We reviewed Mayor Kenney’s FY22 proposed budget to see what is in store for Vision Zero. Despite $700 million the City received in federal stimulus relief, it’s not good news.
Mayor Kenney’s 2016 Vision Zero Executive Order declared his intent to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030. This was one of his major priorities and despite his recommitment to that goal in the Connect – Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan, and the 2025 Vision Zero Action Plan released just five months ago, his proposed FY22 budget provides only $1 Million to the program.
Compared to the FY20 Approved Budget, Mayor Kenney is providing less than half of what he committed for FY2020 ($2.6 million).
Compared to the FY20 Approved Operating Budget, Mayor Kenney is providing zero dollars for the Vision Zero planning and design fund to the Managing Director’s budget.
Understandably, the FY21 COVID-impacted budget had zeroed out these items, but we had expected the Mayor to do better than restore only $1 million out of a nearly $2.5 million budget for FY22, considering President Biden’s priority of rectifying equity issues, addressing climate change and increasing safety of roads and bridges.
In December 2020, the Bicycle Coalition sent the Administration a request outlining the minimum needs of the program, and held a meeting with the Managing Director with the same message: re-invest in Vision Zero. Traffic deaths rose 78 percent in 2020 compared to 2019; $1 million in capital funds is not enough to address a public health crisis that is robbing (at least) 100 people annually of their lives each year.
These funds were used to design protected bike lanes, conduct community engagement, and meet/match requirements of federal and state grants. In 2020 and earlier years, these funds were used to lay the groundwork for bike lanes on Washington Avenue, Spruce & Pine, 5th, 6th and Parkside, and prepare the 2025 Action Plan.