trail near Girard Avenue and Kelly Drive, where at least one reader thinks they belong instead of in the street.

Got something you want to ask? Send me your questions through FacebookTwitter or email (with "Ask Hickey" in the subject line). Your anonymity is guaranteed — if that’s how you want it — so feel free to send them via private/direct message.


And now, this week’s questions...

The bikes vs. car wars continue

How can Philly "cyclists" be so arrogant and dangerous to motorists (and themselves of course) as to ride ON Kelly Drive when there's a designated path for them just a few feet away? -- Dave P., via email

Granted, I’m inclined to side with pedestrians and bicyclists in their never ending war of words and threats with motorists. As someone who regularly commutes on Kelly Drive, though, I’d be lying if I said this really didn’t annoy me from time to time as well, Dave.

Kelly Drive offers amenities for all three constituencies. There are four lanes for cars. There is an ample path for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. So, when I see a bike in the roadway, it sometimes strikes me as tacky, borderline bicyclist-privilege.

No, having to switch lanes to avoid a collision doesn’t involve all that big of an effort, but it would involve zero effort if I didn’t have to do it at all.

This struggle is real. While I wish bicyclists would stay out of the roadway for everybody’s safety, I’m not gonna go all Byko on ‘em.

I reached out to Randy LoBasso of the Bicycling Coalition of Greater Philadelphia for his take. He broke it down as such:

Bicycles are allowed on the Drive and the person asking the question is probably talking about high-speed training rides.

Since the path along Kelly Drive is a multi-use path, it's safer and more logical for high-speed cyclists to be in the road than dodging families, joggers, slow cyclists, and dogs.

Additionally, Pennsylvania State Law does not require that cyclists have to use side paths.

The Drive itself would be much less dangerous for everyone if the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit was followed by everyone.

I totally agree, by the way. When I took a radar gun out on Kelly Drive for a story, what I found surprised even police.

Kelly Drive is a dangerous roadway. Here’s hoping everybody exercise a bit more restraint whether they’re driving, pedaling or heel-to-toeing on or near it.

Derp, stop criticizing the Mummers

If you never been to a Mummers parade, how can you judge or comment on it? Because of a few stories in the media of a couple of dummies being idiots??? That's like me saying all those who write mindless articles are pot stirring jackasses! Nice blanket statement right? Fool. – Michael Norton via Facebook

Thanks for taking the time to comment on last week’s Ask Hickey, Michael. 

Here’s your answer: I can judge or comment on the Mummers Parade because there’s this cool new invention called a “television” that enabled me to bear witness to the parade from the comfort of my own home for many of my 43 years on earth. It's a train wreck from which I'm not often able to turn away.

Fun fact: Philadelphia played a key role in that invention, Michael!

Hope that helps, and thanks for not coming to the defense of Diner en Blanc, for there is none.