Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Much Ado About Nothing

The #unblockbikelanes campaign is supposed to help the Philadelphia Parking Authority improve enforcement of cars parked in bike lanes as part of the Safe Streets Bill. On April 14, 2014 those results were released and at first glance they looked impressive.

• Nine complaints on Spruce Street between Broad and 25th resulted in 147 tickets.
• Eleven complaints on Pine Street between Third and 20th resulted in 76 tickets.
• Eight complaints on 13th Street between Filbert and Arch resulted in 11 tickets.
• Three complaints on South Street east of Grays Ferry resulted in one ticket.
• One complaint on the 3700 block of Market Street resulted in nine tickets.

For a grand total of 244 tickets. A very impressive number considering that this program started during the second snowiest winter in Philadelphia on record. 

However WHYY's Newsworks took a closer look at the reality these numbers represented and found a different answer. PPA Deputy Executive Director Corinne O'Connor said “Even with the social media effort, the numbers haven't changed much. She said "the number of tickets issued during the period is pretty typical.” Which to me says that the PPA isn't making any more effort to enforce this policy than they have in the past.

The PPA has committed to improving enforcement of cars parking in bike lanes by implementing the following items listed below.

  • Have a supervisor do a test run of placing a PPA Officer on a "bike lane detail" to cover Spruce & Pine (Front to 22nd Street), 13th and 22nd Streets.
  • Direct more officers to enforcement on Fairmount Avenue.
  • Direct more enforcement during peak hours and assign supervisors to the entire lengths of Spruce and Pine Streets.
  • Direct more enforcement during morning peak hours on 22nd Street, especially at the intersection of Lombard and 22nd Street.
  • Assign more mobile units to 13th Street b/w Filbert and Arch Street between 8am - 2pm.
  • Have supervisors review the religious institutions' "courtesy" blocks with PPA Officers.
Ticketing cars parking in bike lanes was part of the Safe Streets bill that the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia negotiated with the Philadelphia City Council. With the PPA only accountable to themselves, if enforcement does not improve than the BCGP has only has itself to blame for failing to protect all of the cyclists of Philadelphia. 

Click here to see a map of all of the reports of bike lanes blocked by cars.

No comments:

Post a Comment