- Volunteer Night
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia holds volunteer training nights every month, typically the first Wednesday. You’ll learn what’s involved in helping us with outreach events (sharing and speaking about our work, and listening to concerns about the state of cycling and cyclists in Philly); then you’ll have a chance to sign up for events in the following weeks. Please register here.
- Youth Learn to Ride – August 6th
Learn to Ride is a 2-hour class for children and teens who are ready to ride! Through a safe, easy, effective method, Learn to Ride students learn how to balance, pedal, start, stop, and steer a bike as well as adjust a helmet for proper fit. All participants must provide their own bicycle and helmet. Class space is limited to 10 youth and is most suitable for children ages 4 -15. All children who participate must have a signed waiver by their parent or guardian.
For more information about the class and/or to volunteer, contact Megan Rosenbach: 215-242-9253 extension 307.
To register: http://activateyouth.eventbrite.com/
We regularly offer free workshops, rides, and classes in Philly and the suburbs. Check out our blog for event descriptions, dates, and links for registration.
- Bikes, Food, and Music This Thursday on the Camden Waterfront
Correction - DRPA has announced that only the North walkway will be onen on Thursday from 5AM to Midnight. The South Walkway will b e closed all day.The combination of bikes, trails, live music, food trucks, and site-specific art installations typically makes us think of Philadelphia (woot woot!). But now Camden is getting into the act, with the Camden Night Gardens this Thursday.The Camden Night Gardens is a free night time art and bike festival on the Camden Waterfront that will take place on Thursday, April 17th from 7:00PM-11:00PM. It will feature local artist performances (music and dance), digital and physically produced projections, site-specific art installations, an illuminated BMX performance, a water-based light production, the presentation of historic record players and recordings, a bike tune-up station and a bike parade.The Riverfront State Prison used to loom over the Camden neighborhood north of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Now it's an empty lot and its perimeter road, known informally as the Jail Trail, offers unique views of the bridge and Philly skyline. This event is a community-oriented repurposing of that trail and land.For the convenience of event goers both the north and south walkways of the Ben Franklin Bridge will be open until midnight. For more information on the Camden Night Gardens visit the event's Facebook Page
- The Parking Authority Follows Up on Blocked Bike Lane Complaints
The Parking Authority has given us the preliminary results of the #unblockbikelanes Twitter campaign and has promised us additional measures to improve the enforcement of parking restrictions in bike lanes.This past December, we helped the Philadelphia Parking Authority launch a Twitter campaign to identify which bike lanes are most chronically blocked by motor vehicles. The PPA reports that over three months (approximately Jan-March), the #unblockbikelanes campaign generated 55 complaints covering 20 different streets. Over the same three months, the PPA and the Police Department wrote 264 tickets for parking in bike lanes at a subset of those locations.We took the data they gave us and made a basic map comparing the location of complaints with the ticket locations. Red lines indicate where complaints were made and tickets written. Blue dots indicate where complaints were made but no tickets written. The thicker the red line, the more tickets were written on that street. The main takeaway of this data is that the bulk of tickets are being written on the streets receiving the most complaints: Spruce & Pine Streets, N. 13th Street (between Filbert & Arch), and N. 22nd (near Lombard Street, in front of the 7-Eleven).In addition to giving us this data, the PPA has told us they are committing to taking these actions to improve enforcement:Have a supervisor do a test run of placing a PPA Officer on a "bike lane detail" to cover Spruce & Pine (Front to 22nd Street), 13th and 22nd Streets.Direct more officers to enforcement on Fairmount Avenue.Direct more enforcement during peak hours and assign supervisors to the entire lengths of Spruce and Pine Streets.Direct more enforcement during morning peak hours on 22nd Street, especially at the intersection of Lombard and 22nd Street.Assign more mobile units to 13th Street b/w Filbert and Arch Street between 8am - 2pm.Have supervisors review the religious institutions' "courtesy" blocks with PPA Officers.We appreciate the PPA being responsive to our concerns and the concerns of the thousands of bicyclists who use Philadelphia's bike lanes daily. Data shows that bike lanes make streets safer for all users, drivers included, so enforcing no-parking regulations in those lanes contributes to safer streets and fewer injuries all around.UPDATE 12:15PM: In our meeting with the PPA, the topic of PPA vehicles blocking bike lanes was brought up. Our contact there said they have noticed those reports, and are instructing their officers to not do that. It is worth remembering that a PPA vehicle can stop in a bike lane to load or unload officers, same as a private vehicle or cab can load or unload passengers.
- PennDOT Announces New Bike/Ped Funding Opportunity
In 2013, Harrisburg passed a big transportation bill (Act 89). One of its primary benefits is the $80 million Multimodal Fund. This fun is a new opportunity for municipalities to seek funding for bike/ped projects such as striping new bike lanes, trails, bicycle parking at transit stops, sidewalk connections, and more.On April 7th, a PennDOT press release announced that the fund was open for applications. "PennDOT can make available $20 million in Fiscal Year 2014-15 to distribute to successful applicants. Eligible projects can cost between $100,000 and $3 million and they require a 30 percent match from local sources. PennDOT will evaluate the applications and make selections based on such criteria as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, the technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency, and operational sustainability. Besides the $20 million in unrestricted funds to be distributed, PennDOT may award grants from the dedicated budget categories in the Multimodal fund for aviation, rail freight, ports and bicycle-pedestrian projects. The application period started today and closes on June 30."So if you are a municipality, Council of Government, business or non-profit, now's the time to apply for this money! Act 89 dedicates $2 million of the Multimodal fund for bicycle-pedestrian projects. Eligible projects include: "A project which coordinates local land use with transportation assets to enhance existing communities, including but not limited to: sidewalk/crosswalk safety improvements, bicycle lanes/route designation, greenways.... and [a] project related to streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement and pedestrian safety, including but not limited to: sidewalk connections, crosswalks, pedestrian and traffic signals, pedestrian signs, and lighting etc..and [a] project improving connectivity or utilization of existing transportation assets, including but not limited to: bicycle/shared markings, bicycle parking at transit stops..."Important details: the local 30% match must be cash (not in-kind) and applications must include a municipal resolutiton requesting the grant. PennDOT's fund is separate from the Multimodal Transportation Fund being administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.PennDOT's Multimodal Fund guidance and application can be downloaded here.