UG Zoning Definition Updates for Convenience Stores Needs to Include Bike Racks!

As reported in The Reporter (thanks to Dan Sokil for this local coverage) – Upper Gwynedd is revising its zoning definition for “convenience stores.” Part of this includes parking requirements:

Image of start of news article from The Reporter newspaperSection 28, A – at the very end of the document:

For any of the following uses, the stated parking spaces shall be required, shall be of concrete or blacktop surface, and shall be located on the same lot therewith or, if approved by the Board of Commissioners, on land adjacent thereto.

(25) Convenience Store: 1 parking space for every 100 sq. ft. of the first 3,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area. Thence 1 parking space for every 150 sq. ft. of additional gross floor area. Required parking shall not include those spaces assigned to fueling positions. The width of the aisle way surrounding the Convenience Store building shall be not less than 28 ft. in width.…/ord_01-2024_zoning…

We would like to encourage all Bike North Penn members who reside in Upper Gwynedd Township to email the township commissioners and encourage them to include bike racks as part of this zoning definition update.Bike North Penn will be releasing a formal letter in support of adding bike racks/parking to the zoning definition.

Thanks to Patrick Monahan at the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia, we have at least one example, from Lower Marion, describing zoning requirements for bike parking which we can suggest to Upper Gwyneedd:

Biking Cut Through Improvements around Upper Gwynedd’s Parkside Place

Often during our community rides around the North Penn region, we reveal and take advantage of cut throughs which allow bike or pedestrian pathways from one neighborhood to another, often avoiding busy roads – and are otherwise not available to autos.

Upper Gwynedd’s Parkside Place is a vital artery of cut throughs when moving between several neighborhoods in the township, as well as passing in and out of North Wales Borough. In the future, several of these cut-throughs will be leveraged as part of the Power Line and Liberty Bell Trails.

Map of cut through routes via Parkside Place

Map of cut through routes via Parkside Place

The paved trail headed south out of the park connects immediately with the residential neighborhood there. If you turn right on the trail, as if headed to the Green Ribbon Trail (No bikes are allowed on the Green Ribbon Trail), the pavement will eventually turn to gravel and after crossing a small foot bridge over the Wissahickon Creek heads the up to West Point Pike. 

New Gravel on the west cut-though, where the paved trail connects with the start of the Green Ribbon Trail

New Gravel on the west cut-though, where the paved trail connects with the start of the Green Ribbon Trail

Part of that gravel section can be muddy at times, but recently some new gravel has been laid down which helps with some of this mud. The gravel is rather large and it is not compacted, so be careful, it can grab your tires.


Trail cut though at West Point Pike

Trail cut though at West Point Pike

Heading left on West Point Pike takes you over the railroad and the streets to the right can connect you with the quite neighborhood of West Point Village and other neighborhoods further west – all the way over to Valley Forge Road. 


Back at the Basketball courts in the center of Parkside Place, if you head down the road along the tennis courts, and then jump to the paved trail headed east – the trail will take you up and out of the park and deliver you to Center Street in North Wales Borough. Up two blocks there is a pedestrian-triggered crossing light which can get you through Walnut St./North Wales Rd, to the southeast side of the borough and destinations like the North Wales Area Library.

Photo of Elm Street in North Wales Borough

Elm Street in North Wales Borough

The great improvement with this route is Elm Avenue. For a long time this street has either been in poor condition, or under various types of construction. That construction is now completed and a fresh layer of pavement has been applied. Elm Avenue is important for bikers who want to reach the northwest quarter of the borough and possibly the North Wales SEPTA station. With the exception of Walnut (which some people don’t like to ride due to auto volume and narrow lanes), few streets in the borough align to allow for crossing Sumneytown Pike.

Elm Avenue and School Street are not exactly aligned, but are close enough for a fast crossing so long as you wait for a safe opening in traffic on Sumneytown Pike.

Understanding the importance of the Parkside Place cut throughs can unlock biking routes which otherwise might be intimidating to hesitant riders.

Bike North Penn February Meeting Deck and Recording

Thanks everyone for coming out for the February meeting. Our new meeting space at Eclipse Center for Creative Community is working out nicely. If you could not make the meeting, please use the links below to review what was discussed.

Click Here for a PDF of the agenda deck from the February, 2024 meeeting

Click Here to access at meeting recording using MicroSoft Teams

January 2024 Bike North Penn Organizational Meeting

Tonight is the first montly organizational meeting for Bike North Penn in 2024. If you are attending in person, please be aware we are meeting at a NEW location: Eclipse Center for Creative Community – at 30 Vine Street, Lansdale PA.
Entrance is just off the parking lot of the Lansdale post office. Please take the stairs down and to the left, to find your way to our room.
We will be discussing updates related to local bike trails and bike lanes, as well as planning for our community bike rides in 2024. Please consider joining us.
Here is a link to the agenda deck we will be using in the meeting:…/14SpGnRU6X4bfsnkTDzZ…/view…

Google Calendar Event Info

Upper Gwynedd Commissioners Meeting to Talk Trails

On Monday, Dec. 18, The agenda for the Upper Gwynedd Board of Commissioners meeting includes a presentation on the Power Line Trail, which is planned to cross Upper Gwynedd Township from the 476 overpass at Morris Rd., pass through Parkside Place where it will overlap with the planned Liberty Bell Trail and ultimately connect with the 202 Parkway Trail at Welsh Road.

Upper Gwynedd Map image, including the Power Line Trail highlighted in yellow.The meeting starts at 7 PM, at the Upper Gwynedd Township building located at Parkside Place on Sumneytown Pike. Everyone interested in local trails is encouraged to turn out for this meeting,

The presentation materials contain draft details on the Power Line Trail as well as the Liberty Bell Trail. Some these details include:

  • Proposed Liberty Bell route south out of Parkside Place, which will use sharrows on North Wales Rd to connect with a sidewalk/Trail at the intersection with Morris Rd. This is a compromise to address opposition of residents in the southern part of the township who did not want the trail near their properties if it followed the rail line out of the township.
  • Route for the Power Line Trail to follow Welsh Rd. east to connect with the 202 Parkway Trail.

The draft maps include one curious detail for the Liberty Bell Trail, between Sumneytown Pike and Wissihickon Ave. The route visualized in these materials shows the trail following tight to the Wissihickon Creek, with multiple creek crossings. Though this was one possible route discussed two years ago during community input sessions, it was generally discarded at that time, in favor of taking the trail up Dickerson Rd. It is unclear why this may be back in play, given the frequent flooding along the creek which might cause the trail to be unusable after heavy rains, and require constant repair due to flood damage.

2023 Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride Recap – With Photos!

Group Photo at the start of the 2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed

The weather for our community bike rides continued to cooperate on December 13, when more than 45 riders came out for our second annual Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride. Though it was seasonably cold, everyone was in good spirits as we wound our way through several sections of Lansdale Borough (and just a bit of Upper Gwynedd) to checkout residential light displays.

2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David FreedThe route was comprised of quiet, neighborhood streets, but also included some primary street crossings which we performed very carefully. On several occasions people came to the sidewalks in front of their homes to see exactly what was going on. More than one driver graciously pulled over to the side of the street to allow our band of bikers to pass.

Many of the riders added colorful lights to either their bikes or their persons, so we were, in effect, a traveling light display that night.

2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David FreedThe ride started at 7:15 PM and ended at about 8:30 PM. Some of the group pealed off at various times to head home early. We finished the ride with about 30 riders and though everyone was a bit colder than when we started, the smiles were all warm as we wished each other Merry Christmas and split up for the night.

Local photographer, David Freed, came out for the ride and brought along his camera. He graciously took photos throughout the ride. A sampling of his photos are included with this post. Thank you David!

We hope to continue this annual tradition! Mark your 2024 calendars now for Wednesday, Dec. 11. Details for that ride will be posted later in the year.

2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed






More Photos Below:

2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed   2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed 2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed 2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed 2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed  2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed 2023 Bike North Penn Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride - Photo by David Freed

2023 Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride!

Our second annual Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride will take place on Wednesday, December 13 at 7 PM.

This will be a slow roll group bike ride of streets in and around downtown Lansdale to see holiday lights put out by the locals.

Bike Helmets Are REQUIRED.

We will meet outside Round House/Backyard Beans at about 7PM with the ride to start no later than 7:15.

The bike route will be no more than 6 miles and will be mostly on residential streets with low traffic. Our pace will be slow, with no one getting left behind. Bike lights are encouraged! We want this to be festive, but we also want to be visible to drivers. Be creative with your lights! Horns, sleigh bells, cowbells and other noise makers would be great.

Dress in warm layers as the weather dictates. We cannot emphasize the importance of warm gloves for this ride but be sure you also practice riding with gloves before the event. Shifting and breaking your bike may be very different wearing gloves. Be sure your bike is in good working order in advance of this ride.

All riders are responsible for their own safety on this ride.

Photo for 2022 Lansdale Holiday Lights Bike Ride

2022 Lansdale Holiday Bike Ride

Anyone under the Age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bad weather or if streets are icy from earlier rain or snow will cancel this event.

Safety is always our first consideration. Bike Helmets Are REQUIRED during the ride. If you want to bring a festive hat – great, but during the ride you MUST wear a bike helmet.



Bad weather or icy street conditions will cancel this event.

Google Calendar Event Info

Facebook Calendar Event Info

Online Meeting to Discuss South Broad St. Bike Lanes in Upper Gwynedd Township

The Partnership TMA of Montgomery County, as part of their Bike More Drive Less campaign is leading an online ZOOM meeting on Wednesday, November 15, at 6:30 PM, to provide information to the public about bike lanes being added to the section of South Broad Street controlled by Upper Gwynedd Township.

This first meeting will include information about the concept of bike lanes on South Broad Street from Upper Gwynedd to Lansdale Borough and specifically on plans and designs for bike lanes to be added the section between  Sumneytown Pike and Morris Road.

Residents of Upper Gwynedd Township and neighboring municipalities are encouraged to participate:

Click here for the Zoom link

Join by Phone: 646-558-8656

Meeting ID: 818 6377 4543

Passcode: 548552

Towamencin Functional Ride Recap

Though it was on the cool side, the sun shown down on our ride and kept the temperatures feeling moderate. What is also important to know, is we are not the only cyclists out on the streets. It was fantastic to see people out and about getting around on bicycles, as well as more than one parent with young children teaching them how to ride bikes.

Group photo of people who participated in the bike ride.The goal of this ride was not just about relaxation, exercise and visiting with friends. It was all that, but it was also a demonstration of how to navigate between quiet neighborhoods, crossing over several busy main roads, and lacing a route between Towmamencin Township, Hatfield Township, Lansdale Borough and back. We would connect to several common destinations on this route to show the bike as a viable alternative to autos.

We started in the parking lot of North Penn High School, and made our way via a cut-through path to Snyder Road. After turning onto Weikel Road and riding down to the Towamencin Pool, we utilized a second cut-through around the back side of the pool, through a small playground to emerge on Woodlawn Drive. (also note Snyder Rd. and Weikel Road are part of the Towamencin Trails – which are not off-road trails, but rather designated on-road bike routes) This move over to Woodlawn was crucial to our route, because this street crosses the busy Allentown Road with a traffic light and then keeps going. Once we were through the bustling intersection we made our way through the neighborhood on the other side and arrived at the Lidl grocery store – demonstrating  there is a quiet street route to and from the high school as well as an important destination like a grocery.

Next up was crossing Main Street / Welsh Rd, which we did using the light at Oak Blvd / Squirrel Lane. At this point we took a brief detour through the Oak Park neighborhood because it was looking so pretty with the trees in full color and the leaves on the ground. After getting back onto Squirrel Lane, we went a bit off the route and rode up to Edgemont Avenue, which we used to round back down to West Third Street. This street was chosen because it goes all the way back through to downtown. Taking West Third Street did involve crossing North Valley Forge Rd. where we needed to be careful due to less-than-ideal sight lines. Instead of taking Third Street all the way to the end, we made our way to North Cannon Ave, where we used the traffic light to again, cross Main Street.

Turning left on Durstine Avenue, we proceeded to the vicinity of the Lansdale Public Library – thereby demonstrating there are ways to move about downtown Lansdale to common destinations on Main Street and side streets, like the Library or the post office. We took Columbia as our route back, with only one stop sign between Susquehanna Ave. and Valley Forge Road. Columbia is aligned on both sides of Valley Forge Rd, though it does not have a traffic light, so we waited for a good gap between cars  to cross and then headed back to Woodlawn which got us back across Allentown Rd.

Rather than going straight back to the High School, we pealed off on Pioneer Rd., then took Nash Avenue to Swartley Rd. to enter the back side of the Allen-Forge Shopping Center demonstrating to the group a quiet way to get to a bank, a drug store or pick up a slice of pizza or a taco.

From there it was Pross Rd. back to Nash Avenue which brought us back to Woodlawn near the playground cut-through which connected us back to Weikel Rd, where we paused for a moment to take in the Morgan Log House. Weikel on the return required a slight hill climb to get back to Snyder Rd. and then ultimately onto the North Penn High School campus.

Logistics of finding routes from your home to local destinations:

  1. Look for cut-throughs which might be available only to bicycle or foot traffic. These exist in all of the North Penn municipalities. Sometimes these involve parks or school yards, sometimes it might in involve the parking lot of a local business or commercial area. Online tools like Google Maps will sometimes show these cut throughs and sometimes they won’t.
  2. If you need to cross a main road, look for intersections with traffic lights and where the streets align on both sides of the road. Be aware sometimes local roads change names when passing through an intersection.
  3. If a traffic light intersection is not available near your route, then at least find an intersection where the road alongs on both sides of the street you want to cross. Look both directions both times before crossing. Also try to have your lead bike pedal in the  “3 o’clock” so its ready for you to put your weight on it and start your bike moving.