Thursday, December 06, 2012

Philly City Council Votes to Make Our Streets Safer and More Pleasant for Everybody

Hooray for better streets!
Today Philadelphia City Council approved the long-awaited Complete Streets Bill. The bill's passage is an instant landmark in the history of Philadelphia's streets and sidewalks.

We extend great thanks and appreciation to Councilman Mark Squilla, the Mayor's Office of Transportation & Utilities, and the Streets Department for working with us to craft a bill that improves Philadelphia's traffic code and puts in place important provisions for ensuring that future street projects are implemented with all street users in mind.

This bill is a victory for pretty much every conceivable Philadelphian. If you ride a bicycle, walk, take transit, drive a car, or use a wheelchair, this bill will have beneficial long-term impact on your ability to get around. (Unfortunately, you private helicopter commuters are left out.)

In the short term, the bill will clarify and modernize Philadelphia's traffic code with respect to bicycles and bike lanes. This should mean better and equitable enforcement of infringement upon the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists, such as bicyclists riding on the sidewalk and drivers parking illegally in bike lanes.

In the long term, it requires all public and private development to consider the needs of all street users when impacting streets or sidewalks. The transparency and accountability built into this policy leaps Philadelphia into the forefront of American cities looking at its streets in this progressive way.

You can read more about the bills on our blog by searching for "Complete Streets" at the top. You can see the approved bill on the City Council website here.