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Better Mobility 2015 meeting highlights Vision Zero, protected bike lanes

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia held a listening session on Monday, Nov. 10, to detail the draft of Better Mobility 2015, a series of recommendations the Coalition and several other groups intend to give to the next group of candidates for mayor of Philadelphia.

Over the last week, we’ve been asking members of the general public for feedback on those recommendations and on Monday, about 20 people came to our meeting at the Friends’ Center to discuss the plan.

Several of those in attendance showed up having read the draft we put online and came ready with suggestions.

After BCGP deputy director Sarah Stuart and executive director Alex Doty laid out the document—which calls upon the next mayor to bring Philadelphia’s streets and sidewalks into a state of good repair; adopt a Vision Zero policy; connect the on-street bikeway network; ensure access to bike share; enhance accessibility to public transit; and others—we took comments from those in attendance, and asked what they thought was missing from the document.

Among the measures those in attendance wanted us to emphasize:

More Bike Parking. It was noted that there are certain sections of the city where there simply aren’t enough bike racks—especially in areas where there are a high number of workers.

New Infrastructure. Especially protected bike lanes (lanes physically separated from the street). Studies have found that when protected bike lanes are implemented—and implemented well—they improve the safety of not just cyclists, but drivers and pedestrians, as well. Even moreso, protected bike lanes have been shown to generate more revenue for businesses along the street and even speed up car traffic.

A Vision Zero policy. The Bicycle Coalition and our partners have a goal of zero traffic deaths in Philadelphia. While zero is our goal, we feel reaching the benchmark of cutting the number of deaths in half by 2020 is achievable. This, and protected bike lanes, were among the top priorities of those in attendance on Monday.

Speed limit changes. Philadelphia’s street speed limit is 25 miles per hour—which is what New York City recently lowered theirs to—though some in attendance suggested a 20 mile-per-hour speed limit.

Sunday parking. Some bicyclists believe churchgoer-parking in the Spruce and Pine bike lanes on Sundays sets a bad precedent. This led to a longer discussion about enforcing Philly’s current traffic laws.

Missed it? Here’s a cool rundown of the event from PlanPhilly. Oh, and The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is taking comments through November 21st. We recommend you read the draft report, available here, then send us an email at bike@bicyclecoalition.org detailing your concerns and/or general feedback.

Some ideas to keep in mind while reading the draft:

What’s missing?

What’s the most important recommendation here?

What would you change?

How would any of these recommendations specifically affect your neighborhood?

And one more thing: We’re very proud of the fact that we were just awarded a $10,000 Advocacy Advance grant specifically for this project. That money will likely go toward a website specifically dedicated to Better Mobility 2015 to help us receive commitments from next year’s mayoral candidates.

Want to send us your feedback on Twitter? Tweet us at @bcgp using the hashtag #BetterMobility2015

Topics: Biking in Philly, Featured

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