The Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance — a group of more than 30 organizations around Philadelphia dedicated to safer streets for all Philadelphians — sent out a questionnaire to all City Council candidates, asking for their opinions on a host of issues.
The below answers are from Drew Murray, Republican running for City Council at-Large.
Philadelphia is the “most biked” big city in the United States, but lacks the high quality infrastructure necessary to make cycling accessible to people of all ages and abilities to use a bicycle to get around the City. Will you actively support installing at least 40 miles of protected bike lanes by 2025?
If you answered yes, what do you believe is the most effective action City Council should do to provide Philadelphians of all ages and abilities with stress-free access to walking and biking throughout the city?
As stated above, additional bike lanes are needed in the City. Where possible, these bike lanes should be protected. Protected bike lanes, by shortening the distance crossing the street, also improves safety for those walking. Furthermore, traffic calming methods to slow down cars are needed so that those on bikes and on foot are better protected. In addition to bike lanes, the City should mandate that all sidewalk closures include a pedestrian walkway so people are not required to cross the street, often times mid-block, as a result of these closures.
A 2012 law gives City Council, not engineers, final authority over the installation of protected bike lanes that replace a travel lane. This has led to a process that can take several years to install safe infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, especially when compared to Philadelphia’s peer cities. As a City Councilperson, will you support rescinding this law and giving final authority back to engineers?
I would support rescinding the law. However, I do not think that is a reality. There are 10 district council members and seven at-large members. I do not believe there would be enough votes to rescind. A better resolution would be to revise the law so that the district council members, and consequently their constituents, are guaranteed meaningful input in the process, placing bike lines on appropriate streets.
Simple fixes like added pedestrian lead times at intersections and speed humps can make streets safer, but are difficult to request and even more difficult to enact and install. How can Council help make these, and other, safe streets processes easier and more transparent for local communities?
The local Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) could be utilized to streamline the process. RCOs have the ability to bring the community together to vet ideas that make communities safer. Once an RCO approves an initiative, the City should streamline the process to implement the safety measures.
The City’s congestion and parking challenges are impacting the daily lives of Philadelphians and transportation is Philadelphia’s second largest contributor to carbon emissions and air pollution. Will you commit to addressing these problems by authorizing new, clean transportation options like shared electric bikes and scooters and expanding safe infrastructure for their use?
Yes, I would commit to new and improved infrastructure for electric bikes and other transportation modes.
Philadelphia does not dedicate funds to maintaining its Vision Zero projects. Would you support dedicated funds in the city budget for maintaining Vision Zero projects like protected bike lanes, re-striping crosswalks and bike lanes, filling in potholes quickly, and replacing physical infrastructure like flex-posts and curbing?
Yes, I would vote to dedicate funds to maintaining Vision Zero projects.
The Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance is a coalition of 30 local organizations dedicated to bringing Philadelphia’s traffic deaths down to zero. The Vision Zero Alliance, and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, does NOT endorse candidates. These answers are solely for you to form an opinion on candidates running for office in the 2019 City Council primary.
Topics: Vision Zero