As we learned late yesterday from reports by the Inquirer, Fox 29 and NBC10, a woman on her bicycle was killed while crossing over Kelly Drive from Spring Garden to Eakins Oval. Our sincerest sympathies to her family and friends. This is a crash that should have been prevented.
While we are still awaiting more details, this tragic crash only confirms what we already know:
1) Eakins Oval is not safe for bicyclists and the current bicycle infrastructure is inadequate to handle the number of conflict zones,
2) Mayor Kenney must put more resources into Vision Zero to make roadways like Eakins Oval safe.
The Bicycle Coalition has been advocating for better bicycle facilities and protected lanes around Eakins Oval for many years and have always been dismayed that the safety of bicyclists has never been put into balance against the desire to move motor vehicles through the area as quickly as possible.
We are disheartened that in the near term, it’s unlikely that things are going to improve unless the Mayor and City Council step up.
As pointed out in our analysis of Mayor Kenney’s proposed FY22 budget, Mayor Kenney is not putting enough money into Vision Zero.
He is proposing to spend less than half of what he spent in 2019. It’s absolutely unconscionable, after a 78% increase in traffic deaths in 2020, including six bicyclists, for the Mayor to put a paltry $1 Million out of $5B into his budget toward making roads safe for everyone. Vision Zero funding must be restored.
The Bicycle Coalition is working with other organizations to launch a campaign to get these funds restored as City Council reviews Mayor Kenney’s budget. In the meantime, we will hold the 2021 Ride of Silence to honor all bicyclists killed in our region in the last twelve months.