Introducing the Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance

by | August 31, 2016 | Biking in Philly, Featured, Vision Zero | 2 comments

For Immediate Release: Aug. 31, 2016

Contact: Randy LoBasso, 215-242-9253 Ext. 311, randy@bicyclecoalition.org

Nine Philadelphia-area organizations recently came together to demand a comprehensive strategy to eliminate all traffic deaths in Philadelphia.

Dubbed the Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance, this group advocates for safer streets through new design, automated enforcement, education, and targeted goals. Our eventual goal is to make all road users feel comfortable and safe using the streets, and to bring Philadelphia’s traffic deaths down to zero.

The Alliance includes the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, AAA-Mid Atlantic, the African-American Chamber of Commerce, 5th Square, the Clean Air Council, Run 215, Jefferson Hospitals, Public Health Management Corporation, and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

All these groups believe in the need for Philadelphia to better focus on solutions for all Philadelphia’s neighborhoods to calm traffic and create new streets and corridors which respect human dignity.

“The African-American Chamber of Commerce is fully supportive of the formation of the Vision Zero Alliance,” says Steven Bradley, African-American Chamber of Commerce Board Chair. “Safe streets increase the volume of cyclists in our region and create paths for anyone to get to work anywhere in the region.”

Each year, there are about 11,000 traffic crashes in Philadelphia, killing nearly 100 people and injuring another 11,000.

“It’s time for all hands on deck to save lives in Philadelphia. By our count, in 2016 thus far, 40 men, women and children have died on Philadelphia’s streets due to preventable traffic crashes,” notes Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart. “We look forward to working with city agencies to help make possible the implementation of traffic calming and educational programs that will prevent or avoid crashes from killing or severely injuring Philadelphians. Time is of the essence.”

The Alliance wants to encourage strategies that reduce impaired and aggressive driving as well as speeding using smart design and a robust education campaign that target all neighborhoods and road users.

“5th Square PAC is proud to stand alongside our member groups to support a sustained and comprehensive Vision Zero plan to eliminate injuries and deaths for all users of Philadelphia’s citywide street network,” adds David Curtis, co-founder and Chair of 5th Square. “Through a thoughtfully developed and steadfastly pursued Vision Zero agenda, the Kenney Administration has an opportunity to make great advancements in the most fundamental of public services: preserving life and basic dignity for every man, woman, and child in our city, particularly those who are most vulnerable.”

The Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance’s principles, goals, and strategies can be found here.

Contact:

Randy LoBasso
Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
randy@bicyclecoalition.org
215-242-9253 Ext. 311

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2 Comments
  1. James C. Walker

    The vast majority of tourist visitors to Philadelphia arrive by car, NOT by bicycle or on foot. Is it really correct to restrict or prevent their access in order to improve the travel experience of a tiny percentage of regular commuters to Philadelphia that use bikes?

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

    Reply
  2. John Baxter

    The only problem with all this is that “calming traffic” is not the problem. There is too narrow a focus on speed, just because it is easier to measure. Study the actual causes of pedestrian deaths, and you’ll find it is not speed per se in the majority of cases, but a combination of some sort of contributing action on the part of the pedestrian, plus the involvement of a driver who has shown he/she is not at all a typical motorist, but someone with serious behavioral deficiencies. These programs remind me of what sometimes happens when someone going 95 mph on a road with a 65-mph speed limit causes a deadly crash. There is then a hue and cry for a 55-mph speed limit, which punishes everyone, but doesn’t attack the problem at its core. The problem is not one that should be solved by doing things that will restrict, even punish a great number of drivers. It needs a rational, scientific approach, and a shotgun approach that works from all angles. Why install speed cams set to a low limit when better intersection lighting, public education, better identification of crosswalks, more signalized crosswalks, well designed bike lanes that don’t restrict traffic, and perhaps, especially, some means of better identifying consistently aggressive drivers would work at least as well? WHY IS IT NEVER CONSIDERED IMPORTANT TO LOOK FOR THE MOST PALATABLE SOLUTION FOR ALL, including responsible motorists? The problem here is that nobody pictures themselves in the driver’s seat and offers compassion for the vast majority of sensible drivers along with the others. AAA should be ashamed of themselves for signing onto this without trying to influence the movement in a direction that is positive for their members.

    Reply

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