Kelly Drive Safety…Further Thoughts

The East River Kelly drive walkway was never intended to accomodate walkers, bikers, skaters, joggers, etc. It is too narrow, for starters.

The rules about using the path are an attempt to be all things to all users, but they do not work. If you are biking or skating you don’t want to have to worry about running into something, especially a fellow citizen.

Philadelphia has recognized the problem which is why, at least part of the time, West River Drive (MLK) is exclusively for ‘recreation’. Which, in theory, should leave East River Drive to walkers.

Let us also admit not everyone is on the path for exercise. Strolling, after lunch or dinner at the Art Museum Restaurant or the Waterworks Restaurant along boathouse row, could be a romantic walk. Walking single file with your lover is not anyone’s idea of romantic.

Tourists, I would guess, also have a problem as they venture out of the Azalea garden and onto ‘the path’. Or imagine the experience of three or more friends who have deceided to take a walk along the drive.

Also as you are walking, as Marissa points out in her post, ‘Taking Care on Kelly Drive’, if you are taken by flora or fauna, you had better not be so amazed that you abruptly stop and look.

I propose, at the very least, the section from the Art Museum to the Stone Bridge should be Pedestrian Only all of the time. That is about one third of a mile on a course that stretchs for eight miles.

5 Comments so far

  1. jen (unregistered) on July 24th, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    ah. this is classic. bikers think everyone should accomodate them. so do walkers, joggers, and parents with small children. how about we all watch out for each other? if you don’t want to, cross to the other side on the weekends or explore other parts of the park further away from the crowded paths.

    i have to disagree with the idea of closing part of kelly drive, though, as it’s our essential route for driving home. without it, residents of germantown, mt. airy and chestnut hill are stuck on either the sure-kill traffic-clogged expressway or picking our way through constant stop-and-go streets in north philadelphia.


  2. Joe S (unregistered) on July 24th, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

    No. I do not propose to close Kelly Drive. I propose to make the pathway on Kelly Drive Pedestrian Only from the Art Museum to the Stone Bridge. The auto roadway would remain in current use. For the record their is no other side of the street.

    Looking out for each other assures no one has a good day. The pathway was not constructed to hold such a variety of activities at the same time.


  3. jen (unregistered) on July 24th, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

    i meant the other side of the river, to west river drive. sorry, i misunderstood about the pathway! i suspect that even if it were made pedestrian only, or bike only for that matter, no one would pay attention. does anyone think it would be possible to widen the path? i hate to propose paving over grass, but it could make things easier.


  4. Leslie (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

    Comical! If you don’t like walking on the recreational path, Philly has plenty of other beautiful places to walk.


  5. Joe S (unregistered) on July 26th, 2007 @ 11:49 am

    Leslie, I think what is comical is you missed the entire point of our discussion.

    Next you will be telling me if I don’t like the way things are I should leave, which is what your comment implies.



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