Ben Franklin Bridge Pedestrian Walkway to Allow E-Bikes and E-Scooters After Trial Run
Agency to continue to allow electric bikes and scooters on bridge’s pedestrian walkway after successful pilot program
On the heels of a successful pilot program that was lauded both internally and externally, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) will continue to allow electric bikes and scooters the same access as traditional bikes on the Ben Franklin Bridge Pedestrian South Walkway.
The pilot program ran from Monday, July 12 to Wednesday, August 25.
“This is an example of DRPA and PATCO interacting with the community and the stakeholders to hear their ideas and suggestions and to try to put them into practice wherever possible,” said John T. Hanson, DRPA CEO. “We are proud that this program has moved on from the pilot stage.”
The 45-day trial period gave the DRPA the opportunity to monitor the activity of the e-bikes and e-scooters and note any adverse effects to the bridge’s walkway and other walkway users. The pilot program received positive feed both from within the Authority, as well as outside channels.
According to The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, our region has experienced a considerable increase in the use of e-bikes. Indego, Philadelphia’s bike share system, reports that their pedal-assist e-bikes are rented at three times the rate of their standard bikes. E-bike sales rose 145% in the United States between 2019 and 2020.
"E-bikes and scooters are an important piece of our region's multi-modal future and we are encouraged by the DRPA's willingness to work with the Bicycle Coalition and DRPA Citizens Advisory Committee to create a sensible e-assist policy," said John Boyle, Research Director for the Bicycle Coalition.
The same rules of the walkway will apply to both e-bikes and traditional bicycles with speed limits set at 15 mph. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians and use audible warnings. Class 1, pedal-assist only bikes, and Class 2, throttle-assisted bikes, will be permitted. Class 3 e-bikes, gas-powered motorized vehicles, skateboards and hoverboards remain prohibited.
The Ben Franklin Bridge’s pedestrian walkway is open daily from 6 a.m - 8 p.m. October 1 - April 30 and 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. May 1 - September 30.
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