Back in March, we told you about changed Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems’ plan to make changes to Spruce and Pine Streets which, we believe, will make the streets safer for cyclists going through Center City.
After a series of meetings, Council hearings, and advocacy on the part of cyclists and pedestrians all over Philadelphia, ordinances required by Council to begin the work on Spruce and Pine Streets were passed on Thursday, paving the way to upgrade the streets.
Spruce and Pine Streets are among the most-used bike lanes in Philadelphia and helps move thousands of people on bicycles in Philadelphia every day.
The four ordinances which passed will allow the Streets Department to move the bike lanes from the right side of the street to the left when the streets get repaved later this year.
Once that happens, the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems will use green paint and physical infrastructure to better protect the intersections, where the vast majority of crashes on those streets have taken place.
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Arnie Roseman, a long time member of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia ,died on June 15th at the age of 88. He was a retired Colonel in the US Army Reserve and an active bicyclist well into his 80s. He volunteered for many Bicycle Coalition events, including Bike Philly, where he was the rest stop Captain at Spring Mill Station and the Freedom Valley Bike Ride. He also led BCP’s Adopt A Highway program for Yellow Springs Road near Valley Forge NHP.
Bike Chester County member Mike Broennle offered a few words about how he got to know Arnie:
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Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling’s spring season recently ended, but the program’s student athletes have been busier than ever the past few weeks: racing in Philly and beyond, hanging out at Pride together, participating in the 2nd Annual Philly Mountain Bike Phestival, and kicking off the 2018 All Star season.
Annual BCYC Criterium and Scholarship Awards
The BCYC Crit is the pinnacle of our 3-event omnium that our seven core youth teams that have been practicing for and competing in all spring long. Despite a rescheduling due to thunderstorms the weekend before, over 50 racers, parents, and our sponsor, District Tacos, showed up for the Crit on Saturday, June 9.
The race took place near the Please Touch Museum in West Fairmount Park.
Athletes were divided into three categories across their experience.
We closed the race with the long-awaited announcement of the winners of our college scholarships, funded by our friend Jerry Jacobs.
And with that: Congratulations to Mya Miller and Tajae’ McMillan, who not only have been racing with BCYC since they were freshmen, but are also dedicated members of B.CYC.le Squad and the Youth Advisory Council. Mya will be attending Franklin & Marshall College in the fall and Tajae’ will be attending Marywood University.
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There was a long-awaited Vision Zero in City Council on Tuesday. The Bicycle Coalition and many other members of the Vision Zero Alliance were in attendance, testifying in favor of changes to make Philadelphia’s streets safer. Among those who testified: Becca Refford, Anne Javsicas, Regan Kladstrup, Christopher Puchalsky (OTIS), Jana Tidwell (AAA), Shari Shapiro (Uber), Nick Rogers (Clean Air Council) Suzanne Hagner, and Sarah Clark Stuart (Bicycle Coalition).
Here is Sarah Clark Stuart’s testimony:
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Advocates Call for Better Infrastructure, Decision-Making, and Equitable Changes at Vision Zero Hearing
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown held a hearing on Tuesday about Vision Zero in Philadelphia for the Joint Committees on the Environment and Transportation and Public Utilities, and was met with advocacy, harrowing stories of injury, and efforts going on independently to make streets safer.
The hearing, which was covered by PlanPhilly, featured private citizens, advocates, and people who’d been directly and indirectly affected by traffic violence.
“Approximately 100 people die every year in traffic crashes in Philadelphia,” noted Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition. “Approximately 60% of those are motorists or motorcyclists and 30-35 percent are pedestrians, with the remaining being bicyclists. The number of those killed has not budged substantially for over 5-10 years. Just as other cities around the world and our country have started to pay attention to this issue, Philadelphia has begun to as well.”
The hearing was in part for the Council committee to learn more about Vision Zero, and to get statistics, anecdotes, and experiences on the record to better inform Council’s decision-making as the Kenney Administration moves forward with their planning and implementation of Vision Zero.
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The implementation of the JFK and Market St bike lanes are technically challenging. The bike lanes are on the left side of the street and feature signalized double left turn lanes on 16th St and 20th St. These left turn signals require bicyclists to be aware of the extra conflict.
Long term, when the construction ends on the JFK bridge, we are advocating for bicycle infrastructure to help cyclists continue on JFK to 30th Street Station via a facility on the newly-widened sidewalk.
At both intersections, the bike signals are phased with the pedestrian signal.
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By Katrina Janco
On Saturday, June 23rd, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Orchard Project will partner to host Petal Pedal, a ride exploring orchards in Fairmount Park and Strawberry Mansion.
The Philadelphia Orchard Project, or POP, works with community partners to design food forests that provide food, habitat, retreat, and refuge for communities all over the city, though planting in areas of low-wealth and low food access.
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As part of the city’s Vision Zero plan, a new 2-way bike lane—which is partially protected—was installed recently on Parkside Avenue in West Philadelphia, creating a more organized street, safer for bicycling and walking in that section of the city.
The project, which runs from 52nd Street to Girard Avenue, not only creates new, better bicycle infrastructure, but shortens crossing distances for pedestrians, creates pedestrian refuges, and better connects neighbors to Fairmount Park and the newly-opened Centennial Commons in West Fairmount Park, which opened on Wednesday, June 13.
As we noted last year of Parkside Avenue, there were 147 reported crashes on the corridor between 2012 and 2016, which injured 120 people.
As noted by PlanPhilly, Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., OTIS, and neighborhood stakeholders were instrumental in getting the bike lanes created and installed. Additionally bike lanes are being put in Fairmount Park on parts of Lansdowne Drive and South Concourse Drive.
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In a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia filed on behalf of Philadelphia citizen Greg Lang, lawyer Stuart Leon specifically takes on the city’s 2012 ordinance which gives City Council—not engineers—final say over street safety.
In 2012, City Council passed a law requiring an ordinance introduced by the District Councilperson encasing a bike lane that replaces a travel lane be passed before a safe bicycle infrastructure can be built.
The Bicycle Coalition believes traffic engineers should have final say over street safety-related decisions, not City Council members. Public outreach and input is important, but should not sacrifice safety.
When the bill was passed in 2012—and brought up years earlier—we were against it, and fought against it.
The current law is substantially better than the original legislation brought up in Council, which would have forced a Council ordinance on any and all bicycle infrastructure, whether it eliminated a lane of traffic/parking, or not.
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We start on the D&R Canal Towpath, part of the East Coast Greenway near the Princeton REI. They will have a tent at our start point with Circuit and REI promotional materials. We will then head towards Brearley House, which was the former home of John Brearley one of the original signers of the Constitution. We then will explore the eastern half of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail. After passing through Maidenhead Meadows Park and some residential streets we will then travel along the newest paved section of the trail. Once we arrive at Carson Rd. Woods the trail returns to gravel, if time allows we will continue north to the Province Line Rd pedestrian bridge.
The total trip length is 12 miles. The ride is free for Bicycle Coalition members. Non-Members can join the ride for $35 which includes a one-year Bicycle Coalition Membership.
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