Editor’s Note: Over the next week, the Bicycle Coalition will be showcasing our Year-in-Review, which is also available at BicycleCoalition2016.org
Mayor Jim Kenney was elected in 2015 after making several promises to the Bicycle Coalition in meetings, at our Mayoral Forum, and at the 2015 Vision Zero Conference the Bicycle Coalition put on with Jefferson University in December. He also put then-Interim Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart on his Transition Team.
Upon obtaining office, Kenney released a transition document outlining his plans for a Vision Zero policy of zero traffic deaths in Philadelphia. He also made the promise of 30 miles of protected bike lanes and a new Office of Complete Streets to help complete the job. The Office and Complete Streets Director was a big ask from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and important for the city, as explained by BCGP Policy Coordinator Bob Previdi:
“This person will coordinate work on the street that prioritizes the ability for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and public transit users to get around. Such a position that makes sure our streets are as multimodal as possible, including advocating for protected bike lanes. This is exactly what Philadelphia needs for its growing bicycling community, and for an administration that says it’s interested in Vision Zero.”
Then, the Bicycle Coalition unveiled the Bike Lane Toolkit, an online tool to ask for, and organize around, new bike lanes in individual neighborhoods. A 2012 ordinance requires Council approval for new bike lanes which take away a lane of vehicle traffic.
The bike lane toolkit was meant to bring together citizens and their representatives to help get bike lanes installed locally.
Schuylkill River Trail Watch
The Schuylkill River Trail was named the Best Urban Trail in the United States in 2015. Unfortunately, during that same time, physical and verbal attacks rose on the trail.
The Bicycle Coalition became involved in talks of creating the Schuylkill River Trail Watch along with many other community groups, the Philadelphia Police, and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, whose districts covers the Schuylkill Banks. Numerous training sessions were held to teach ordinary citizens how to handle bad situations on the trail.
Cadence Community Bike Build
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and our Cadence Youth Cycling program teamed up with Neighborhood Bike Works, Gearing Up, and Philly Pump Track to put together 62 bicycles donated by Advanced Sports International and distributed to the above organizations.
More than 100 people showed up to the First Unitarian Church in Center City to help out (and to eat some free Chipotle burritos) on February 28, and the bikes were constructed in record time.
Youth, athletes, women in recovery, and others were soon riding these bikes in their respective activities.