Monday, June 6, 2011

A Call to Arms – After Action Report

Councilman Bill Greenlee has agreed to table his bill requiring a vote from the Philadelphia City Council on the installation of bicycle lanes, for the moment. While consistency and transparency was the battle cry of Council members Green, Greenlee, and DiCicco when it came to installing new bicycle lanes. Obfuscation and opacity was the process used in the attempt to move this bill forward.

The Time Line
This bill was presented Thursday May 26, on the verge of the Memorial Day weekend in the hopes that no one would notice it. When the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia did, the bill was moved to a fast track vote for June 2, announced on May 31, again trying to take advantage of the Memorial Day weekend. When that didn't work the bill was moved from being last on the agenda to the middle of the agenda, during the committee meeting.

The Response
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia should be commended for making effective use of e-mail ad social media to get the word out that created over 400 e-mails to Streets Committee members. As well as Twitter to update and alert anyone planning on attending the meeting on June 2.

The Committee
During the actual meeting Council Members Green, Greenlee, and DiCicco were dismissive and contemptuous of anyone who came to speak, including the representative from the mayors office. 60 of the people who came to speak were not considered part of the general public and were instead referred to as members of the BCGP. DiCicco claimed he only got negative comments about the bike lanes and Green said bike lanes have nothing to do with traffic or public safety.

What would I do?
Its only a matter of time before Councilman Frank DiCicco finds another patsy. This is his second attempt to dismantle bicycling infrastructure and try to pass punitive bills against cyclists and I'm sure it won't be his last. I still believe that in the future any response should include a Courteous Mass protest ride past the home of a bills sponsor and includes a stop at a nearby post office for everyone to mail letters to the council members involved. Along with a media alert to ensure that their actions can't be hidden from the public.

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