In the final days of the Pennsylvania legislative session (there are only 7 working days left in the Senate and 6 in the House), the amended version of HB140 moved to the Senate Appropriations Committee for a vote.
HB140 was amended in late June by the Senate Transportation Committee with unacceptable provisions linking the eligibility of municipalities to install parking protected bike lanes to judicial issues that have nothing to do with bicycle infrastructure.
The amendment to HB140 requires that before Philadelphia or Pittsburgh or any municipality that wants to put in a parking protected bike lane, PennDOT must certify that the municipality is compliant with Title 75 (the State’s vehicle code) provisions. If the municipality has an ordinance that is not in compliance with Title 75, it will not be permitted to construct a parking separated bike lane or plaza. This is directed at municipal laws that make specific traffic violations ineligible for traffic stops. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh passed laws in 2021-22 that reclassify eight traffic violations as secondary offenses that no longer require a traffic stops (Philadelphia Council Member Isaiah Thomas’ Driving Equality legislation and Pittsburgh Councilman Reverend Ricky Burgess bill #2021-2174). The amendment also requires the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor in Philadelphia to investigate and prosecute violations occurring on SEPTA.
What do these two issues have to do with parking separate bike lanes and plazas? Nothing. The amended version of HB140 politicizes a technical state parking rule with a fundamental political disagreement about municipal control and the prosecutorial approach of Philadelphia’s District Attorney.
We oppose the amended version of HB140 and urge lawmakers to vote against it.