The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia continues to push its Vision Zero initiative, a coordinated effort to help end traffic deaths citywide. 2016 appears to be a key year for the initiative, with new attention from the city mayor (Jim Kenney), available potential funding, and key pieces of legislation submitted to state lawmakers.
What is Vision Zero?
Vision Zero is national, government-approved program to help state lawmakers and activists understand measures they can take to improve safety on the roads. The program originated in Sweden, which is on track to cut traffic deaths by half in 2020 by decreasing speed limits, adding bike lanes, widening pedestrian areas, and taking other safety measures.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has taken Vision Zero very seriously: it has continually engaged with officials about Vision Zero policies and held educational events. In December 2015, it hosted Vision Zero Philadelphia, the city's first Vision Zero Conference, and, in March 2016 held a Vision Zero Mini-Forum with a number of notable speakers.
What laws would help us?
While outreach and education are a big component of Vision Zero, enacting actual legislature is a large focus of the program. Currently, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has identified three current bills in the state legislature that it believes would make an important impact on bicyclist and pedestrian safety:
- SB 535: allow law enforcement to enforce speed via radar
- HB 950: extend the Red Light Enforcement Program to 2027
- SB 1034: establish Pilot Program for Photo Cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard
Long-term, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia wants to fight for protected bicycle lanes, as well. They encourage concerned citizens to contact their senator about the legislation currently being considered by lawmakers.
The Future of Vision Zero
In March 2016, Vision Zero Philadelphia got an encouraging sign when Mayor Jim Kenney mentioned the program in a speech on the city's budget. "Working with key stakeholders, our new Office of Complete Streets and the Managing Director’s Office will identify changes we can make—whether it be better [lining] should this state “street lining or marking?” or signage or a change in traffic flow—to protect the child walking to school and the cyclist just trying to get to work," Mayor Kenney said. "The Streets Department and L&I will also work to advance our vision zero goals by enhancing their ‘Right of Way’ activities."
The need for action is still palpable: in April 2016, a cyclist was killed in a hit and run at the corner of 45th Street and Market Street. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia—and countless concerned Philadelphia bicyclists and citizens—are committed to ending these accidents and bringing safety and security to everyone on the road.
If you are interested in learning more about the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Vision Zero Philadelphia, visit their site here.
If you a bicyclist that has been injured due to the actions of a motorist, then Piscitello Law is ready to hear your story. Attorney Joseph T. Piscitello is an avid cyclist who knows the challenges the bicycle community faces when accidents occur. He and his team of dedicated Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers have helped these victims be heard before the law and aggressively pursued compensation on their behalf.
Want to learn more about what our firm can do for you during this uncertain time? Call us today to request a free initial case evaluation.