No City Council Approval for New Bike Lanes

In 2012, City Council took over control of street restriping for bike lanes and other alterations involving removal of travel lanes, parking lanes, or turns lanes. This legislation makes Philly the only big city in the U.S. where installation of new bike lanes require a City Council ordinance. Not surprisingly, our bike lane striping rates have fallen off a cliff since 2012.

City Council control ensures that Philadelphia will never have a 21st century bicycle network in any true sense of the word 'network', and that the process will always be painfully slow and disjointed, and susceptible to NIMBY sabotage. We can now say for sure this process isn't working.

Call City Council and demand that they repeal Bill 120327

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  • James Kennedy
    commented 2019-01-09 14:22:36 -0500
    This is a great demand.

    Expanding on this, are there ways this demand can be better articulated to speak to the needs of low income and disabled Philadelphians? A great video I saw once at Bicycle Dutch showed that bike lanes there are a major source of mobility for people in wheelchairs and on motorized assistance devices. The Bike Coalition here also did a lot of work recently to show that the deadliest streets are in neighborhoods of color. What are we doing as urbanists to highlight this? I’m not saying that people at 5th Square aren’t already aware of supportive of these things, because I’m sure they are, but why not make them explicit aspects of why this goal should be achieved? A lot of pro-parking arguments are framed in terms of fears about parking cost or fears about access for the elderly and disabled, so to win we have to speak to those concerns directly.

    The sections on parking and zoning don’t have comments sections. Those goals are also good. But expanding on them, what if we seized back control of the PPA and used the funding to support affordable housing? Years of parking requirements have decimated affordable housing development in the city and subsidized driving. If we’re going to make drivers pay their share of the parking costs, as they should, shouldn’t we opt as much as possible to use that money to correct that equity issue? How can we talk more actively about how to build housing access for people above and beyond what zoning reform can do? For instance, is 5th Square thinking about how we as a city could make it easier for people with Section 8 vouchers to integrate into middle class neighborhoods? That’s often a problem and could be something the urbanist community was more active in fighting for.