New bike park inspired by Copenhagen, Denmark, opens in North Philly
The new bike park, Lil’ Safety Village, gives visitors a chance to see what a city that prioritizes bike-riding looks like.
A new, compact and colorful bike park has opened in North Philadelphia. It is made up of mini-road networks, and meant to promote a safe place for riders of all ages.
The new bike park has been named Lil’ Safety Village, and is located at the intersection of Hunting Park and Cayuga streets.
The park was made possible through the work of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia officials, and the national nonprofit known as Kaboom!
Philadelphia-based company Studio Ludo designed the park, while ThinkGreen — another local company — built it.
The idea for Lil’ Safety Village was conceived when Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition, visited a traffic playground in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Bicycling is a primary form of transportation in the Scandinavian country, and it has both bike lanes and bike highways. During rush hour, the bike lanes in Copenhagen can resemble heavy car traffic in America.
The goal of opening Lil’ Safety Village is to give Philadelphians the opportunity to experience what it’s like to bike in a city with bike lanes.
Stuart also hopes to introduce programming at the park to offer biking lessons for both kids and adults. The coalition is already running similar operations, with two-hour classes taking place now — between April and October — at Lloyd Hall Gymnasium.
Stephanie Rivera Fenniri, the former deputy director of the Bicycle Coalition, shared some thoughts on the newly-introduced bike park, and its location in Hunting Park:
“Hunting Park is a really rich area, it’s primarily made up of Black, Latinx, immigrant population,” Fenniri told WHYY.
“We wanted [the park] to be somewhere that overlapped with the High Injury Network and also somewhere that served populations that are historically underserved by these types of facilities.”
The High Injury Network is a data-driven system that identifies corridors with the highest rates of fatalities and serious injury.
The introduction of safe, effective, and protected bike lanes can potentially lower the levels of fatalities and serious injuries that take place on some Philadelphia streets.
Lil’ Safety Village includes a four-way intersection, traffic signs, and pedestrian crosswalks in addition to the bike lanes.