Phila. City Council ready to crack down on cyclists

    Two recent pedestrian deaths caused by cyclists in Philadelphia have City Council rushing to regulate bicycling on city streets.

    Two recent pedestrian deaths caused by cyclists in Philadelphia have City Council rushing to regulate bicycling on city streets.

    Listen: [audio: 091118spbicycle.mp3]

    Councilman Jim Kenney says the increase in bicycling has caused havoc.

    Kenney: Everyone needs to share the space. And we need to get the current problem, which is speeding bicycles on the pavement and not following traffic directions, we need to enforce that more to get the message out and then everything will calm down.

    Kenney wants to dramatically increase the fine for riding on the sidewalk, to $300 dollars. He would also ban, and then confiscate, what he calls brakeless, or fixed-gear, bikes.

    Biking advocates oppose Kenney’s approach, favoring education.

    Andy Dyson is the director of Neighborhood Bikeworks, which teaches bicycle safety to kids.

    Dyson: I do agree that bicyclists should never ride on the sidewalk. What people have to look into is the reason they’re riding on the sidewalk because people feel danger on the road. I think that’s the issue to address because if cyclists feel safe on the street you won’t find them on the sidewalk at all.

    Councilman Frank DiCicco wants bicycles registered, at a cost of $20 dollars a year.

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