You are on page 1of 6

Septem berlOctober 1992

Newsletter of the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley

Coalition's Bike-on-Rail Work

Is Lauded in National Report
The Bicycle Coalition
has been cited by publishing industry giant Rodale
Press as a model of communit^ organizing leading to
improved cycling facilities.
In a report released in
June, Rodale cited the
Coalition's project that obtained bicycle access on
SEPTA trains and subways
as one of 16 successful national case studies of "grass
roots support for increased
bicycle accessibility."
Other success stories included the Los Angeles
Veloway, the nation's first
elevated bike freeway; the
Minuteman Bikeway in
Boston, an 11-mile linkwith
the suburbs; and Chicago's

A Coalition lobbying efThe current process ensures

that existing bikelped
400 postplans will be eligible forfundcards from members-has
jolted alocal planning agency ing while work on the larger
into faster action on a crucial plan proceeds.
bicyclelpedestrian project.
A bike-ped plan is vital to
Due mainly to pressure all future bicycle-friendly
from the Coalition, the Dela- road construction in the reware Valley Regional Plan- gion for the next five to 10
years. Once
ning Commission now
the need for
~ l a n to
s start
The regional
bicycle fahrafting a
cilities is
federallycommission is
in the plan,
now pushing for
trans or,,bi kelped
plan next
federal money t~
tion officials
~ e a r . ~ g e n c ~start a bike/~ed
must take
those needs
plan next year.
they're seekinto considing federal
Waiting an extra
eration durmoney for
vear would have
ing road dethe start-up.
been disastrous.
had intended
by the coalito wait until 1994to start work tion, 20120 Vision, a national
on the plan. That would have organization for social
made all bikelped projects in change, made the DVRPC
an eight county area around lobbying effort the "action of
Delaware Valley cyclists.
ineligible for the month" in July for its loSEPTA has proposed cutfederal
for the next cal chapter.
ting off weekend service entwo
The planning commission
tirely on the Norristown,
"DVRPC has been eager is responsible for drafting a
Chestnut Hill East and Fox
Chase lines and drastically to find a solution once we regional plan to guide the
reducing train frequencies on pointed out the problem," spending of more than $65
other lines. Philadelphia Coalition President Noel million in federal money
Mayor EdRendell has labeled Weyrich said. "They also statewide over the next six
want the bike-ped plan started years. A new federal transthe cuts "indefensible."
To lend our support to up quickly, and our pressure portation law mandates that
the Bike-on- ail program,call inspired them to think cre- every region in the nation
(Continued on p. 2 ) atively to find funding."
develop a plan.
Bike 2000 Plan to make the
city the best in the nation
for cycling by century's end.
The studies were compiled and published in a
Rodale report, "Pathways
for People," whichincluded
recent national polling results showing widespread
public support for improved
bicycle routes, lanes and
trails, especially among
central city residents.
The report was released
inwashington, D.C. on June
30, with the support of congressmen Joseph Kennedy,
Peter DeFazio and James
Oberstar, authors of pro-bicycling provisions in the
199 1 federal transportation
funding bill.

Bicyclists' Postcards Needed

As Vote Nears on SEPTA Cuts
Quick action is needed to
avert cuts to SEPTA'Sregional
rail weekend service.
The transit agency's plan
to reduce or eliminate weekend service on its regional
rail lines will come before
the board of directors for final action on Sept. 24.
These cutbacks threaten
to severely limit the usefulness of SEPTA Bike-on-Rail
passes held by hundreds of

Planners Bend to Pressure

On Crucial Bike-Ped Project

Cyclegram, SeptemberlOctober 1992 p.2


Ride Calendar

Upcoming Events
Monthly Meetings:
General membership
meetings are held the second Monday of each oddnumbered month from 6:30
to 8:30 p.m. at Clean Water
Action, 1518Walnut Street
in Center City.
Take the elevator to the
13th floor, with your bicycle, if you prefer.
The next general membershipmeetingis Sept. 14.
Coalition board meetings are the second Monday of even-numbered
months and focus on internal business. The public is

The next board meeting
is Oct.. 12.

Cyclegram Deadline:
Deadline for the November/December
Cyclegrant is Sept. 28.
Deadlines are the last Mond a y of odd-numbered

Mailing Party:
Mailing parties are
scheduled for Wednesday,
Sept. 30 and Wednesday,
Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at Jeff
Abrahamson's, 44 11 Pine
St. Call 215-BICYCLE or
215-662-5 146 for more information.

Bike Coalition Thanks Velo News

The Coalition thanks Velo
News, the national journal of
competitive cycling, for helping US improve area bicycling
by making available its local

subscriberlist to help us boost

To show our appreciation,
we're including a card about
VN in this issue.

Cyclegram is published bimonthly by the Bicycle Coalition of the

Delaware Valley, P.O. Box 8194, Philadelphia, PA 19101. The Coalitior
is a volunteer, non-profit organization working to improve conditions f o ~
bicycling throughout the tri-state area, promoting bicycling for transportation and recreation, and dedicated to a balanced transportation system
Coverage of an event not sponsored by BCDV does not constitute ar
endorsement. Cyclegram may be reproduced in wholeor in part providec
prominent credit is given to the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley
Cyclegram is printed on recycled paper using soy ink.

Board of Managers: John Dowlin, Nancy Drye, Bob Noland, Sam

Spofforth, Fred Ulmer, Rob Waterland and Noel Weyrich (ex oficio).

Executive Director: Jeff Abrahamson (21516623146)

President: Noel Weyrich (2151232-7543)
Vice President: Fred Ulmer (2 151527-6287)
Secretary: Rob Waterland (2151854-8 137)
Treasurer: Nancy Drye (2151387-9242)
Editor: Bill Shralow (2151627-1566)
Membership Director: Bob Noland (2151483-6547)
Auto-free: Jeff Abrahamson (2151662-1712)
Bike Lanes: Noel Weyrich (2151232-7543)
Rail and Transit: Noel Weyrich (2151232-7543)
Traffic Safety: Bob Noland (2151483-6547)
BCDV is affiliated with the League of American Wheelmen.

(TheDelaware ValleyRe~ i o n a lRide Calendar is a

regularfeatureof Cyclegram.
Listings should be sen! to Bicycle Coalition ,attn DVRRC.)
Sat., Sept. 12: Beast of
the East Metric and Double
Century;Burlington County,
N.J. 62 or 125 miles. Outdoor
Club of South Jersey, 609235-2457.
Sun., Sept. 13: 3rd Annual NYC Century Ride-aThon, Union Square Park,
N.Y. Tours of 35,5575 and
100miles.TransportationAlternatives, 2 12-941-4600.
Sun., Sept. 13: River's
Bicycleclub of Philadelphia,
2 15-440-9983.
Sat., Sept. 19: Bikernun
for the Homeless,Gettysburg.
Rides of 6 to 40 miles. Adams
County Shelter for the Homeless.
Tour of Franklin County,
Chambersburg. Rides of 10
to 100 miles. Chambersburg
YMCA, 7 17-263-8508.
Sat. & Sun., Sept. 19 &
20: Multiple Sclerosis 150
City to Shore Bike Tour,
Cherry Hill, N.J. Delaware
Valley Multiple SclerosisSo-

ciety, 800-445-2453.
Sat.. Oct. 3: Watershed
wheeling 1992, Flemington,
N.J. Rides of 25 to 100 miles.
South Branch Watershed
Belleplain/Beacon Century, Belleplain State Forest,
N.J. Shore Cycle Club, Gary
Poulsen, 609-965-2989, evenings.
Sat., Oct. 10 (Oct. 9 & 11
optional): Sea Gull Century
and Metric Century, Salisbury.
Md. 62 and 100 miles.
Salisbury State University
Cycling Club, 4 10-548-2772.
Sun, Oct. 11: Covered
Bridge Century, Bucks
County. Rides of 25 to 100
miles. Central Bucks Bicycle
Club, John Collier, 215-2344275 after 5 3 0 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 18: 2ndAnnual
Adams County Bike Ride.
Gettysburg.Ridesof 25to 100
miles. Gettysburg-Adams
County Area Chamber of
Commerce. 7 17-334-815 1.
Fri.-Sun., Oct. 23-25:
'The Mennonite Meander,
Pennsylvania Amish Country.
Weekend package, proceeds
benefit League of American
Wheelmen. Baltimore Bicycling Club, 410-792-8308.

Staff Change Stalls PATCO Plan

Changes at the Delaware
River Port Authority will
again delay consideration of
a bike-on-rail program on the
PATCO High-Speed Line,
this time until mid-September.
The DRPAs new executive director. George
Warrington, has asked that
board consideration be delayed until he takes office in
September. PATCO general


schwab has
had a ~ l a n f oatrial
since June.

has reviewed and contributed input

to the plan. It has operating

hours and access levels similar to SEPTA'S program.
which resulted from a Coalition lobbying campaign.
Send the enclosedpostcard
to support the PATCO plan.

(Continuedfrom p.1)
SEPTA at 580-7852 and ask
for a mail-in permit application.
whether you have a ermit or
not,sign theenclose postcard
and send it to SEPTA Board
Chairman J. Clayton
Undercofler right away.

Cyclegram, SeptemberIOctober 1992 p.

Let ter from the President...

The Cry of Silent Cyclists

Guest Letter...

Safe Riding is a 2-Way Street

The assertion of bicyclists' rights and the friction
between motorists and cyclists appears to be a continuing motif in Cyclegram. This
is in stark contrast to the normal relationship between cyclists and motorists in the
United Kingdom.
I recently returned from
living in England for five
years and I found the difference in the way motorists and
cyclists treat each other in the
two countries is as vast as the
ocean that separates them. I
have experienced this firsthand both as cyclist and motorist.
London traffic can be
worse than Philadelphia's.
Yet, the respect which bus
drivers, taxi cab drivers and

ordinary motorists show cyclists (and vice versa)enabled

me with absolute confidence
to cycle around Hyde Park
comer in the heart of London
in the middle of rush hour
without fear.
Underlying this respect,
however, is the acceptance
by bothmotorist sandcyclists
that both are bound by the
rules of the road and will act
predictably to observe those
Underthe laws of England
as well as the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania, cyclists are
bound to observe the rules of
the road binding on motorists. In the UK, cyclists know
and observe those rules.
By contrast, I am aston(Conlinued on p. 4 )

by Noel Weyrich
Our recent run-in with
the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission-where
we had to persuade then1
not to put off
the start of a
regional bicycle-pedestrim plan for
almost two
years-exemplifies the terrible situation
cyclists face
when it comes to transportation planning.
Trucks come first in
road design because they
need the most room. Never
mind that a single overweight truck can cause
more damage to bridges and
roads than five years of
normal use. The truck must
be served.
Then come cars, because everyone who makes
transportation decisions
owns one. Never mind the
destructive land use and
pervasive air pollution .The
car must be served.
And then, mass transit
by rail. Not all transportation officials are sold on
this one. Adistrict engineer
with PennDOT recently
told me that the airport rail
line is a stupid idea, even
though New York and other
cities are planning to copy
it. Grudgingly, then, rail
transit must be served.
Then there are bicyclists. We don't damage the
roads. We neither congest
norpollute. Bikes are cheap
to use and cheap to provide

for. You'd think the bicycle

would be invited to the top
of the list instead of fighting desperately for a spot at
the bottom.
But our
virtue is the
very source of
our problem.
We tread so
lightly on the
land that our
don't register
as problems.
when a road
is inadequate
for motor vehicle traffic, so
much turmoil and stink ensues that a remedy anives
by public acclaim. But when
a road is inadequate for bicycles, the vulnerable cyclists stop using it. And the
highway planners, seeingno
cyclists, conclude there is
no demand.
Public opinion polls
show otherwise. ALou Harris public opinion poll sponsored by Rodale Press
shows that 72 percent of
Americans want theirtransportation system to include
walking and cycling as an
integral part of the infrastructure. Half of Americans own bicycles, and almost half of those cyclists
say they would bike to work
if there were safe bike lanes
and trails. Among low-income people, almost 90
percent said they'd bike to
work if it were safe.
That is the constituency
most eagerly awaiting the
fruits of our labors: the cyclists of tomorrow who are
too fearful to venture out

Cyclegram, SeptemberIOctober 1992 p.4

New Jersey Transit Starts Trial Bike-on-Rail

New Jersey Transit has
initiated a pilot bike-on-rail
During the months of August, September, and October, standard-frame bicycles
will be permitted on off-peak
trains on NJ Transit's North
Jersey Coast Line. Bikes may
be brought aboard weekdays
from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and
7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and all day
Saturdays and Sundays.
As on S E R A , only two
bicycles may occupy each
train. Cyclists must be 16 or

older and must bring two 24"

bungie cords to secure bikes
to mounting devices.
Permits are required for
the trial period. These are
available on- the-spot at
HobokenTerminal and Newa r k / P e ~Station NJT customer service booths. Applications that can be mailed in
are available at NYCPenn
Station (NJT ticket-booths).
Restrictions have also been
lifted onfolding-bike access
to peak-hour trains on the
North Jersey Coast line.

Following the pilot period,

theprogrammay beexpanded
to other NJT lines. At that
time, Permanent permits
would be issued for a $5 fee.
Transportation Altematives in New York provided
the key force behind this first
step.The Coalitioncontinues
to assist TA'to gain access to
the vital Northeast Comdor.
Write Shirley De Libero,
Exec. Dir., NJ Transit, 1 Penn
Plaza East, Newark, NJ 07105.
Thank her for this step but
stress that the Northeast Corridor remains closed to cyclists.

Push for W. River Drive Closing Moves Ahead

The Bicycle Coalition
continues to push its closure
plan for West River Drive,
which would shut 70 percent
of the roadway to cars while
allowing 100 percent auto
accessto the drive's five parking lots.
The Coalition plan, acompromise drafted to let cars get
to parking lots, has won the
support of City Council members Michael Nutter, Joan

Femandez. It now needs to

gain the support and cooperation of Mayor Rendell's
representatives on the
Fairmount Park Commission.
The closing would apply
to warm weather weekends.
The Friends of Fairmount
Park and the local neighborhood group, the Belmont
Improvement Association,
have also written letters of
support. And enthusiasm
among cyclists remains overwhelming: on two recent

weekend mornings, Coalition

members gathered nearly 600
signatures in support of fullday closures.
The Coalition is also seeking to modify the design of
gates that close the drive to
automobiles. The gates were
designed without Coalition
consultation and force cyclists to dismount to enter the
drive. The Coalition is pushing a simple modification providing a three-foot opening
in the center of the gates.

Guest Letter...

Sharing the Road with Cars Is a 2-Way

- Street
(Continued from p.3)

-ished how frequently cyclists

in the United State act as
though no rules apply. I am
reminded of this every working day when I look out my
office window over Logan
Circle and see cyclists entering the circle against the flow
of oncoming traffic to take a
shortcut around the circle on
their way towards City Hall.
This everyday occurence
prompts me to write to you to
suggest that Cyclegram's
emphasis on asserting the

rights of cyclists, which I certainly encourage you to continue, perhaps should be balanced by periodic reminders
to its readers that they have a
responsibility to uphold their
part of the bargain.
Does the Coalition have a
"Code of Conduct" which it
urges its members to observe?
The membership cut-out
form on the lat page of
Cyclegram has checkoff
items for a commuters' bicycle map and a tee shirt.

Does the Coalition offer to

send a copy of such a standard?
I don't deny for one
minute that the balance between the rights of cyclists
and those of motorists may
require more from motorists
to redress a longstanding imbalance.
At the same time, the
cause of cyclists would be far
more credible if we made a
conscientious effort to live
up to our side of the bargain

Allyson Schwarc

Sen. Schwartz
To Lead Ride
State Sen. Allyson
Schwartz will lead her
Third Annual Bike Ride
through her district onsaturday. Sept. 12.
The ride will start at
(Ardleigh Street entrance,
between Washington Lane
and Haines Street) at 9 a.m.
and will go through
Germantown, West Oak
Lane and Cheltenham
Township, with stops at
Burholme and Tookany
Creek parks. The ride will
retum to Awbury between
noon and 12:30 p.m. for a
picnic and program to
honor local park groups.
Drinks and dessert will
be provided and riders are
asked to bring baglunches.
To register or to get
more information, call
Schwartz's office at 2429710.
and then advertised that fact.
George W. Patrick
Editor's note: The Coalition has no formal "Code of
Cortd~ct" but does provide
rtew members with a safe
riding handbook. Submissions to Cyclegram on rider
education are welcomed.

Cyclegram, SepternberlOctober 1992 p.5

Atlantic City Police Dept. Starts Bicycle Patrol

A squad of 16 Atlantic
City police officers has been
using bicycles to patrol the
Boardwalk, housing projects
and downtown streets.
Created this spring, the
bicycle patrol was the pet
project of Officer Charles
Seif, who says the squad was
started to better serve locations that are hard to reach by
patrol car.
To prepare his staff for
duty as bicycle police, Seif
went to visit other cities to
investigate their bike police
programs. Each officer took
an extensive safety training
Response to the patrol on
the force was enthusiastic there were many more volun-

teers for the unit than openings.

to patrol more effectively,the

BesideS creating
more effective
patrols, the squad
has helped
relations by
bringing officers
closer to the
bike patrol is also beneficial
for community relations,bike

patrol Officer James Dooley

said. Officers often take their
bikes to schools to show the
children. The bicycles give
the officersand the local children a common ground and
open up the lines of communication.
Atlantic City had a
simular bike police force
about 10 years ago, but that
effort soon failed. Officials
say a provision forcing the
officers to wear full uniforms
and ride clunky 3-speed bikes
was a major factor in the
patrol's downfall in the early
1980s.This time, the officers
are wearing special uniforms
appropriatefor riding, including shorts in the summer, and
riding sleek moutain bikes.

Bike Session


U.S. Rep. Peter

Kostmayer will adress the
Central Bucks Bicycle
Club on environmental
issues and initiativesof interest to cyclists. The session is set for
Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the
Bucks County Courthouse
in Doylestown.

Bike Trip to
Israel Pla.nned
Israel Seminars Foundation is offering a bike
trip of Israel for people
from all around the United
It's set for Oct. 21Nov. 1. For information,
call 800-765-4309.

COMMUTER OF THE MONTH: Bike Shop Manager Brian Miller

Name: Brian Miller
Age: 32
Residence: Cheltenham
Avenue and Oak Lane,
Cheltenham Township.
Job: Manager, Wolfe Cycle,
Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia.
Years bicycle commuting:
Commuting frequency:
Almost everyday in the
summer, 3 - 4 days a week
Distance: Just over 8 miles
Route: Hunting Park Avenue.
Then through Fairmount Park
to Belmont Avenue. Cross
Schuylkill River at Strawberry
Mansion Bridge or East Falls
Reasons for starting: It's cost
efficient and I enjoy riding and
like to fit in the exercise.
Most enjoyable thing about
bicycle commuting: Getting
up early and going out on my
bike to get exercise and fresh
Seasons you ride: All. I ride

in the rain but usually not in

Bike: Serotto Colorado and a
GT all-terrain.
Helmet: Yes.
Biggest commuting gripe:
Glass in the roadway. Also
Strawberry Mansion Bridge.
It's is in very bad shape. You
can feel the bridge rock as cars
go over and the roadway is in
very bad condition.
Most memorable bicycle
commuting experience:
About a year ago, this car
pulled over. I thought they
were stopping to ask directions. The person got out of
their car and started to yell at
me for biking in the road. I
took my pump in my hand and
went over to him to tell him a
few choice words.
Advice to people who would
like to begin commuting to
work by bicycle: Wear a
helmet and bright or neoncolored clothes. Check out the
route first and be sure to look
into the condition on the road.
Photo by Ken Yanoviak

7 Inside...





I Address

State -Zip

am voluntarily setting my membership dues at the



($10 limited income)

- Don't miss an issue. ~fyou're not already a

I- member, join now with the form at left and put your money to
1 work improving bicycling in the Delaware Valley!

Amount enclosed:

Please also send me


Delaware Valley CommurersrBicycle Map
($5.751$5.25members) -I
Borrle BiN T-shirr (LIXL.ran or blue)
members) -I

Total enclosed:


Coalition lauded for Bike-on-Rail program ....................P. 1

Lobbying jolts agency into faster action on bike plan ....p. 1
Postcards needed as SEPTA cuts loom ...........................P.*
PATCO plan held up by bureaucratic changes ................p.2
New Jersey Transit starts trial bike-on-rail program .......p.4
Coalition pushes modifications on river drive closing ....p.4
Atlantic City Police start bike patrol ............................... p.5


Make Check payable to Bicycle Coalition and send toMembership, BCDV, P.O. Box 8194, Philadelphia, PA 19101.

Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley

P.O. Box 8194
Philadelphia, PA 19101

Your membership includes a one year subscription to

Cyclegram, discounts at almost every bike shop in the Delaware Valley, invitations to Coalition special events, as well as
expert help from the Coalition's touring, racing, and commuting advisors, and the chance to turn your love of cycling into
positive action.
Coalition members are commuters, recreational riders,
messengers, touring cyclists, and others who support clean air
and a healthier urbanlsuburban environment.
Join us! Help us win safer roads, the right to bike to work,,
and respect from motorists and government.

PERMIT N0.2683

Forwarding and Return Postage Guaranteed

Address Correction Requested