Wednesday, May 01, 2013

PA and NJ Hold Strong, DE Leaps Ahead Among Bicycle-Friendly States

Today the League of American Bicyclists announced their Bicycle Friendly States ranking for 2013.  Pennsylvania ranked 15th, unchanged from 2012. New Jersey ranked 7th, also the same ranking from 2012. Delaware took a leap, moving up from 10th to 5th.  Congrats to the First State and Bike Delaware!

The LAB "Report Card" for PA contains many good recommendations for how Pennsylvania could improve its ranking. The top three are similar to what we have been asking the legislature to address as it moves forward on a state level transportation bill.
  1. Create an adequately staffed Bike/Ped Office or Program within PennDOT to administer a competitive grant fund program and coordinate implementation of bike/ped programs within PennDOT and its district offices .
  2. Establish a competitive grant program and bicycle/pedestrian maintenance fund with an annual appropriation of $20 million from the motor vehicle license fund .
  3. Repeal the policy requiring municipalities to accept maintenance and liability responsibilities for bicycle facilities that are placed on state roads within their jurisdictions.
  4. Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian.
  5. Adopt a statewide, all-ages cell phone ban to combat distracted driving and increase safety for everyone. 
  6. Collect data regarding enforcement actions against motorists based on incidents with bicycles, such as traffic tickets issued, prosecutions, or convictions. 
  7. Adopt performance measures, such as mode shift or a low percentage of exempted projects, to better track and support Bike Accommodation Policy compliance. 
  8. Revamp the Complete Streets checklist into an authentic Complete Streets policy that is transparent and accountable.
  9. Conduct a share the road campaign creatively addressing the issues specific to your state. 
  10. Conduct a bicycle economic benefit study to showcase the positive impacts of bicycling for health costs, economic development, job creation, and transportation return on investment.
The LAB press release is here.