New ‘Bicycle Bill’ Coming to City Council Thursday
According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, on Thursday we will see the introduction of the much-anticipated Complete Streets Bill, which would provide concessions on the part of bicyclists and motorists to make Philadelphia more bicycle-friendly.
The bill, which we wrote about in September, will increase and create fines for both bicyclists and motorists who break the law to spite each other. For instance, parking a car in a bike lane would bring a $50-to-$75 fine. And opening a car door into bike traffic would result in “the same penalty as under state law.” Similarly, “non-parking violations of bike rules,” like sidewalk riding or riding down the wrong side of the street, or God forbid, running a red light, will get you a $3 to $75 violation.
Most importantly may be the changes to the Complete Streets handbook, which provides rules of the road in the city. As we wrote then: “The handbook’s changes will ensure that upcoming street projects include mandatory accommodations for drivers, bikers and pedestrians; specifically, timing of traffic signals to minimize delay, promotion of an extended bicycle network through the city and discouraging potential obstructions when planning future street projects.” So what’s that mean? Specifically, when the city undertakes new street projects, they’ll be required to make those streets accommodating to bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians.
The bill has been put together with Councilman Mark Squilla, whom the Bicycle Coalition credits for working hard on the bill. We put in a call with his office, before realizing that he and his staff are obviously off today. Because it is Veterans Day. We’ll have an update on this later in the week.