Bill requiring new buildings to include bicycle racks heads to Council

New Philadelphia buildings may soon be required to provide parking for bicycles.

City Council’s Rules Committee Wednesday passed legislation that would not only require bike racks, but would allow developers to eliminate one automobile parking space for every five bicycle parking spaces – provided the bicycle spaces are indoors and protect against both theft and weather. (The number of eliminated car spots cannot exceed 10 percent of the total spaces the development is required to provide by code).

The Planning Commission approved the legislation on April 21. It will be introduced to the full City Council Thursday, and could be voted on at the following Council meeting.

A large group of bicycle advocates came to the hearing, and several spoke, urging the Committee to approve the bill.

“In order for Philadelphia to become the greenest city in America, it needs to double the number of people who bike to work,” said Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, in a press release praising the committee’s vote. “An essential step toward reaching that goal is for Philadelphia’s zoning code to ensure the installation of top quality bicycle racks in sufficient numbers. When enacted, this bill guarantees that bike parking will no longer be an afterthought, but a key feature of Philadelphia’s architectural landscape.”

Mayor Michael Nutter wants Philadelphia to become the nation’s greenest city by 2015.

Posted by Kellie Patrick Gates

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