In light of the recent hit and run between a bicyclist and Andre Steed that resulted in his death, the Bicycle Coalition has posted the following position statement about enforcement on its website.
".......It is the position of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia that all users of the road should obey traffic laws. When people bend the rules to their personal benefit, whether they are a motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian, it contributes to chaos on the streets and everyone is endangered. To that end, the Bicycle Coalition has an outreach and education program called Bicycle Ambassadors, which is designed to encourage adult bicyclists to ride more often and ride more safely, by teaching bike safety, sharing the road, bike lane and bike path etiquette and how to bike to work and school.......As the rules of the road adapt to new users, and the roadways themselves are reconfigured to meet the needs of more vulnerable road users, everyone needs to adapt to the rules of the road – after all, a bicycle is a legal vehicle in all 50 states and all vehicles have to abide by the same rules......The position of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia on enforcement is that we welcome more consistent and visible enforcement of traffic laws. We want enforcement to be applied equitably to all users: motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. All three are a part of the current problem on the streets and each need to be part of the solution."
The Bicycle Coalition also submitted a Letter to the Editor to the Inquirer stating:
"As reported this week, a bicyclist and pedestrian were recently involved in a fatal collision. The bicyclist made the immoral and illegal decision to flee the scene. On behalf of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, I am writing to express bicyclists’ dismay about this crash and extend our sympathies to the victim’s family, friends and colleagues.
A bicycle is a legal vehicle in all 50 states and, like all vehicles, must follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, bicyclists, car drivers and pedestrians blithely ignore traffic laws in Philadelphia. We need a concerted campaign in Philadelphia for consistent and visible enforcement of traffic laws -- enforced equitably to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians – to calm our city’s streets and make them safe for everyone."
Bicycle Ambassadors are also hosting "service stations" once a week on Spruce and Pine to inform bicyclists about the pilot project and smart safety tips. Three have been held already and two more will be held in the following weeks. Pending good weather, the next service station will be on Wednesday, November 4th from 7:30-9:00am at a to-be-decided upon intersection.
Inga Saffron wrote a terrific column in today's Inquirer summarizing all of these issues. Kudos to her for putting what many of us have been thinking so eloquently.