A local Philadelphia task force is planning to make some major changes in response to last year's high accident rates.
According to a recent article, data compiled by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia reveals that there were 76 traffic-related fatalities in 2016. Out of these casualties, 36 of those killed were pedestrians and 4 of them were bicyclists. Although those statistics were an improvement from 2015's rate of 94 casualties, a local task force named Vision Zero believes that with engineering, education, and enforcement, they can reduce traffic-related deaths to zero.
Vision Zero is a multi-national group road traffic safety project that sums their initiative up in one phrase: no loss of life is acceptable. The task force's Philadelphia unit has actively collaborated with planning, health, transportation and advocacy groups in efforts to make Philadelphia a safer place for those who utilize the road. Just this year, they've proposed several ideas that they deem solutions for minimized accident rates.
After earning the unwavering support of mayor Jim Kenney and holding heavily-covered conferences in the city, their plans may be finally put into fruition.
Towards the beginning of the month, Philadelphia was awarded approximately $3 million to improve the city's transportation system. Areas such as bike infrastructure, trails and school crossings are some of the major projects outlined in the initiative. One of the most controversial and contended projects that is set to be launched in the near future is the implementation of protected bike lanes - a proposal heavily backed by the task force. About $250,000 of those funds will be going towards converting pre-existing bike lanes into protected bike lanes, using flexible delineator posts. The city's major, Jim Kenney vowed to generate another 30 miles of protected bike paths while he is in office.
Since the implementation of these lanes would greatly affect both bicyclists and motorists alike, each party has had their contrasting opinions on the proposal. Bikers have verbally expressed their approval of the project, hoping that it puts an end to the many intrusions in bike lanes causing them to weave out of the bike lane and into car traffic. But motorists are humming a different tune. They perceive the protected lanes as an inconvenience.
Rivka Rappaport is a Pine Street resident that parks her car in front of her house, on a bike lane, to pick up her mail. She's resided there for over 41 years, and worries that parking outside her door will now result in tickets for her and her husband.
“We are paying so much tax here, and we don't have a right to stand here for a few minutes,” she said.
The debate is expected to continue long into the month of March. This is when the task force will be presenting concrete plans about the protected bike lanes and other subjects such as, speed bumps, red light cameras and reversing the direction of traffic on one-way streets to divert traffic.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident in Philadelphia that resulted in an injury, it's important that you talk to an attorney so you can receive the compensation you deserve. The Brod Law Firm is dedicated to obtaining the best possible results. Contact us online or call 1-888-435-7946 (888-HELPWIN) for a free consultation. We serve all of the state of Pennsylvania from our offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bala Cynwyd.