Given the high gas prices, there has been a lot of discussion lately in Philadelphia about creating new incentives for everyone to bike to work. So when Mayor Nutter takes to the road for Bike to Work Day, he of course travels with security, wearing a florescent shell and a smile.
But when Mike Dorn bikes to work at Temple University after dropping off books at the Van Pelt Library on the University of Pennsylvania campus, he has to cross the Girard Avenue bridge across the Schuylkill River. The trolley tracks that run down the center of Girard Avenue make it particularly difficult to transition safely to the left lane before turning left towards North Thirty-Third Street. With the trolleys running once again on Girard Avenue, the tracks are now smoother.
Riding across the bridge at 8:45 am of April 20, 2008, while transitioning to the left land my bike tire caught the trolley groove and threw me face forward. I caught myself with my outstretched right and left hands but still bounced my chin on the pavement. I was wearing gloves due to the coolness of the morning, but unfortunately no chin padding. Today I am still on the mend, after having eight stitches removed from my chin, but still wearing the flexible cast on my right hand.
I don't know what can be done about the trolley tracks around the city but they sure are a hazard for cyclists! I, for one, am not planning on biking from Penn to Temple again anytime soon.
I wish you all the best with your own adventures in urban mobility. By safe and have fun!