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Member Profile: Ralph

SEPTA driver and noted avid cyclist Ralph Branch knows something about street safety. After all, he knows what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a 30,000-pound vehicle, and the handlebars of a 20-pound one.

For our March Member Drive, Bicycle Coalition member Ralph Branch reflected on some of the work he’s helped us make a reality over the years.

The Bicycle Coalition provides valuable and necessary safety advocacy for the Philadelphia region. Not only does the Coalition fight for new and improved cycling infrastructure in the form of protected bike lanes, but also for better and safer roads for all users.

The dangerous Roosevelt Blvd corridor is one example of the Coalition stepping outside of just fighting for cyclists.

Not many cyclists use the Blvd, because of the intense and high speed vehicle traffic that travels along it. The Blvd has some the highest number of collisions in the area and a large number of pedestrians who attempt to cross it have been injured and some killed.

Believing that these injuries and deaths on the Blvd (and throughout the region) are avoidable, the Coalition took up the fight to have and expand the use of cameras along the route, hopefully to encourage motorists to slow down and to decrease (with an eye on ending them) the number of avoidable accidents that occur.

With its continued efforts to expand not only protected bike lanes but also the trail network throughout Philly, it encourages more citizens throughout the region to try biking, with a further eye on lessening the vehicle congestion in and around Philly.

And as more citizens take up cycling, either using their own or Indego bike share, we have the same right to be safe as anyone behind a steering wheel or walking. The Coaltion works with community groups and area politicians to come up with solutions that meet the needs of all users, whether walking, riding a bike, using a skateboard or handling a motor vehicle. Safer streets save lives.

While membership in the Coalition does provide rewards in the form of discounts at area bike shops and free member rides throughout the region (and some cool gifts when you join), the most valuable thing I get out of my membership is the pride I feel in the fights the Coalition takes on for all Philadelphians and when we’re able to see progress and success when change happens.

Knowing that my support and dollars helps the Coalition do its work is greater than any other reward I could receive. The Coalition shows everyday that every person who uses our roads matters.

Want to join Ralph in supporting our vision for safer streets and better bicycling? Join as a member–or renew your membership– today! All this month we are thanking our members with something extra: a special gift at the $45+ level, and entry to win a 17″ Fuji Nevada mountain bike at the $50+ level. This week’s special gift? Back by popular demand, we have our new t-shirts on offer! Get them today.

Topics: Biking in Philly, Featured, Uncategorized, Vision Zero

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