Although the Kenney Administration is but a month old, we thought it would be a good exercise to take a look at Candidate Kenney’s campaign promises to help keep track of the status of issues as they get tackled during the Administration’s first year.
We compared the recommendations we made in our Better Mobility 2015 agenda to Mayor Kenney’s responses given to our candidate questionnaire and his transportation policy paper that was posted on his campaign’s website.
The result is our 2016 ‘Watch List’ of bike, ped and transit priorities that we share with Mayor Kenney, given the commitments he made during the 2015 campaign.
Create a Vision Zero Plan
This overarching goal has been a priority of the Bicycle Coalition since we began working on our Vision Zero Report back in January 2015. One result of that was the Vision Zero Philadelphia conference in December 2015, at which Jim Kenney spoke, and made a commitment to a Vision Zero policy in Philadelphia. Part of that will be establishing a Vision Zero Task Force and Action Plan to achieve those goals—many of which must be accomplished through better infrastructure, and equal and fair enforcement.
Install 30 miles of protected bike lanes
There are streets and buffered bike lanes all over Philadelphia that are ready for physical protective infrastructure. We’ve included a map below of where we’d like to see new protected bike lanes around Philadelphia.
Protected Bike Lane Map created by John Boyle, BCGP Research Director
The JFK/Market protected bike lane project
There’s no two ways around it: Both JFK and Market Streets in Philadelphia are wide enough for protected bike lanes without impairing motor vehicle traffic flow. The city needs to prioritize new protected bike lanes between 30th Street and City Hall on both streets.
At least 15 miles of new bike lanes per year
We had developed a “Bike Lane Toolkit” online tool to encourage Council members to support Mayor Kenney’s future plans to install new bike lanes (now inactive).
A Complete Streets Office and Complete Streets Commissioner
Rejoice! We read about this one in Philadelphia Magazine today. “Bikers and urbanists are a recognized political constituency in the city, deemed deserving of virtually their own commissioner,” wrote Philly Mag staff writer Holly Otterbein. “That doesn’t mean cyclists won’t disagree with Council ever again, but it does mean that they’ll show up to the battleground with more power. The Bicycle Coalition is a big part of the reason this shift has occurred. Last year, the group released a platform for mayoral and Council candidates, which included establishing a Complete Streets Office. It is also organized a mayoral forum, where every Democratic candidate said they supported the “Vision Zero” goal to put an end to traffic deaths.”
Increase the Streets Department capital budget and staff
The Streets Department’s paving schedule is has a backlog of hundreds of miles, as explained in our Better Mobility Platform, released last spring. The Bicycle Coalition and Councilpeople Cindy Bass and Mark Squilla began the process by adding a $5 fee onto vehicle registrations in the city that will $3.4 million per year to safer streets. But more is needed, and the city should find other avenues for more labor and equipment. There are two other goals the city should look at within this “Good state of repair” goals: 1) Licenses and Inspections and Streets need to improve enforcement of construction projects that block sidewalks — a priority we know Jim Kenney is psyched to take on; and 2) Improving public transportation and increasing safety on Roosevelt Boulevard — 10 percent of all Philly traffic deaths take place on Roosevelt Blvd.; that is an outrage and and public health crisis.
Expand bike share to new neighborhoods
Indego Bike Share is a successful, smart endeavor the City of Philadelphia began in 2015. In 2016 and beyond, it’ll be time for Philadelphia to expand it in every direction. We’d like to see many more bike share stations in North, Northwest, and South Philadelphia in the coming years, to give any Philadelphian who wants a chance to utilize this important public transportation.
Encourage implementation of SEPTA’s Sustainability Plan
SEPTA released an awesome Sustainability Plan last year that connects more bikes with the Authority’s trains, buses, and stations. The Plan is creative, rational, and doable. We’re looking forward to seeing how SEPTA makes it happen.