As the year closes, we’re highlighting what we accomplished thanks to our members and volunteers. We’ll be publishing a blog each day covering the successes enabled by our members’ and partners’ investment in us.
Speed Camera Bill PASSES
After several years of work, Senate Bill 172 — which legalizes speed safety cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard for a five year pilot — passed the state Senate on Tuesday. This was the final hurdle it needed to hop before heading to Governor Wolf’s desk.
Senate Bill 172 will have a positive effect on Philadelphia’s speeding and aggressive driving culture, making streets safer for pedestrians, drivers and, eventually, cyclists.
Passage of this bill was a years-long effort spearheaded by the Bicycle Coalition and other members of the Vision Zero Alliance.
After our numerous trips to Harrisburg, meetings with representatives from all over Pennsylvania, hearings in the Capital and in Philadelphia, and even working with a lobbyist, the bill passed and was signed by Governor Tom Wolf. Roosevelt Boulevard will be safer because of our efforts to make speed cameras a reality.
Listening To Communities
In October, the Fairhill Neighborhood of North Philadelphia, which has some of the highest rates of traffic crashes in the city, was the location of a listening session to hear the community’s input, views, ideas, and concerns about the traffic violence in their neighborhood.
Hosted by the Vision Zero Alliance, AARP PA, the Bicycle Coalition and HACE, this Listening Session was put together to help amplify the voices of community members to the greater Philadelphia region, to City Council, and to the Mayor.
Listening sessions hosted by the Bicycle Coalition, AARP PA, and PECO are a large part of our strategy to help bring better infrastructure to communities around Philadelphia.
These listening sessions will continue into 2019 and, we believe, be important for creating safer streets in Philadelphia’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.
Once we’ve completed the first set of sessions, we will put together a report and help the communities we’ve worked with bring the information to the City.
New Loading Zone Legislation
An idea to change loading zone rules first proposed by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is being introduced as legislation in Philadelphia City Council.
The plan, detailed here, would change the rules for creating loading zones on streets with bike lanes. Too often, delivery drivers park in bike lanes to unload their cargo on streets without loading zones.
The plan would incentivize businesses to create loading zones by waiving the $500, or $300, installation fee for business-centric loading zones, making it easier for delivery vehicles to legally park on city streets and deliver goods.
Pretty soon, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson took the first step toward making this law when he introduced legislation based on our memo.
“Parking in bike lanes makes our streets less safe and increases traffic congestion,” said Johnson, when asked about the bill. “When bicyclists have to merge into a traffic lane to avoid a parked car, crashes are more likely and traffic starts backing up. I believe that this bill will help keep bike lanes clear by eliminating the up-front costs of establishing loading zones on streets with bike lanes. It’s just one piece of the puzzle, but it’s an important one.”
Another AMAZING Gala
Our 2018 Gala & Awards Dinner was an incredible success thanks to all of you in our warm and generous community. After all of the hard work that we put into planning this event, it was inspiring to see everyone come together to celebrate cycling, to have fun and see the impact we can make at the same time.
We were able to raise over $127,000 for our advocacy and education programs, which is especially important for our scholarship fund since we’ll have 12 Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling athletes graduating next year. Our extreme gratitude goes out to everyone who contributed during the evening and to everyone who supported us ahead of time to make this event possible.
Northwest Trails Open House
Approximately 80 people (and ABC News, as seen above) came to the Northwest Circuit Trails Open House at the Manayunk Brew Pub on September 25 to discuss upcoming trail projects coming to Northwest Philadelphia and close suburbs.
There are numerous trail and canal projects underway in several Northwest Philly neighborhoods, Lower Merion and Whitemarsh Townships that will build out the Circuit over the next 3–6 years.
View all of the Northwest Philadelphia posters from the event here.
Fourteen different public agencies, trail “Friends of” groups, and one real estate developer brought poster boards describing their projects. They included: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Philadelphia Water Department, Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County Planning Commission, SEPTA, Office of Transportation & Infrastructure, Manayunk Development Corporation, Roxborough Conservancy, West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Friends of Cynwyd Heritage Trail, Friends of the Cresheim Trail, Friends of the Wissahickon, Schuylkill Environmental Education Center and Penn Real Estate Group.
Vision Zero “One Year” Press Conference Highlights Bicycle Coalition’s, Latanya Byrd’s, Efforts
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, AARP-PA, AAA, and the rest of the Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance, worked over several years to get Senate Bill 172 — which legalized speed cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard in North and Northeast Philadelphia — passed.
In September, the Vision Zero Alliance celebrated long-fought victory for traffic safety in Philadelphia at a Mayoral press conference about the first year of Vision Zero.
The victory was a large group effort, supported by State Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), and was made possible through the fierce advocacy of Northeast Philadelphia resident Latanya Byrd.
In 2013, Byrd lost her niece, and three of her niece’s children, to speeding drivers on Roosevelt Boulevard. She worked with the Bicycle Coalition and Vision Zero Alliance over the last two years to legalize speed cameras and make Philadelphia safer.
“I want no family to go through what mine has,” Byrd said at City Hall on Friday. “And it’s with a heavy heart that we declare this victory today.”
BCYC rides with Councilman Kenyatta Johnson
On October 25th, BCYC All Star Marc Darden, program coordinator Kate Campbell and policy coordinator Randy LoBasso went on a ride with Councilman Kenyatta Johnson to check out bike infrastructure in the 2nd district (which covers parts of Center City, South and Southwest Philadelphia). Marc talked to Councilman KJ about putting in new bike lanes, repainting existing ones and paving the streets to make them safer for cyclists.
BCYC at the Philly Bike Expo!
The youth-led cross ride to the Expo drew an enthusiastic crowd for a cold morning (honestly we think it was the District Taco breakfast that did it).
Through the whole Expo weekend, BCYC athletes were welcomed as true industry insiders–you could find them presenting about the program at the Bicycle Coalition table, working the room & communicating with vendors about the team’s equipment needs, and even serving as models for the professional bike fit demo.
First Annual Career Night
BCYC’s Youth Advisory Council worked long and hard to organize our first annual Career Night, where BCYC athletes and families joined career mentors to learn about their work in a variety of fields, practice interview skills, and make new connections.
The success of this event proves what we already know–youth leadership in youth-focused organizations is necessary, powerful, and effective! Thank you to all of our career mentors, All Star athletes, and our host Capital One Cafefor granting our YAC the well-deserved pride of a massively successful event.
Philadelphia Releases Vision Zero One-Year Update
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia introduced Vision Zero to all the mayoral candidates in 2015 (plus, all the City Council candidates who would meet with us), and we were encouraged to see the Kenney Administration roll out its Vision Zero plan in 2016.
The city released its One Year Update to Vision Zero, outlining the successes and failures of the first year, as Philadelphia’s government attempts to institute policies that bring traffic deaths down to zero by 2030.
Bicycle Coalition Members Make New Jersey Keep — and Spend! — Trail Money
Earlier this year, Bicycle Coalition members in New Jersey mobilized to contact their elected officials about the millions of dollars in federal Transportation Alternatives money the New Jersey Department of Transportation was about to give back to the federal government.
Our members sent hundreds of emails out to elected officials all over the Garden State, including Governor Murphy, demanding the state keep the money, and use it.
…And the result?
A complete 180: NJDOT went from the brink of giving back more than $10 million to finding a way to save 100% of it, as well as adding new funding! Thank you Bicycle Coalition members and supporters for your help!
Through advocacy and education, the Bicycle Coalition leads the movement to make bicycling a safe and fun way to get around for anyone in Greater Philadelphia. We’re a member-funded organization, and we can’t advocate for building out the region’s bicycle network without your support. Join or donate today to partner with us and make your ride better.