MLK Drive will reopen in August

Starting later this summer, for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Philadelphia motorists will be allowed to use Martin Luther King Drive for the first time.

Mike Carroll, deputy director of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, told the city council at a budget hearing on Monday that approximately 4 miles of road will be reopened to cars in the first week of August. WHYY report.

according to Kentucky, Carroll said that MLK Drive could not be reopened to vehicles immediately because the city has been carrying out road repairs since the city. Closed last March.

Carroll said that city workers must still pave and pave roads, improve flood protection, and clear trails before returning to vehicles. It is said that the lighting equipment on MLK Drive has also been improved. 6ABC. All renovation works of MLK Drive are expected to be completed by the end of July.

Throughout the end of October, the city will continue to close roads for weekend leisure use. The opportunity to expand this closure is being explored. The configuration adjustment of MLK Drive is also under review.

The Greater Philadelphia Cycling Federation called on the city to listen to all stakeholders “interested” in MLK Drive so that pedestrians can continue to use the road for entertainment.

Policy Director Randy LoBasso wrote: “At the moment, many of them may not have an opinion on the future of the road, but they should all be heard and let New York City come up with a configuration that benefits them.” in a statement.

LoBasso urged “now is the time”, citing that the future construction of MLK Drive and Falls Bridge may take two years to complete.

LoBasso said: “Even if MLK Drive completely returns to the way it was before the COVID, once bridge construction starts, full access from bridge to bridge will be restricted.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic last year, drivers have been prohibited from using MLK Drive. The city explained that in the early days of the public health crisis, as urban residents flocked to outdoor spaces during the lockdown, closed roads would provide more space for social isolation.

In the past 14 months, MLK Drive has become a safe sports venue popular with cyclists, walkers, runners and joggers.

According to the “Daily Mail” report, about 5,000 people use this road for entertainment every weekday, and on weekends, the daily number has risen to more than 9,600. WSP Engineering Company. The number of visitors to MLK Drive, equivalent to the top 500 daily visitors of the pandemic, has increased by 1,300%.

LoBasso said that about 90% of people who used MLK Drive during the pandemic were new tracking users.

The popularity of this road among cyclists and pedestrians has led to the city Extend its closing time this spring. Compared with MLK Drive, which allows cars to pass, it allows cities to resurface and renovate the road at a faster speed and cheaper cost.

But local cyclists called for the city Permanently restrict vehicles For MLK Drive, the road is only reserved for cyclists and pedestrians. The Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Association proposed a new configuration that will turn MLK Drive into a four-lane shared lane, providing two lanes for cyclists and pedestrians, and two lanes for vehicles.

MLK Drive passes through West Fairmount Park between the Schuylkill River and I-76, from the Eakins Oval to the Falls Bridge.

MLK Drive will reopen in August this year, when the city Completed a $1.4 million refurbishment project MLK trail.

Road upgrades include new signs and pavement markings on the road, improved pedestrian crossings and ADA barrier-free ramps, redesigned to avoid existing tree roots, removal of dead and damaged trees, implementation of new drainage systems and New bicycle ramp.

According to the city, the restored road is “a wider and safer road that everyone can use.”improvement of MLK trail It started in January and is expected to end this month.

LoBasso said the new trail is not enough to accommodate the number of pedestrians that will be pushed down by MLK Drive in August.

The four-mile multi-purpose trail runs from the waterfall bridge to the MLK driving bridge.

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