Friday, May 31, 2013

Center City Traffic Enforcement Campaign to Start Next Week

People travelling through Center City should prepare for a new enforcement campaign beginning the week of June 3rd.   Starting next week, the Philadelphia Police Department will be committing police officers on foot and on bike to educate and enforce traffic laws in Center City.

This is the latest effort from the City's "Give Respect, Get Respect" campaign, which began first in the summer of 2011. That summer, the City distributed educational brochures and police conducted approximately 1,600 stops.

This summer, the active enforcement campaign will be renewed, targeting specific Center City areas with known high volumes of motor vehicle offenses. The campaign will be run until June 28th. The map below shows the zones where enforcement will be focused.


View Untitled in a larger map

We expect to see a rise in the number of citations given to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in Center City. You have a responsibility to know and follow the rules of the road no matter how you get around; giving respect to your fellow street users makes everyone safer. We support equitable enforcement of the laws and are heartened by the Police Department's renewed focus on this issue.

The goals of this campaign are to reduce pedestrian and bicycle crashes in Center City, increase motorist awareness, and improve the quality of life in Center City through education and enforcement. This is a joint effort of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being made possible through funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. We expect to learn statistics from the Police Department on the number and nature of stops and violations involving drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, and will report them as we learn them.

3 comments:

Roman said...

Sometimes I’m embarrassed that the coalition seemingly refuses to challenge the status quo of bike laws in this city. I wonder how many of your members actually come to a complete stop on their bike, or never ever cross the intersection before the light turning green. And when we do “break” the law, we do not do it out of rebellion or negligence but out of a physical necessity and safety-- to get ahead of traffic, to pick up speed before we get brushed by one-ton pieces of metal zooming at 30-60mph. Don’t you think that maybe the coalition could advocate for a potential change in culture and in rules? For example, there places in the US where by law cyclists treat stop signs as yield a signs, and red lights as stop signs…is that within the realm of possibility, within the realm of political lobbying and testimony? You organize an awesome bike ride in honor of fallen cyclists, realizing the cyclists’ vulnerability and how important it is to highlight that. But at the same time you don’t want to acknowledge that our vulnerability should possibly constitute different laws too. Do you also want to advocate for pedestrians to wait for green all the time, too? I wonder what the city would look like if people had to wait all the time (it’s the law is it not?). And it also sometimes frightens me how much collaboration you insist on having with the PPD, who might need their own training (and who are historically known to abuse their power). I see cops riding on the sidewalk all the time, I see cops parking their bikes on the 13th St. bike lane all the time, I see cops running red lights. The other day I was beeped and accosted by a cop who told me that I have to be on the right side of the roadway, and next time he would give me a ticket. I think the coalition has done AMAZING things to promote and extend biking in Philly, but I wonder if it will check into the reality of what it means to bike, and that bikes ARE NOT cars, and that maybe the coalition could use its power to try to change the status quo.

Tj Seningen said...

http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/vehicle_code/chapter35.pdf

The laws that will be enforced are MVC 3510, MVC 3505, MVC 3501, MVC 3507.

So, get your helmet, lights, and bell.

Nicholas Mirra said...

Roman - You bring up some very good points, and addressing them thoughtfully requires a better platform than blog comments.

The short answer to some of your question is that, YES, we'd love Philly to implement Idaho stops (let bikes treat stop signs as yield signs). And we attempt to collaborate with the PPD because the advances we've made in bicycle laws and infrastructure are hindered by police indifference to enforcement.

Unfortunately (despite claims by that wacko at the Wall Street Journal) we are not all-powerful. Philly is a huge city of diverse interests and elements, and we stick up for bicycling as best we can. Where we fall short, or where Philly's bicycling conditions are less than ideal, are glowing posts pointing us in important directions.

You obviously know about and care about bicycling in this city. We're always looking for people eager to help us make Philly a better place to ride a bike. E-mail me at bike@bicyclecoalition.org if you'd like to talk further or learn how you can help.