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. 

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