Monday, May 14, 2012

Philadelphia City Council's Three Blind Mice

 It seems that three blind mice from the Philadelphia City Council are causing mischief. Philadelphia is a city rife with serious issues in need of the city councils urgent attention. A murder rate from guns at an average of one per day, a school district that is facing a financial short fall of 200 million dollar due to mismanagement, and 40,000 abandoned properties with millions of dollars in taxes uncollected. These properties have blighted neighborhoods and recently caused the death of two Philadelphia fire fighters.

Instead the three blind mice of the city council, MarkSquilla, Bill Greenlee, and, Ciy Council President Darrel Clarke are intent on revisiting the past. Trying to enact a policy requiring all bicycle lanes within Philadelphia to get city council approval. In May 2011 the city council tried to enact a similar policy, in an underhanded, but expected manner for Philadelphia politics. The bill was announced just days before the Memorial Day weekend and fast tracked to be voted on just after the holiday weekend. When the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia mobilized its membership to speak at the meeting the time for the public to speak was moved up and when that didn’t work one council member tried to disqualify everyone who spoke against the bill by claiming they were members of the Bicycle Coalition were not part of the public.

A recent post on the BCGP website these council members are taking the same approach, with hearings to occur in late May, most likely using the identical bill from last year. This also means that we can expect more of the same hearing delays as last year. An aspect of this bill claims that it is trying to incorporate input from the local community. That is until the community disagrees with the politics and  lack of vision of city council members.

It's truly pathetic that the Philadelphia City Council continues to use bicycle infrastructure as way to distract from real issues that need to be addressed. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Challenge to Stu Bykofsky

The true face of he who must not be named.

Finally spring has arrived in Philadelphia with a clear signal to all. It's not the first red robin or flower, nor is it the crack of the bat as the Phillies warm up for their first home game at Citizens Bank Park. No its a column from Stu Bykofsky columnist and professional grumpy old man for the Philadelphia Daily News about bicycles and bicycle lanes in Philadelphia.

While the specific nature of Mr. Bykofsky's column about the 10th St. bicycle lane in Chinatown and the upcoming bill City Council members are trying to sneak through again is a separate blog post to be addressed at a later date. It's the vehemence and unsubstantiated opinion that he masquerades as fact Specifically his statement of;

I do have a problem with bicyclists who ignore the rules of the road to which they are subject as vehicles under Pennsylvania law. That means stay off the sidewalks, ride in the direction of traffic, full stops at stop signs and no blowing through red lights, the last two being things that nearly every pedalphile does.

It's not just the play on words of pedalphile, that's childish. It's his unproven and inflammatory statement how almost every cyclists does not stop at stop signs and run red lights. To which one can only say; ok Stu prove it. Provide a statically valid study which the results can be replicated. Or simply set a video camera on a tripod at a Philadelphia street corner that shows a high percentage of cyclists actively running red lights and stop signs within a given period of time. No editing and it must be stamped with a time code.

I'm sure Stu can convince some intern to do this, otherwise he should stick to yelling at clouds and telling small children to stay off his lawn.