Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Meeting with Councilmen DiCicco and Kenney

On January 5th, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia attended a very productive meeting convened by Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler that included Councilmen DiCicco and Kenney, a number of city agencies and the Philadelphia Bicycle Messengers Association. Both City Councilmen were anxious to make clear that they are not anti-bike -- Councilman DiCicco pointed out he has raised no objections to the Spruce Pine bike lanes that are in his district -- but that they have serious concerns about bike safety as the number of bike riders continues to grow. Those concerns – sidewalk riding, riding the wrong way and running red lights – are concerns that the Bicycle Coalition shares. Concerns that the Bicycle Coalition has about enforcement of laws for motor vehicles and parking in bike lanes were likewise issues both City Councilmen expressed concern about.

In the end, we reached a consensus that we need to make our streets and sidewalks safer for all users through increased enforcement of the rules of the road for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians. How to do that, and whether the existing laws suffice, is the more difficult question.

Deputy Mayor Cutler committed to creating a Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee to investigate policies, actions, regulations and legislation to increase safety. The committee membership is in the works, but is sure to include representation from: Councilmen DiCicco and Kenney, Philadelphia Police Department, the Bicycle Coalition and the Philadelphia Bicycle Messengers Association.

Councilmen DiCicco and Kenney stated that they intended the introduction of their bills as the beginning of a conversation about increasing safety and enforcement and that the forming of the committee is an important step in that direction. Given that progress, both Councilmen will hold their bills pending the recommendations of the safety committee.


Anonymous said...

DeCicco and Kenney didn't start a conversation by introducing these bills, they engaged in blackmail. If they wanted to start a conversation they could have formed a committee first.

The committees final report can hardly be considered impartial if DeCicco and Kenney staff are part of the committee. And they can still use the threat of the bills to make the committee do what they want. Which may not be in the best interests of cyclists.

Brendan said...

and word on whether they'd be satisfied with the Idaho stop?

Chrissy said...

They understand (supposedly), but what about Councilman Green who was at last month's philly for change who basically was unconcerned with drivers running lights because they do it safely.

whatever. it's all for nowt until it's dropped completely