Philadelphia handed out 2,116 parking tickets for motor vehicles illegally parked in bike lanes during the first five months of 2018, according to statistics provided by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Amazingly – but not surprisingly – the majority of tickets handed out by the PPA and Philadelphia Police Department are on Spruce and Pine Streets in Center City. According to the totals through May 2018, 1,348 tickets were written on Spruce and Pine Streets, between the 300 and 2300 blocks, of a total of 2,116 tickets citywide.
While Spruce and Pine have generally, in years past, represented the plurality of tickets, they are actually the majority, so far, this year. (They were also the majority in 2017.)
The good news is that the rate at which tickets are being issued is above last year at this time. The bad news is that more and more people are parking in the Spruce and Pine Street bike lanes, letting their vehicles sit there, and taking the tickets. Many commercial vehicles that illegally occupy the bike lane can be seen with numerous tickets on their windshields. It doesn’t seem to have much of an influence.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia began meeting with the PPA in 2013, and ticking has increased by more than 120 percent since then.
As many folks will remember, three cyclists were hit in the Spruce and Pine Street bike lanes in fall and winter of 2017. Two were severely injured, requiring medical stays and surgeries, and one, Emily Fredricks, died from her injuries.
The City is also planning for streetscape changes on Spruce and Pine, including switching the bike lane from the right side to the left side, and adding protection to the intersections.
And while we welcome these changes, we will also be paying close attention to how motorists act after the streets are changed and have recommendations.
And stay tuned for a report from the Bicycle Coalition on illegal parking coming later this summer.