Philadelphia City Council is sitting on a bill that would block the city from painting new bike lanes, unless Council approves.
The bill’s being held after opponents spoke out.City Councilman at-large Bill Greenlee said he’s not anti-bike lanes, but he thinks there should be an open process where people can express their support or opposition.”I believe consistent with changing the direction of traffic, establishing parking lanes, that kind of thing, that City Council should ordain bike lanes,” said Greenlee. “In other words that it should be part of a procedure where there’s a bill, a public hearing, and Council votes on it. Obviously bike advocates disagree.”Greenlee said he didn’t expect such strong opposition.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Sarah Clark Stuart, said requiring an ordinance for every new bike lane would delay the process.
“His solution, which was an ordinance for every bike lane, we thought was too much and just going too far for a regular kind of street modification that the Administration and previous Administrations have been doing for decades,” said Stuart.
The city’s Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities, Rina Cutler said the city already gets input from community groups. “I believe we will be able to work out a regulatory process through the current Streets Department regulations rather than through Council ordinance,” said Cutler. “One of the things the regulation process would do is have a 30 day public comment period and so it adds some pieces to it that don’t currently exist.”Later this month the city plans to paint bike lanes on three more city streets.