Saturday, June 30, 2007

Philadelphia Cycling Committee June 2007 Minutes

Updates on Priority Issues:

Adopt a Rack. John Boyle—Philadelphia got 1400 racks. City went to business improvement districts. Locations have been identified. Problems with paving contract. Brought issue up to Bike Task Force. Streets Department separated adopt-a-rack from paving contract and developing a bike rack contract. Installation could start as early as the fall of 2007.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. John Boyle - Philadelphia got a $180K TCDI grant from DVRPC to develop a bicycle-pedestrian plan Northwest, Lower North and Southwest Philadelphia and Center City. Policy recommendations will be applied citywide while infrastructure recommendations will applied to the above neighborhoods. Larry Shaeffer noted that the project(s) scored very high in the competitive process.

Cab Driver Education —no progress as of yet. Idea was to get cards made to describe road rules for new driver orientations. No clear place to call and complain at PPA. Rebecca will try to set up a meeting. Incident report.

Bike Share Program. Jeff Hartman, Larry Shaeffer, Russell Meddin, Clayton Lane.

Russell described Lyon and Paris’ programs. Two videos out. Australian video most informative. Bike sharing program is financed by advertising. First half hour is free; 50 centimes for next half hour. 1 Euro/hour after that. A computer is onboard tracks maintenance. 3 speed bike. Very heavy. Doesn’t share parts with other bike models.

Fairly expensive to maintain. Bikes come in the shop for a lot of work, but not many are stolen. Biggest problem is with tires. Docking stations lock the bike. Most trips are less than 20 minutes. Company can keep track of them. 3 trucks circulate to move bikes. City of Chicago and Seattle are putting out Raps. Paris wants to put a pod every ½ kilometer. Philadelphia would be perfect for this; flat; bike culture; sharing culture; parking hellish. Reduced car traffic by 4%. Enough travel on these bikes to circle the globe once a day.

Big discussion on merits, possibilities.

Next steps: worth approaching SEPTA. Business model is the toughest thing to sort out. Could work with an advertising executive. Jeff Hartman and Clayton Lane agreed to work on a committee.

Street furniture RFP has been recently released by City of Philadelphia.

Other Programs

  • German model rents bikes; price is much higher.
  • Tulsa OK Tulsa Townies 3 stations; 75 bikes. Cost $300K. Program funded by a grant from Warren Medical Research Foundation

Pavement Issues. Been raising these issues with the Bike Task Force. Some improvement seen. Utilities should be improving the streets up to spec. Send pictures to yahoo Philadelphia list serve. Dennis will track them. John will make sure everyone attending is on the yahoo listserv.

South Street Bridge. Gihon Jordon. Used to be President of the Bike Coalition. Board Member. Hopeless transportation wonk. Was Center City’s traffic engineer for 15 years. Knows the xx and too of City’s plans. Sit of National Transportation Board’s pedestrian/bike committees. Not a well designed bridge. Offering technical assistance and can poke holes in the plans. But can’t organize a campaign. We need a position paper.

What’s wrong with the bridge:

  • Turning Radius on to the Schuylkill Expressway Ramps is too large, encouraging truck traffic and degrading pedestrian level of service.
  • Through bike lane should be on the left of a dedicated right turn lane
  • No reason bridge should accommodate trucks

Status of the bridge?

Contract for detour has been let.

Then they will let the construction project.

Reality-bridge project will probably not start until spring.

Detour is also a problem. Pedestrian detour 22 feet narrows to 8 feet. At 33rd and Walnut Street. Dangerous spot. Gihon has suggestions.

Ad-Hoc Committee

Jim Campbell reported that there’s a large ad-hoc committee of CCRA, SOSNA, neighborhood groups focused specifically on the South St. Bridge. Recently made a presentation to CCRA board. Made a presentation to South West Business Association. Biggest problem is from Penn. Asked the Bike Coalition to join the ad-hoc committee. Conceivably, a meeting may be held next week. John Boyle distributed the Bike Coalition’s position statement. 1000 bicycles and 4000 pedestrians a day use the South Street Bridge when Penn is in session.

The SS Bridge ad-hoc Committee has determined that they have no confidence in the bridge design.

PennDOT/Streets Dept. willing to look at different color pavement, willing to test the closing the ramps, willing to look at other traffic calming techniques.

Jim said that the committee has met with Anna Verna and Frank Rizzo.

City Council main concern is being able to hold on to PENNDOT funding to reconstruct the bridge.

Jim says that he can’t confirm that Penn has signed off on the Bridge. Sarah suggested meeting with Mark Kocent. Principal Planner, Office of the University Architect

Send an email to if you want to be involved in the SS Bridge ad hoc bridge committee.

Dennis Winters will be the Bike Coalition liaison to the ad-hoc committee.

There are 205 cyclists on the Philadelphia listserv. Committee needs a bigger place to meet. Kyle to check availability at his workplace, Dennis to inquire about Wolf Block 1650 Arch Street, 22nd Floor

Cyclegram is coming out in July. June 22 is the deadline. Dennis welcomes article submissions. Darren Lincoln recounted that he got the VA Hospital to put in a new bike parking facility.

Next Meeting is Tuesday July 17th 6:30 PM (6pm for pizza)

The Meeting was adjourned at 8:24 PM