After nearly a year since HB140 was passed out of the House in March 2021, the Parking Protected Bike Lane and Plaza bill is finally going to get a hearing in front of the Senate Transportation Committee on April 4, 2022.
This hearing is not a voting hearing, unfortunately. But it’s an important first step. Testimony will be provided by: the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, PennDOT, City of Pittsburgh, Indiana County Department of Planning and one individual bicyclist who sits on the Pedalcycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to PennDOT.
The Senate Transportation Committee hearing on HB140 will be held on Monday, April 4 2022, from 11am-12pm in Room 8 E-B, East Wing, Main Capitol Building. The hearing will be streamed live on the Senate website, Committee website, Senate Republican Caucus website, or Senate Republican Caucus Facebook page. The recording of the public hearing will be saved on the Committee’s website as well.
We encourage you to watch the hearing!
As background, HB140 amends the Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code to allow PennDOT to design and build parking protected bike lanes on state roads. Currently, the Vehicle Code requires motor vehicle tires to be within 12 inches of a curb. A parking protected bike lane positions motor vehicles several feet away from the curb to allow a bike lane to be positioned in between the curb and a lane of parked cars.
HB140 is the third version of legislation to address the issue. HB1657 was first introduced and passed in 2018 by the House (187-0), but the Senate did not move it for a vote. In 2019, HB792 was passed out of the House (200-1), but a Senate version of the bill died on the Senate floor without a third vote. In 2021, House Representative David Maloney (R-Berks) introduced the legislation a third time and it passed in March 17, 2021 (201-0).
Previously, the bill had one opponent in the Senate, Senator John Sabatina (D-Phila), who happened to be the senior Democrat on the Senate Transportation Committee. His resignation from the Senate in January 2022 cleared the way for the bill to be finally considered by the Senate on its merits.
The legislation has plenty of supporters around the entire Commonwealth:
- Mayors Bill Peduto (former) of Pittsburgh, Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, Eric Papenfuse of Harrisburg and Danene Sorace of Lancaster co-signed a 2019 letter asking the state legislature to pass a bill to make parking protected bike lanes possible
- Both City Councils of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia passed “Wills of Council” in 2019 asking for flexibility in bike lane design, including Parking Protected Bike Lanes
- PennDOT and the Pedestrian and Pedalcycle Advisory Committee consider this legislation a high priority and have gone on the record in support of the legislation
- Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Bike Pittsburgh and 31 other local bicycle advocacy organizations and bike clubs from around the Commonwealth have supported the legislation
- Transportation Management Agencies from Central Philadelphia, Chester County, Greater Valley Forge, and Bucks County.
For even more background on parking protected bike lane legislation in Pennsylvania, check out our numerous blog posts on the topic, most recently:
Susan and Emily’s Law for Safer Streets Passes PA House Committee
A Message from the Bicycle Coalition and BikePGH on 2020 Bike Lane & Pedestrian Plaza Legislation
Bill Allowing Parking Protected Bike Lanes On Hold Until PA Senate Returns
Keeping the Pressure On Harrisburg for Parking Protected Bike Lanes
Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Bike Pittsburgh launch effort to codify parking protected bike lanes and pedestrian plazas