Friday, February 22, 2013

Wrap Up: 100 Philly Bicycles Get Lit Up Wednesday On South Street

The Streets of Philadelphia are a little brighter -- and close to 100 cyclists are a lot safer -- after our first bike light giveaway on Wednesday evening. Six volunteer ambassadors joined BCGP staffers Diana and Steve, two Penn Police officers, and two EMS mechanics along the green bike lanes just west of the South Street Bridge. They waved over unlit cyclists passing by (bikers-by?), each of whom rode away with a brand new light set. Our crew even installed the blinking front light on the spot.
Photo credits: Stacy Ritchey of the Penn Dept of Protective Services.
Receiving a set of lights was a welcome and unexpected detour on the riders' commute across the chilly, windswept bridge. (Some learned about the giveaway by following us on Facebook and Twitter). We got a lot of surprised smiles from bicyclists when they realized what was going on, smiles which helped lessen the numbness in our volunteers' frostbitten fingers.

If you didn't have a chance to pick up lights on Wednesday, remember that Pennsylvania law requires a white front light and a red rear light or reflector when riding before dawn or after dusk. We highly recommend that you have, and use, a set of front and back lights whenever it is even a little dark and during foul weather. You can buy cheap lights for $10, or fancier ones that charge via USB.
Remember that bike lights are less about you seeing where you're going, and more about others seeing you! Travel any of our dim, one-way streets at night if you're not convinced of the need for bike lights. So thanks to everyone who stopped by our tables Wednesday, and to everyone who rides with lights (not just reflectors). You're keeping yourself and everyone safer!