A Main Line Greenway is in our (Relatively) Near Future

A Main Line Greenway is in our (Relatively) Near Future

On Saturday, November 9th, members of our community gathered to discuss The Main Line Greenway Project.

In summary, The Main Line Greenway could be completed in as little as a year, residents and politicians representing our area are overwhelmingly in support of the project, and The Main Line Greenway echoes a transportation corridor that has been utilized for hundreds of years. Read on for more details and information how you can get involved. 

Narberth Cycling Club led a group ride to the event at Haverford College. (Photo by Kimberley Bezak, Co-President of Narberth Cycling Club)

We enjoyed snacks and conversation as everyone arrived. (Photo below by Ed Chang)

        We were among some very important folks! Pennsylvania Congressman Greg Vitale, newly-elected Delaware County Councilwoman Elaine Schaefer, Lower Merion Township Ward Commissioners Liz Rogan, Anna Durbin, Ray Courtney, Lower Merion Township Director of Building and Planning Chris Leswing, Lower Merion Township Planning Commissioner Scott France, Lower Merion Township Environmental Advisory Council Member, Jennifer Pavao, Pennsylvania State Sentaor Daylin Leach,  & Narberth Borough Council Members Gigi Tevlin-Moffat, Bob Weisbord, Rob McGreevey, Fred Bush, & Cyndi Rickards.

        Be sure to thank your local representatives and politicians if you appreciate their attendance! 

         Once inside the auditorium, we heard talks from Eric Hartman: Executive Director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, Kimberley Bezak: Co-Director of Narberth Cycling Club, Lou Savastani: founder of Lower Merion Safe Cycling, Chris Leswing: Lower Merion Township Director of Building and Planning, and Leonard Bonarek: The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia! 

        Eric Hartman introduced the basic principles of The Main Line Greenway. Kimberley Bezak shared the story of how this idea was conceived. Like many other grassroots projects, The Main Line Greenway started at a kitchen table. Bezak also discussed how the Bicycle Coalition's TASCC program will support The Main Line Greenway to connect our community to The Circuit Trail Network, a network of over 800 miles of car-free recreational paths. 

        Lou Savastani discussed some of the obstacles and pinch points The Main Line Greenway will  face. For example, who will clear snow from some of the protected paths? How do we create safe pedestrian and cyclist crossings at some of the busiest intersections in our area? 

Lou Savistani

        Chris Leswing presented some interesting maps. This slide shows an overlay of The Main Line's transportation routes over the last few hundred years. The Main Line Greenway follows our society's natural paths and habits. A safe biking route on this corridor is the natural evolution of transportation in our area. 

Chris Leswing

          After the talks, the panel answered some questions from the audience. One person asked how long this project will take. Surprisingly, the answer was that "It could be completed in as little as a year". This is due to the fact that The Main Line Greenway is being designed to use existing infrastructure, some additional road striping and new signage.

Another person asked "Why are we not instituting a 4-lane-to-3-lane road diet?"

 4-3 Road Diet Diagram This diagram from the US Depart of Transportation shows the "Road Diet" the question-asker was referring to. 

        Chris Leswing and Kimberley Bezak both responded. They mentioned that road diets are generally very expensive and time consuming. Convincing numerous municipalities to spend millions of dollars to enact a road diet is simply unrealistic. This highlights an important element of The Main Line Greenway project - it is actually feasible.

Here are five actions to take RIGHT NOW to support The Main Line Greenway:

 1. Follow Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram . 

2. Subscribe to the Lower Merion Safe Cycling newsletter & stay informed about local cycling initiatives. click here.

3. Share this page explaining what The Main Line Greenway is. (Bonus points if you print one of the flyers and hang it at your home or business!)

4. Go for a ride! Post a photo on social media using the hashtag #RideMLG

5. Attend this planning meeting!

"Next Wednesday, November 20th at 7:30 PM, the Board of Commissioners will discuss whether to include pedestrian and cycling safety improvements along East Levering Mill Road (Conshohocken State Road to Belmont Avenue) in Lower Merion’s 2020-2025 Capital Improvement Plan.

Friends, this is NOT A DONE DEAL! We have our three local commissioners behind us, but we will need to win over at least five more from outside Bala Cynwyd to get this approved.

We need a strong contingent to ATTEND THE MEETING and stand in support of the funding!

If you can make it, please DM or email us at balawalkspa@gmail.com so we can plan to sit together." - Bala Walks

After The Main Line Greenway presentation, many of us stayed for a free screening of 'Motherload'!

'Motherload' is a crowd-sourced documentary about cargo bikes, parenting, and how we interact with our world. Everyone in attendance left feeling motivated and inspired. 
(Photos below by Jean Burock, Co-President of Narberth Cycling Club)

Thank you, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Narberth Cycling Club, & the Haverford College Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.