The Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance — a group of more than 30 organizations around Philadelphia dedicated to safer streets for all Philadelphians — sent out a questionnaire to all City Council candidates, asking for their opinions on a host of issues.
The below answers are from Allan Domb, incumbent Democrat running for City Council at-Large.
Philadelphia is the “most biked” big city in the United States, but lacks the high quality infrastructure necessary to make cycling accessible to people of all ages and abilities to use a bicycle to get around the City. Will you actively support installing at least 40 miles of protected bike lanes by 2025?
I will. In my first term, I voted for eight bills that authorized the Department of Streets to designate bicycle lanes across the city, and I will continue to support similar bills.
If you answered yes, what do you believe is the most effective action City Council should do to provide Philadelphians of all ages and abilities with stress-free access to walking and biking throughout the city?
I believe that all bicycle lanes and walkways in Philadelphia should be safe and accessible to all citizens. Firstly, it is not acceptable for parked cars to block anyone’s access to designated travel space. The fines and penalties that the City has in place should be enforced and even strengthened in areas where the issue is particularly dire. Additionally, clear lines of sight are imperative for improving street safety across Philadelphia, and daylighting is an important step towards preventing avoidable incidents. We should be ambitious in our goals for implementation of daylighting.
We should also commit to a street sweeping program that keeps our city clean. No one wants to wade through trash when they’re walking through Philadelphia, and it should be the responsibility of City Council to tackle the city’s trash problem.
A 2012 law gives City Council, not engineers, final authority over the installation of protected bike lanes that replace a travel lane. This has led to a process that can take several years to install safe infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, especially when compared to Philadelphia’s peer cities. As a City Councilperson, will you support rescinding this law and giving final authority back to engineers?
I would be willing to explore this option. Empowering engineers to make decisions surrounding bike lines could speed up the installation process. However, I believe that City Council should still have oversight to make sure that these projects are being completed in both timely and safe fashions.
Simple fixes like added pedestrian lead times at intersections and speed humps can make streets safer, but are difficult to request and even more difficult to enact and install. How can Council help make these, and other, safe streets processes easier and more transparent for local communities?
I believe that City Council should do a more thorough job of examining the successes and shortcomings of Vision Zero projects and goals. By studying how Vision Zero projects have been working and ways we can best improve them, we can work together to prioritize important steps such adding pedestrian lead times.
The City’s congestion and parking challenges are impacting the daily lives of Philadelphians and transportation is Philadelphia’s second largest contributor to carbon emissions and air pollution. Will you commit to addressing these problems by authorizing new, clean transportation options like shared electric bikes and scooters and expanding safe infrastructure for their use?
Philadelphia does not dedicate funds to maintaining its Vision Zero projects. Would you support dedicated funds in the city budget for maintaining Vision Zero projects like protected bike lanes, re-striping crosswalks and bike lanes, filling in potholes quickly, and replacing physical infrastructure like flex-posts and curbing?
I would. The Streets Department already allocates some of its budget to projects that align with Vision Zero goals, but I would be open to working with my colleagues to find the best way to dedicate funds so that we are making sure that Vision Zero projects are being tended to.
The Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance is a coalition of 30 local organizations dedicated to bringing Philadelphia’s traffic deaths down to zero. The Vision Zero Alliance, and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, does NOT endorse candidates. These answers are solely for you to form an opinion on candidates running for office in the 2019 City Council primary.