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 Brian O’Neill, incumbent Republican running for Council in District 10.
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?
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?
Increase the amount of bike lanes, sidewalks, and protected crosswalks.
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?
No. While I believe engineers are best suited to design and install the infrastructure, City Councilpeople are elected to represent the interests of their constituents. After getting their input, they should ultimately decide the quantity and location of protected bike lanes in their neighborhoods.
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?
Speed cushions are in high demand throughout my district. I will continue to advocate for additional funding for them as well as for other traffic calming measures.
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?