In 2009 bike lanes were installed on Spruce and Pine streets to create a safe passage for cyclists to get across town. Prior to this there had been two car lanes and on Sunday's the local churches had an unwritten agreement with the Philadelphia Police and the Philadelphia Park Authority. Allowing their parishioners to park in the travel lane for Sunday services. When the bike lanes were installed this practice continued.
Five years later the number of cyclists in Philadelphia and the use of bike lanes has increased, while this practice continued. That was until Sunday, April 13, 2014 when the founder of Where Would Jesus Park held a peaceful protest on Spruce St. between 17th and 18th at the location of the Tenth Presbyterian Church.
You should read his account (click here for link). He spoke with parishioners and Pastor William Spokes offered to start a dialogue to find a solution. Based on that dialogue the WWJP founder came up with a reasonable solution that matched my own expectations. All of which require a simple change in church operations, that has no impact on people being able to attend Sunday services. Including promoting the use of spaces the church has leased at two nearby parking lots.
I believe that Pastor William Spoke of the Tenth Presbyterian Church and WWJP will be able to come to an equitable solution. That will set a new standard for the rest of the churches along Spruce and Pine streets.
In the meantime the peaceful protest will continue on Sunday, April 20 from 8am to 1pm. Please stop by, if only for a few minutes to show your support.