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The House Transportation Committee passed House Bill 140, aka Susan and Emily’s Law, on Thursday, February 4th, which would make it easier for Pennsylvania residents to enjoy the benefits of pedestrian plazas and parking-protected bike lanes.

Based on similar legislation that the Bicycle Coalition, Bike Pittsburgh, and other organizations around the Commonwealth advocated for in the last two legislative sessions, the legislation would change the state motor vehicle code to allow vehicles to park outside 12 inches of a curb and create space for a bike lane in between parking and the sidewalk. The legislation was introduced by Representative David Maloney (R-Berks), an avid cyclist and advocate for road safety.

On Thursday, HB 140 was the second bill to be considered in committee. Rep. Hennessey, the majority chair of the committee, noted upon its introduction that the legislation had passed through the committee, unanimously, last session; it also passed the full House nearly unanimously.

An amendment was brought to the committee by Rep. Sara Innamorato (D-Pittsburgh), to name the bill after two women who were killed while riding their bicycles to work: Susan Hicks, of Pittsburgh; and Emily Fredricks, of Philadelphia. The amendment, supported by prime sponsor Rep. Maloney, passed unanimously. It will now be referred to as Susan and Emily’s Law.

This was welcome news for the Fredricks Family, who lost their daughter, Emily, in November 2017.

“We know it’s too late for Emily, but we continue to push for safe streets because of all of those who are using streets every day,” Laura Fredricks, who co-founded Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia, told me after the vote. “We think of Emily every second of every day, and to have something like this named for her, and to have other people think about her memory, it means a lot.”

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