Despite signing an Executive Order supporting the goal of zero traffic fatalities Mayor Parker’s budget shows a lack of forethought.

PHILADELPHIA – On Thursday, June 13th City Council voted to pass Mayor Parker’s first budget for FY 2025. This budget includes a 60% decrease to the Vision Zero budget less than 3 months after Mayor Parker signed an executive order in front of safe streets advocates, families of road traffic victims, transportation planners, and city staff recommitting Philadelphia to Vision Zero.

In the past 3 budget cycles, Mayor Kenney increased the City’s contribution to Vision Zero from $1M FY2022 to $2.5M in FY2024. This budget is integral to building safe infrastructure on city owned roads, adding more and upgrading protected bike lanes, daylighting corners, and so much more. Mayor Parker’s budget decreases this line to $1M for FY2025. Find more of the specific #s and budget lines here

On March 21st, Mayor Parker stood in the Mayor’s Reception Hall on the eve of the 10th Vision Zero Conference and recommitted to the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2050 and building improvements on every mile of the High Injury Network. 

“Our fight for zero traffic fatalities doesn’t end with speed cameras,” said Latanya Byrd, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia and lead advocate for the Roosevelt Boulevard Automated Speed Camera program. “For my family and others who have lost loved ones to traffic violence, the administration needs to do more to redesign our roads so that pedestrians and cyclists are safe.”

As part of the Livable Communities Coalition, the Bicycle Coalition requested a budget increase to $3M with the goal of reaching $5M each year. In order to meet the goal of Vision Zero, the City not only needs to meet Mayor Kenney’s Vision Zero FY2024 budget of $2.5M but increase it. 

We are disappointed in Mayor Parker and Council’s decision and demand City Council and the Mayor to do more to save the lives of vulnerable road users. 

“Our son, Samuel Ozer, was an adventurous 17-year-old looking forward to college,” said Sidney Ozer and Mindy Maslin, Samuel’s beloved parents. “He died in 2020 while riding his bike on Henry Avenue near Barnes Street in Roxborough. He was on his way home from his dream summer job at Trek Bicycle when he was struck by a vehicle on Father’s Day. 128 people were killed by traffic violence in Philadelphia in 2023.  Every week, five children were hit by vehicles while walking. Obviously there are a lot of priorities in our city, but we’re talking about people’s lives.”

Automated Speed Cameras on Route 611/Broad Street were also approved on Thursday. This decision comes after years of advocacy from Mayor Parker herself and safe streets advocates. The Roosevelt Boulevard Automated Speed Camera program showed tremendous success with a 95% decrease in speeding violations. In December of 2023, the State legislature approved a bill that would make the Roosevelt Boulevard program permanent and expand it to 5 additional corridors. Philadelphians need our City leaders to not just approve bill # 240434 but fund the necessary infrastructure improvements to save lives. A combination of enforcement and infrastructure are necessary to save lives. 

“Efforts made by City Council and the Mayor’s office to successfully advocate for Automated Speed Cameras in Philadelphia do not go unnoticed but we have to hold Mayor Parker and Council accountable to appropriately funding the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and particularly building improvements on every mile of the high injury network,” said Christopher D. Gale, MPA, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition. “Vision Zero cannot be accomplished by enforcement alone. Many roads in Philadelphia are designed to get drivers around as fast as possible but do not encourage safe usage by all modes of transportation.”

Traffic violence is preventable if and only if the City chooses to save lives and make our streets safer for all

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