Philadelphia’s first Vision Zero legislation passed City Council on Thursday, just one week after the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision Zero Conference.
The legislation, championed by Councilmembers Cindy Bass and Mark Squilla, amends the city’s Traffic Code by imposing a $5 fee onto all motor vehicle registrations. The additional fee will go into roadway improvements.
“Every part of our City has been impacted by senseless traffic fatalities,” said Councilwoman Bass after the bill initially passed through committee on December 2. “In light of all the traffic deaths and injuries, devoting more resources to slowing cars down will protect all those who use our public thoroughfares—motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit riders.”
Philadelphia, and all of Pennsylvania’s municipalities, were authorized to add the fee onto registrations after the Pennsylvania Legislature passed Act 89 in 2013. Cumberland, Blair, and Fulton Counties have already added the fees to vehicle registration.
“This bill is an example of how Vision Zero can help bring new resources to the city,” says Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart. “By taking advantage of this opportunity afforded by the state, the city will now have more resources available to make roads and intersections safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. Councilwoman Bass’ and Councilman Squilla’s leadership was very important in pushing through this important piece of legislation.”
Bass introduced an initial non-binding Vision Zero resolution back in December 2014, citing Bicycle Coalition data from our Safer Streets report as a pressing issue. The Bicycle Coalition and the Better Mobility Working Group proposed that Council take this action back in January 2015. It will add an estimated $3.5 million per year to the city’s capital paving budget.
The bill now goes to Mayor Michael Nutter for signing.