Philadelphia’s Cyclists get Screwed Nov 20, 2009


no brakes? no more!

Tony has been telling me about this for a few days now and Jeremy just sent me this email. Sounds like Philadelphia is getting a dose of anti-bicycle legislation. Just read below:

Hey John I’m hoping you could post this on your blog so the word can be spread,

I’m a follower of your blog and have seen that you’ve ridden in Philly before and just wanted to inform you of two bills that have just been proposed by the Philadelphia City Council. The first will increase fines drastically for such things as riding on the sidewalk and riding with headphones. This bill will also impose a $1000 fine and the possible confiscation of the bicycle if riding “brakeless”, the council member specifically mentions fixed gear bicycles in the interviews he has done regarding the bill. While I am all for safe and smart cycling laws, under this bill the fine for riding with headphones would be three times the amount of the fine for running a stop light with an automobile, which one seems more dangerous?

The second bill (and scariest to me) is one that would require bicycles in Philadelphia to be registered at a cost of $20.00 and have plates displayed in an easy to view place; the fine for riding an unregistered bike would be $100. The council member who proposed this bill stated the plates would be a way to identify unruly cyclist, but where does it end, do we start displaying plates while we walk so laws regarding pedestrians can be enforced? Also in his proposal he mentions nothing about the proceeds of registering going to help enhance the bicycle infrastructure or the cycling community in anyway.

Again I am not against following the rules of the road but these bills will only hinder the growth of the cycling community in Philadelphia.

Here are the links to the bills and the names of the council members who introduced these bills today, if any of you ride bikes in Philly (or have ridden) I urge you to call or email and voice your opposition to these proposed bills before they become laws.

http://www.bicyclecoalition.org/files/DiCicco%20Bicycle%20Registration.pdf
http://www.bicyclecoalition.org/files/Kenney%20bicycle%20fines%20legislation.pdf

Council member James Kenney (increased fines) – james.kenney@phila.gov – (215) 686-3450 or (215) 686-345
Council member Frank DiCicco (mandatory registration) – frank.dicicco@phila.gov – (215) 686-3458 or (215) 686-3459

This is fucked. Seriously. Everyone email these people and tell them how you feel. Remember to be professional and courteous so your voice is heard. I’m not wholeheartedly against the “no brakes” law or the riding on the sidewalk / running a red light law, but the registration is way out of line. Are you going to make skateboarders, rollerblades, joggers and pedestrians register as well? Pedestrian traffic in a city needs to be encouraged, not discouraged. Requiring bicycle registration is absurd. Like hell if I’d put a fucking tag on any of my vintage bikes.