Promoting bicycling as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation.

Take Back the Drive

On the morning of May 21st, a father and his 4-year-old son on a bicycle and "tag-along" were struck and critically injured by a car when crossing MLK (West River) Drive at the mid-block crosswalk below the Art Museum. 

This horrible crash is the latest example of the dangers of a beautiful park road that has been allowed to become a throughway. It is time to make MLK Drive safe for park users.   



MLK Drive is a park road running through the gem of Philadelphia's park system that has become a throughway. A road designed for cars has lead to:

  • Excessive speeding by motorists through a recreation area
  • Difficult-to-cross intersections with roads leading up to West Fairmount Park
  • Narrowing of the "trail" to less than five feet crossing the MLK Bridge


It is time to make MLK Drive safe for park users by:

  • Traffic calming by reducing MLK Drive to one lane, inbound and outbound, for its entire length
  • Installing bike lanes to further calm traffic, allow for unimpeded two-way trail traffic across the MLK Bridge and make the trail safer by allowing faster bicyclists to ride on the street
  • Closing the entire length of MLK Drive for recreational use on Saturday and Sunday from dawn to dusk and therefore avoid conflicts with cars at the crossing during peak trail use times
In May, the Bicycle Coalition launched the Take Back the Drive campaign to ask for near-term an long-term measures.  In the near term, we asked for measures to be taken to improve the MLK crosswalk immediately:
  • At the outbound entrance ramp from Eakins Oval, narrow the travel lane  
  • Put out "yield to pedestrian" silent policeman signs in the crossing
  • Install soft rumble strips approaching each crosswalk
  • Install yield bars in front of each crosswalk
  • Install User Activated Pedestrian Flashing Warning Beacons
  • Install "Your Speed" Driver Feedback Signs on MLK Drive


Read Press Reports About this Campaign
  • 05/26/09--Bicycle Coalition Calls for Action on MLK following last week's crash (Citypaper The Clog)
  • 05/26/09--Bicyclists Promote Safety On MLK Drive (CBS3)
  • 05/26/09--Good Morning Philadelphia: Cyclists Protest at Accident Site (Inquirer)
  • 05/26/09--Bicycle Advocates Campaign Against Unsafe Drivers on MLK Drive (KYWNews) 
  • 05/26/09--Bike Group Pushes Safety on MLK Drive (FoxNews
  • 05/25/09--Organization Wants Bike-Only Lanes on Phila. Roadway (KYWNews)


Post your reasons and ideas for making MLK safe for all users on the   I have a dream of taking back MLK Drive Facebook page


Be part of the effort to make MLK a safe place for bicyclists by making a donation to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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