Both the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia score important wins for better biking.
Thanks to some outstanding advocacy efforts, both the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia have recently scored two important wins for cycling safety.
Pennsylvania: “Dutch Reach” in State Driver’s Manual
The “Dutch Reach” method of opening a car door has finally been added to the State Driver’s Manual after many years of conversation. This method requires the driver to use their right hand to open the door which forces the driver to look to their left prior to opening the door.
It’s critical that new generations of drivers become aware of their responsibility to look out for the most vulnerable road users including pedestrians and cyclists. By adding the Dutch Reach to the PA Driver’s Manual, hopefully new drivers will better understand the dangers of “dooring” a cyclist. The advocacy work on this issue was driven by the PA Pedestrian and Pedalcycle Advisory Committee, chaired by Sarah Clark Stuart, the Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition.
Pennsylvania joins a short list of other American states whom have embraced the “Dutch Reach” into their state law or manuals, including Massachusetts, Illinois and Washington.
Click this link to see the Dutch Reach entry into the manual: Dutch Reach
Click this link for the entire PA Driver’s Manual (page 93).
Philadelphia: Speed Camera Legislation Signed
Shifting to another noteworthy event in cycling safety in the Keystone state, we shine a light on bill 190184 known as the Roosevelt Boulevard Speed Camera Legislation. This long-overdue legislation was signed into law June 19, 2019 by Mayor Jim Kenney at a press conference which included key stakeholders.
Photos: Families for Safe Streets Philadelphia stand with Mayor Kenney after bill signing
Roosevelt Boulevard is an 11- mile stretch of road which is notorious for car, pedestrian and cycling crashes. In 2018 alone, 21 deaths occurred on that Boulevard making it among the most dangerous in the City of Philadelphia.
Latanya Bird, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia, spoke about the tragic loss of four family members nearly six years ago on the Boulevard.
She, along with other family advocates including Laura and Rich Fredricks have been working tirelessly to advocate for this bill and other traffic-safety measures.
This legislation authorizes the city to install speed cameras throughout the Boulevard. Notices and signage informing drivers of the cameras are expected to go up in the Fall of 2019 and the enforcement stage of the bill is targeted for the end of year.
Bike Law PA Attorney Joe Piscitello notes that “…The Vision Zero Alliance and the Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition have been extraordinary advocates for cycling safety in our city and state. It’s an honor to be part of this collective effort and gratifying to see solid seeds of change. Hopefully, these measures will indeed result in a decrease in cycling- related injuries and death along our roads throughout the state.”