Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Funnies - Wouldn't it be cool?

Wouldn’t it be cool if all of our rides could be captured by a film crew complete with a soundtrack.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Thank You Captain Brian Korn

On an almost daily basis the bike lane at 13th St between Arch and Filbert  is blocked by marked and unmarked police and civilian vehicles. Most likely because they have business at the Municipal Courthouse. Fortunately all of these individuals have alternative options for parking. On one side of the street is an official police parking lot and on the other a public parking garage. Unfortunately there are those who chose not to avail themselves of these choices. 

The Philadelphia Bicycle Journal would like to recognize Captain Brian Korn (@PPDBrianKorn) of the Philadelphia Police Department, 6th District for making an effort to help unblock the bike lane at 13th between Arch St. and Filbert St. On several occasions this sign has been sighted.

Captain Korn should be commended for taking the initiative to address this matter. I can only hope that the Philadelphia Police Department will institute a permanent solution.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Why I ride

I ride because for most errands I do not need a car.
I ride because I can get to where I need to go as fast or faster than a car or SEPTA.
I ride because SEPTA makes it easier to bring my bike with me.
I ride because parking my bike is easier and cheaper than parking my car,
I ride because when I see something or someplace interesting I can check it out.
I ride because I get exercise.
I ride because I save money on gas and SEPTA fares.
I ride because being a better cyclist does not mean having the best bike money can buy.
I ride because I enjoy rebuilding old bikes and turning them into new bikes.
I ride because some of the trails take me far away from Philadelphia so I can get away from people.
I ride because when I want go faster or farther I have to make it happen.
I ride because it makes me feel better about myself.
I ride because I can have ice cream after a long ride.

I ride because sometimes I imagine I am Dave Stoller racing the truck and I can hear the music playing.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sometimes 140 Characters is not Enough

Recently I engaged Philadelphia Inquirer writer Inga Saffron in a discussion on Twitter regarding her concerns over a bill being considered by Philadelphia City Council( One that would consolidate several city departments under a single authority, possibly under the authority of the City Council. Which could create a patchwork effect for future projects.

As you can see from the Twitter exchange Ms. Saffron seems to be under the impression that Mayor Nutter’s administration bears some responsibility for the lack of new bike lanes since 2012. The dialogue reached a point where I felt that a 140 character sound bite was not going to communicate what I had to say.

So let me be blunt, Mayor Nutter’s administration is not responsible for the lack of new bicycle lanes since 2012. That honor is bestowed upon the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Who in 2012 thought that giving City Council approval over the installation of future bike lanes that would replace parking or an existing lane of traffic in exchange for the Complete Streets Bill. This was the same deal that the BCGP fought against in 2011.

I don’t know what the BCGP was thinking when they made this deal. The City Council has history of trying to pass punitive bills against cyclists and to think that a City Council member would not use this option was delusional.

This point was driven home Council-Man at Large Bill Greenlee ( who declared that no bike lane would be installed on 22nd St, between Fairmont and Spring Garden. He claimed that the street needed two lanes of traffic, even though the Streets Department stated that two lanes would not fit. He also claimed that local constituents objected. But refused to allow a public hearing. The frightening thing about this is that a Council-Man at Large has no defined district. They are free to take action in district they chose, even though each district has its own councilman.

There are things I do blame the Nutter administration for. Their failure to deal with the police turning the bike lane at 13th & Arch into police parking. Even though there is public garage and a police parking lot available. Or their unwillingness to get religious institutions to stop using the Pine St. bike lane as on street parking. As most of them have arrangements for off street parking.

But at the end of the day the reason there have been no new bike lanes in Philadelphia since 2012 is because of the deal the BCGP made with City Council for the Safe Streets Bill. Not because of a failure on the part of the Nutter Administration.

If Ms. Saffron feels otherwise she can write something more than 140 characters long about how the Nutter Administration is partly or fully responsible for the lack of new bike lanes since 2012.

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