Bicycle Coalition

A faded bike lane on Washington Avenue. (Photo: PlanPhilly)

More than 300 people have already signed our petition calling for a budget line item in the next City of Philadelphia budget, which adds funds for Vision Zero and bike lanes.

If you haven’t yet, add your name and a message here.

In the meantime, we’ve sent Mayor Kenney a letter about this budget line item, making our intentions known. Philadelphia is one of just a few cities that has a Vision Zero program, but doesn’t have a budget for maintaining it. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. That’s why we sent the below letter to the mayor, and we hope you’ll sign on.

Dear Mayor Kenney,

Since 2014, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has been documenting how Philadelphia has fallen behind its peer cities by not investing enough in the Operating and Capital budgets of the Streets Department.

You have responded to our advocacy and increased the capital budget, added a new paving crew in FY18 and a Vision Zero maintenance crew in FY19, accelerated new Vision Zero projects with increasing budget funds and supported the adoption of a new vehicle registration fee by City Council to pay for street safety.

We thank you for your leadership and response to this important need to make Philadelphia’s streets safe for all road users, increase the number of people who walk and bike and to drive down traffic fatalities to achieve Vision Zero.

During 2018, however, there have been several long delays in project delivery and budget constraints for a number of Streets Department bicycle network projects:

  • Spruce and Pine bike lanes: the plan to repave the two streets, flip the bike lanes and add intersection protections to improve safety were delayed from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019;
  • The 27th and South Street protected bike lanes were not installed in Fall 2018 as originally planned, despite all ordinances being in place and community approvals secured;
  • The Streets Department cited budgetary reasons for rejecting BCGP’s call for the use of traffic separators on the 27th Street protected bike lane;
  • Pavement markings for the 13th & 15th Streets Neighborhood Bikeway are still not yet installed despite a 2014 grant in place to cover expenses;
  • Flex posts on protected bike lanes around the city are in poor condition and are not being replaced promptly;
  • Many miles of faded bike lanes that have been identified and verified remain un- refreshed year after year.

Without a separate line item dedicated to the necessary supplies to install and maintain bicycle and Vision Zero infrastructure in a good state of repair, the Streets Department will continue to be unable to keep up with the number of capital projects that need to be installed and maintained.

As the FY20 capital budget is being drafted by your Administration, we urge you to add an additional $500,000 to the Streets Department budget to create a separate line item as a dedicated source of funds to complete and maintain bicycle and Vision Zero infrastructure to a good state of repair.

The Vision Zero maintenance crew that you created in FY19 needs a source of funds in FY20 to pay for supplies so that they can do their job.

Over 300 persons have signed a petition asking you to create such a line item.

You will be hearing more about this push for better funding for Vision Zero projects in the coming months. Click here to sign our petition.

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