Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bicycling Included in Philadelphia Greenworks Plan

Improving bicycling in Philadelphia is a key component of Greenworks Philadelphia. A sustainability plan includes more than 150 initiatives to help create jobs and reduce the city’s environmental footprint with the ambitious goal of making Philadelphia America's greenest city by 2015.

Left to Right - White House Special Advisor for Green Jobs Van Jones, SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey, Mayor Michael Nutter and BCGP's Sarah Clark Stuart observing the SEPTA Bus Bike Rack on the Hybrid Bus after the Sustainability Presentation at the Franklin Institute.

Four out of the fifteen Greenwork targets have initiatives that will improve bicycling in Philadelphia.
Target #5 -- Reduce Greenhouse Gasses by 20%. Because 1/4 of Philly's greenhouse gases (GHGs) are from transportation, measures taken to reduce GHG from the transportation sector will help to make bicycling safer and better.
Target #6 -- Improve Air Quality Attainment. The Streets Department will set aside 200 linear feet for on-street bicycle parking (p. 31)
Target #9 -- Provide Park and Recreational Resources within 10 minutes of residents. This target requires the development of 500 acres of new park land within 7 years and trails and paths count! So, new multi-use trails, such as new segments of the Schuylkill River Trail, will help achieve this target. (p. 41)
Target #12 -- Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by 10%. As we have blogged about in the past VMT reduction is often overlooked or seen as a heavy lift and thus reduces the role of bicycles as a solution for clean air and climate change. Greenworks recommends many bike/ped initiatives to help achieve this goal, including: the Pedestrian/Bicycle Plan; East-West Bicycle Corridors; More off-road bike trails (Complete the Trail!); Bike Sharing; More bike racks, bike parking stations; Design and Implement Complete Streets; Increase Traffic Calming (p. 57-60).
Greenworks reinforces much of the advocacy being conducted by the Bicycle Coalition, Bike Share Philadelphia and Schuylkill River Park Alliance to secure better city and regional bicycle policies, to get more people bicycling and to Complete the Trail.

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