Our advocacy for a bill which would make it easier to install protected pedestrian plazas and bike lanes in Pennsylvania continued on Monday, when a group of advocates from Philadelphia met a group of advocates from Harrisburg in the state Capitol to advance the legislation.
Our group from Philadelphia included Bicycle Coalition staff Randy LoBasso and Sarah Clark Stuart, Clean Air Council staffer Nick Zuwiala-Rogers, supporters Tanya Seaman and Benjamin Harris, and City Council candidate Joe Cox.
Staff members of Recycle Bicycle in Harrisburg met us there to advocate for this statewide legislation (House Bill 792 and Senate Bill 565), which is needed to make lanes, like the Chestnut Street Bridge, parking protected.
Currently, the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code dictates a motor vehicle’s wheel needs to be parked within 12 inches of a curb. The legislation we are advocating for would change that rule to allow for vehicles to park further than 12 inches from the curb. This seems like a no-brainer; unfortunately, although the House version of the bill passed 200-1, the Senate version has yet to come up for a vote. That’s why we spent the day meeting with Senate Transportation Committee members.
Had a productive day in the state capital advocating for safe streets for all road users! thanka to the volunteers from Philadelphia and Harrisburg who took time out of their schedules to travel with us! #visionzero pic.twitter.com/Ba0yI8qCQb
— Bike Coalition Phila (@bcgp) September 16, 2019
Our groups met with nine senate offices, and dropped off materials—including letters of support from other legislators, a letter of support from the mayors of four Pennsylvania cities, resolutions from the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia city councils supporting the legislation, and news articles from around the state about the legislation—to 11 more senators.
At this point, we have limited time left to advance this legislation before the end of the year. The Senate is only in session for three days in September, six days in October, three days in November, and three days in December. Pennsylvania needs this legislation done and signed into law now, to create safer streets for pedestrians, people on bicycles, and motorists across the state.
Our membership and supporters have been influential in advancing this, and other, legislation in the past. Given we have a specific timeframe to advance this legislation over the coming months, we will be calling upon those members and supporters to help us do so and make sure Pennsylvania streets are safe for all.
Do you want to stay up to date on on the work to make Pennsylvania safer through protected bike lanes? Then click here to join our Protected Bike Lane Action Team; receive updates on advocacy and know when your help is needed to make change happen.