Now that businesses are opening back up, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia would like to remind the public that the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) can install loading zones on streets with bike lanes for free.
On May 16, 2019, Bill NO. 180950 was enacted by the City of Philadelphia, the result of work between the Bicycle Coalition, Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, and the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
This Bill waves the initial fee of $500 to install a loading zone for local businesses that have a bike lane on their street in the hopes that more loading zones means fewer drivers idling in the bike lane, reducing the overall traffic congestion on these corridors, and increase traffic safety for the community.
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On Wednesday, July 24th I biked through South West Philly’s Baltimore Ave section to inform local businesses about the Permits for Curb Loading Zones. I handed out 35 flyers to local businesses from 40th and Baltimore Ave to 60th and Baltimore Ave. This street was chosen because of the high traffic congestion from motorists, bicyclists, and SEPTA Trolleys. Most businesses had no clue a free loading zone, on a street with a bike lane, was even an option. Check out what some local businesses had to say.
Greenstreet Coffee Co. Owner stated that this actually would help them with conflicts with their residential neighbors because they had to use the back alley to unload their shipments. They emphasized that knowing that they can get the initial fees waived for the loading zone makes it more likely that they would apply for the loading zone.
The Wine and Spirits, located on 49th and Baltimore Ave, already had a loading dock in the back but commented that a loading zone on Baltimore Ave, during peak rush times, would reduce the 34 SEPTA trolleys from being stuck behind double-parked cars at that intersection.
Buna Cafe Philly owners, located at 5121 Baltimore Ave, were actually in the middle of placing orange cones down to save three car parking spots in order to load in their produce. The owners were relieved to find out that this was available for them to apply. I explained to them that the catch was they would have to pay a maintenance fee once a year in order to continue to have the loading zone and they were more than willing to pay for it.
One local expressed the negative impact that the loading zones could impact the community. They explained that once one PPA parking or loading zone sign goes up, then more will come resulting in more fines for the neighborhood and fewer free parking spaces for everyone.
Overall, most of the local businesses were welcoming to the idea that they could get an initial free loading zone for their business.
If you know of any businesses that are located on bike lanes streets please feel free to share this blog. If you know any streets we should visit please email Lor Song at firstname.lastname@example.org