We opened MECHANIC/Bicycle Pro Shop only 7 weeks ago in Haverford on Lancaster Avenue. Since then, we have gotten to know the local cycling community. “ What local cycling community?” you may be thinking, but it does exist, and in larger numbers than you can imagine. Members of The Narberth Cycling Club, Bike the Suburbs, Bike Delco, Bike Montco, and our local bicycle-commuting population have come together to envision The Mainline Greenway.
Anyone who rides a bike around Montgomery County and Delaware County has probably already heard something about “The Mainline Greenway” (formerly the LM/Narb Greenway). In an area like ours, dominated by high speed motor vehicle traffic, the concept of an arterial bike path may seem impractical. To the residents of our area who use their bicycle as their primary mode of transportation, The Mainline Greenway is necessary for survival.
The Mainline Greenway doesn’t exist yet. It is simply the name for the proposed bike path that would connect West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Arboretum to Stoneleigh Gardens. Despite the theoretical nature of The Mainline Greenway, multiple community bike rides have already taken place along the route. This past September 28th, Lower Merion Township’s own Chris Leswing with the help of Narberth Cycling Club (And some support help from City Ave Sweepers!) led 50+ local cyclists on a 20 mile round trip ride along the proposed route. This was not the first ride of this nature but it was the most well-attended to date. Support is growing.
There is a meeting on November 9th from 2pm – 3pm at Stokes Hall/Haverford College. Enjoy complimentary food and drinks while learning more about this exciting project. Stay for a free screening of Motherload : A crowd sourced cargo bike documentary. The event is free but tickets must be claimed in advance.
That is not all. The residents of Haverford are getting directly involved in the infrastructure of our own town. The intersection of Lancaster Avenue and Haverford Station Avenue is being re-imagined to accommodate healthier transportation such as walking and biking. Currently, this stretch of Lancaster Avenue is dominated by traffic speeding through our business district to get elsewhere. Haverford College is bisected from the SEPTA Regional Rail Station by a dangerous stream of vehicles driving well over 45 miles per hour. If Lancaster Avenue exists only to carry people past our town, what infrastructure exists to bring us all together?
These plans are not just the daydreams of cyclists. Montgomery County has already passed multiple policies supporting the basic principles of The Mainline Greenway and a more walkable Haverford. The “Complete Streets Policy” requires the consideration of all road users including walkers cyclists, when planning all county-funded road projects. The “Health in All Policies” policy mandates that the “county considers in all future policy development and implementation, budgeting, and delivery of services.” (Bike Coalition)
Want to get involved? There will be a social discussion of The Mainline Greenway preceding the free screening of “Motherload” at 2pm on November 9th at Haverford College. Join Bike Delaware County, Bike Montgomery County, The Narberth Cycling Club, and MECHANIC/Bicycle Pro Shop for some light bites and a lively discussion of The Mainline Greenway. Residents of Haverford are encouraged to complete this survey about the Lanaster Avenue/Haverford Station Avenue intersection development. Familiarize yourself with this construction proposal and then head over to the Town Planning Commission Meeting on November 4th at 6:30pm to discuss this topic. Stay up to date with Lower Merion Township cycling news by following @mechanicbicycleproshop on Facebook or Instagram and subscribing to our newsletter. We strive to be a hub for our local cycling community and regularly share news about group rides, cycling events, and green initiatives in our area.