Earlier this week, 24-year-old Emily Fredricks was killed on her bicycle by a private sanitation driver who made a right hook in front of her at 11th and Spruce Streets in Center City.
Philadelphia’s bicycling community quickly got into action. A human-protected bike lane was set up on Wednesday morning and a vigil was held that night. A spray-painted bike lane has been laid down by concerned citizens. More actions are on the way.
This tragedy is unacceptable—as is the death of each of the 77 people who died this year in traffic crashes. Inaction is no longer an option for the City of Philadelphia.
We call upon Mayor Kenney to immediately take action on the following:
- Add $1 Million to the Vision Zero Office FY2019 Budget. Vision Zero is more important now than ever. Fund it.
- Release the list of streets where the City intends to install protected bike lanes to meet the 30-mile goal. In 2016, the City received $550,000 in federal grant funding to install protected bike lanes. 2017 was spent planning where protected bike lanes should go. It’s time to release the list of streets to the public.
- Present an improved design to the public for physically separating bicyclists from motorists along the entire Spruce & Pine bike lane corridor in 60 days; implement in six months. Include:
- Redesign the intersections on Spruce & Pine where the right turn lane merges with the bike lane and replace them with curbing to separate bicyclists.
- Limit garbage haulers to one section of the city. Currently, private haulers have contracts with different buildings and travel across the city picking up refuse within their permitted hours of operation, incentivizing drivers to rush from building to building. Designating one hauler per section of City would reduce truck traffic, noise and emissions.
- Introduce legislation to mandate the use of side guards on all large private and public trucks. Side guards are vehicle-based safety devices that physically cover the exposed space between front and rear wheels and keep pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists from being run over by a large truck’s rear wheels in a side-impact collision. Chicago, Boston and New York City have adopted ordinances requiring the use of side guards.
- Refresh (re-stripe) the 23+ miles of faded bike lanes identified by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
So, what can you do now?
- Sign our petition calling upon the City of Philadelphia to do the above—now.
- Call your Councilmember. Set up a meeting. Demand they meet with you and support the above conditions.
- A memorial ride for Emily is being held on Sunday. Join it. Show the city how much safer streets mean to you and that one person’s death is one too many.
- Emily Fredricks’ family asked the Bicycle Coalition share the details of her services this weekend. Find the information here. Please go if you can make it.
- Contact the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Do you want to volunteer with us? Get more involved? We want to hear from you. Email the author of this post here.