Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bike the Strike Day One

Late this morning, the Bicycle Coalition set up a bike corral and service station up at Dilworth Plaza (NW Corner of City Hall). The bike corral is not a valet bike station, so you do have to bring your own lock (although we will be nearby). Around 12:30, Mayor Nutter made a surprise appearance.

The Bicycle Coalition will be providing information and advice every day at the service station from 8AM to 6PM during the entire duration of the strike.

Simultaneously we will be conducting bike counts at select locations from 7:30 to 9:00 AM and from 4:30 t0 6:00 PM to document how the strike is impacting bike riding.

All of this is a huge drain on our staff and therefore we are looking for volunteers to give us a hand, if you can donate any time to help man the service station or count bikes please contact Max Rosen-Long via email max@bicyclecoalition.org.

In addition to the media which has been visiting us from time to time, Mayor Nutter stopped by to offer of his support and appreciation. We urge you to stop by.

An additional unmanned bike parking corral is located across the street at the Municipal Services Building.


JohnWa said...

The picture of the two bicyclists waiting for the red light at 20th & Race is typical of what I encounter: Those bicyclists that do actually stop at a red-light do so in the crosswalk forcing pedestrians like me to walk around them. Cars get ticketed for not stopping at the white line BEFORE the crosswalk, but bicyclists never do. Thanks Bike Coalition for tacitly approving this behavior.

Anonymous said...

@JohnWa - They are "Blocking" less than a quarter of the crosswalk, as opposed to cars, which block the entire thing.

JohnWa said...

That makes it OK? Sorry it's not. It has become the norm for bicyclists to disregard the white line. Bicyclists pull this stunt when there are pedestrians already in the crosswalk, even on streets like Spring Garden and 5th & 6th where there have been bike lanes for years. Then there are the track bikers that refuse to come to a stop so they do figure 8's in the crosswalk around pedestrians waiting for light to turn. Motor vehicles do it far, far less frequently than bikes. When I walk across any intersection where there is a white line I can relax if I see a car coming in my peripheral vision, confident the car will actually stop at the redlight on the white line. I can't say the same for bicyclists. Too many attorneys derive their living from these types of accidents and motorists know it.

Steve B said...

Hey John-- I hear ya! The reality is, a lot of cyclists try to get up to the front of the line at red lights so they are more visible. This is undoubtedly an inconvenience for pedestrians, one that could be mitigated by installing bike boxes throughout Philadelphia. This would give space for cyclists to queue up in front of traffic, without being in the crosswalk. The Bike Coalition is very upfront with encouraging the observance of all traffic laws, as they apply to bikes just as they do cars. Whether you are walking or biking, we are all vulnerable road users. Let's find the common ground to support each other.

Nicole said...

I was just going to mention how bike boxes would easily solve this crosswalk situation, but Steve beat me to it. There's a good reason cyclists want to be ahead of cars at a stop light, but as someone who regularly walks AND bikes, I agree that it's annoying and unsafe when cyclists are in the middle of the crosswalk and/or refuse to stop moving at a red light.

Bike boxes would create space for all 3 types of commuters at the intersection, rather than just drivers and walkers, and I imagine that would be a win/win/win for all.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen a car get a ticket for blocking the crosswalk.

Anonymous said...

The riders in the picture are in the crosswalk because they are waiting for a chance to run the red light. They would still be there even with a bike box. The root of the problem is that there is no enforcement of traffic laws in greater Philadelphia.

Grina said...

My electric bicycle goes up to 20 mph and costs next to nothing to operate. Got it at Philly Electric Wheels which also sells conversion kits. The feeling of riding is twice as cool as reg. biking, in my opinion and I arrive at work without a sweat.

Anonymous said...

"Those bicyclists that do actually stop at a red-light do so in the crosswalk forcing pedestrians like me to walk around them."

first world problems.

JayinPhiladelphia said...

Thanks Steve, great comment!

I don't own a bike or a car myself. I live in Portland, Oregon, and walk or use transit here.

I've been annoyed a few times (especially in the rain, when I'm trying to get from A to B as quickly as possible) at bikers blocking the crosswalk, but frankly I can't blame them for doing so in spots when they're left to fend for themselves against vehicles made of two tons of steel, which are more often than not controlled by extremely arrogant folks who believe the entire roadway belongs to them.

We have bike boxes here in Portland, and I've never once had a problem at a marked crosswalk as a pedestrian here where they do exist.

A simple problem, with a simple solution. Borrowing eight or ten feet of road space from cars at intersections, to use for increasing the visibility and safety of cyclists at a stop light, isn't going to end the world. Rather, it makes things much safer for all of us, whether we're walking, biking or driving.

Anonymous said...

I've been biking the strike for 3 days now. I used to bike/walk to work almost everyday for the last 10 or so years, but ever since I moved to a house a block from the subway, I've mostly been doing that. But it has been nice to get back on the bike. And I LOVE the new lanes on Spruce and Pine. Thanks!

uggs-outlet said...

She bade her friends good-bye, and again started along the road
of yellow brick.

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