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Inaction is Unacceptable: 7 Demands the Bicycle Coalition is Making to the City of Philadelphia for Better Bike Lanes and Safe Streets

A memorial set up for Emily Fredricks at 11th and Spruce Streets

Earlier this week, 24-year-old Emily Fredricks was killed on her bicycle by a private sanitation driver who made a right hook in front of her at 11th and Spruce Streets in Center City.

Philadelphia’s bicycling community quickly got into action. A human-protected bike lane was set up on Wednesday morning and a vigil was held that night. A spray-painted bike lane has been laid down by concerned citizens. More actions are on the way.

A crowd gathers at a vigil for Emily Fredricks on Wednesday evening.

This tragedy is unacceptable—as is the death of each of the 77 people who died this year in traffic crashes. Inaction is no longer an option for the City of Philadelphia.

We call upon Mayor Kenney to immediately take action on the following:

  1. Add $1 Million to the Vision Zero Office FY2019 Budget. Vision Zero is more important now than ever. Fund it.
  2. Release the list of streets where the City intends to install protected bike lanes to meet the 30-mile goal. In 2016, the City received $550,000 in federal grant funding to install protected bike lanes. 2017 was spent planning where protected bike lanes should go. It’s time to release the list of streets to the public.
  3. Present an improved design to the public for physically separating bicyclists from motorists along the entire Spruce & Pine bike lane corridor in 60 days; implement in six months. Include:
  4. Redesign the intersections on Spruce & Pine where the right turn lane merges with the bike lane and replace them with curbing to separate bicyclists.
  5. Limit garbage haulers to one section of the city. Currently, private haulers have contracts with different buildings and travel across the city picking up refuse within their permitted hours of operation, incentivizing drivers to rush from building to building.  Designating one hauler per section of City would reduce truck traffic, noise and emissions.
  6. Introduce legislation to mandate the use of side guards on all large private and public trucks. Side guards are vehicle-based safety devices that physically cover the exposed space between front and rear wheels and keep pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists from being run over by a large truck’s rear wheels in a side-impact collision. Chicago, Boston and New York City have adopted ordinances requiring the use of side guards.
  7. Refresh (re-stripe) the 23+ miles of faded bike lanes identified by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

So, what can you do now?

  • Sign our petition calling upon the City of Philadelphia to do the above—now.
  • Call your Councilmember. Set up a meeting. Demand they meet with you and support the above conditions.
  • A memorial ride for Emily is being held on Sunday. Join it. Show the city how much safer streets mean to you and that one person’s death is one too many.
  • Emily Fredricks’ family asked the Bicycle Coalition share the details of her services this weekend. Find the information here. Please go if you can make it.
  • Contact the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Do you want to volunteer with us? Get more involved? We want to hear from you. Email the author of this post here.

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Topics: Action Center, Biking in Philly, Featured, Vision Zero

9 comments on “Inaction is Unacceptable: 7 Demands the Bicycle Coalition is Making to the City of Philadelphia for Better Bike Lanes and Safe Streets

  1. Timothy P Carey Reply

    Tim Carey here, a cyclists who travels the Spruce St and Pine bike lanes.  Instructional signs need to be posted that cars turing right are allowed to get completely in the bike as they approach the corner to make the turn.

    Most car drivers don’t know this.  By menumering the car to turn in this manner, it prevents that right hook, forcing the cyclist to stay behind the right turning car or pass the car on the right.  Passing on the right is an incorrect passing menuever for all vehicles as you know, the bicycle is a vehicle.   The only exception, written into the vehicle code of PA is when passing a trolley. 

    Tim Carey, the traveling bicycle nurse 

  2. Daron Phillips Reply

    Speaking of ‘right hooks’, who has right of way say when a vehicle is turning, clearly has right signal on, with vehicle positioned toward the turn and is ahead of a cyclist by a large amount of distance and time? Does the vehicle has R.O.W or does a cyclist who was not near the intersection allowed to ride through?

  3. Marc Caruso Reply

    Daron depends on which lane the motorist is in when they make their turn. A motorist that has legally merged into the bike lane to prepare for their right turn will have R.O.W over anyone else arriving later in the bike lane be it another turning motorist or a cyclist going straight. If the motorist has their signal on and is turning across the bike lane the motorist does not have R.O.W. as they violating the law by turning across the bike lane. And also entering or driving across another lane of traffic. So they have not established themselves in the bike lane so traffic already in the bike lane would have R.O.W. over the traffic that is entering it or illegally cutting across it.

    • Daron Phillips Reply

      Thanks mark.

      But what has me thinking is a large truck. The larger the truck the more Left it must be in order to make the tight right turn. So a driver will naturally stay more left with signals on and would be confusing to a cyclist riding up the bike lane. It seems like a confusing situation for both. The driver making a bad assumption that since he is in front with signal has R.O.W.. And a cyclist arriving second would think they have R.O.W. since truck appears to not be making a turn.

      I am not speculating that this is what happened between Emily and the trash truck, I am just wondering.

  4. Marc Caruso Reply

    In this case the motorist driving the SEMI has or should have R.O.W. The law is you make a right turn from as close as practical to the right most edge of the Roadway. For your typical motorist driving a sedan that will be in the bike lane or right up almost next to the curb. For the motorist operating that accordion style septa bus or semi truck that might be well outside the bike lane. You have to teach cyclists to leave the bike lane and not pass trucks on the right. This is the best option. Sadly there is too much catering to the 8 to 80 crowd in an attempt to design away all responsibility away from cyclists so that they can achieve mindless bicycling. If you don’t think your kid is mature enough to cycle on a given road out in traffic then they aren’t mature enough or knowledgeable enough to cycle in bike lane on the side of that road.

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