The BCGP is seeking comments on the questionnaire and the deadline is Friday, February 9. (Click on the comments link below). Afterwards, it will be sent to the candidates and their responses will be posted on the blog.
BICYCLE COALITION OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA
Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire
February 2, 2007
Bicycling is a barometer of Philadelphia’s health and livability. Cities ranked as the best bicycling cities in America also rank consistently as among the nation’s most desirable places to live. Bicyclists riding on City streets and trails are indicators of cleaner air and an active, healthy population. Bicycling saves residents and employers money on transportation and health care. And bicyclists mean more business for neighborhood shops.
About 400,000 Philadelphians rode a bike in the last year and 25,000 use their bike to commute to work at least once a month. Philadelphia is well positioned to become the most bicycle-friendly city on the East Coast – but only if the City plans for it. The next mayor and city council have a number of excellent opportunities to take actions that would make bicycling safer and more attractive for city residents and tourists.
Would you support the creation of a Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator to shape transportation policy?
Philadelphia is the only major city in the United States that does not employ a full-time bicycle/pedestrian coordinator. Not only would the coordinator help identify funding for many pedestrian-bicycle transportation projects but the position itself can be nearly (80%) fully funded from federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. Would you support the creation of a Department of Transportation? Philadelphia is the only major city on the East Coast that does not have a Department of Transportation. A department is needed to shape and implement transportation policy that considers all users of the transportation network.
Would you support the creation and implementation of a new citywide bicycle/pedestrian plan that positions Philadelphia as the most bicycle-friendly city on the East Coast?
Following the model of the Chicago Bike 2010 plan, a new bicycle-pedestrian plan for Philadelphia can be substantially paid for through any number of federal transportation funding programs.
Would you support free and clear bike lanes that connect the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers and close the gaps between bike lanes in all neighborhoods?
After striping over 200 miles of bike lanes, Philadelphia has seen annual increases in bicycle traffic of 6% over the last decade and a remarkable 24% increase from 2005 to 2006. But there are still many gaps in the bike lane network which discourage the city’s 400,000 bicyclists from using their bicycles more often. An east-west bike lane through Center City is especially needed to make non-motorized travel from river to river easier, safer and more enjoyable.
Would you support increased enforcement of traffic laws through: the installation of 100 red light cameras, a bike-based parking enforcement patrol and a street-based education program to discourage bicyclists riding on sidewalks?
Endemic red light running, double parking in bike lanes and bicyclists riding on sidewalks rank high on Philadelphia bicyclists concerns about riding in the city. Action on these enforcement issues will improve quality of life for bicyclists, pedestrians and car drivers.
Would you support the installation of 1,000 bike racks in each City Council district?
Bike theft continues to be a major reason why Philadelphia’s 400,000 bicyclists don’t use their bicycles more often. Installation of bike racks at important retail sites, schools, recreation centers, houses of worship and other popular locations is a highly visible way of encouraging residents to use their bicycles instead of driving.
Would you support the completion of the Schuylkill River Trail extension to Fort Mifflin?
Plans to extend the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust Street all the way to Fort Mifflin need to be made a priority. The completed trail would create a unique experience for residents and tourists alike, connecting Southwest Philadelphia to Center City and providing access to Bartram’s Garden and Heinz Wildlife Refuge. It would also be instrumental to completing the Philadelphia segment of the East Coast Greenway, which stretches from Maine to Florida.
Would you support all-day closures of Martin Luther King Drive to through traffic, while continuing to allow auto access to the upper drive parking areas?
The opening of the Schuylkill Trail from Locust Street to Martin Luther King (formerly West River) Drive has created a new and unique opportunity to make the west bank of the Schuylkill River a six-mile recreation corridor on weekends between April and October. Tragically, the ten-year-old decision to re-open the lower half of the road to automotive traffic after Noon has resulted in a number of crashes at Sweet Briar Road. A five-year-old child was killed last year when a reckless driver sped through the gate at Sweet Briar. Closing the gate at the Art Museum from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. would ensure that at least one portion of the park’s road system is reserved for recreation on weekends.