You are on page 1of 8

BI CYC LE C OALI TI ON OF GREATER PHI LAD ELPHIA

100 SOU TH BROA D ST SUITE 1355


PHI LAD ELPHIA , PA 19110-1023

WINTER
2007-2008

CycleGram
The Presidents Spin

Commerce Bank Bike Philly 2007


By Hans van Naerssen
It was an amazing sight: bicyclist after bicyclist
after bicyclist smiling as they pedaled by, adults,
children, parents, couples, bicyclists of all shapes and
sizes and ages and dress, on bikes just as varied.
Each rider had a huge beaming smile as they swept
around the front of the Art Museum past my vantage
point toward Ben Franklin Parkway and beyond - to
discover the city, car free streets, and just enjoy the
moment.

I N S ID E T H I S I S S U E :
Bucks County Cycling Plans
Bicycling Education in New

Bike Philly was suddenly and finally very real


to me. Not a car in sight, it was a bicyclists nirvana.
Bike Philly, a celebration of car-free bicycling
pumped up by Philly inspired music was underway.
A few tears of happiness welled in my eyes as well.
Why did the Bicycle Coalition invest and risk so
much time and effort in Bike Philly? It was seen as a
complementary mechanism to fund our growth and
therefore our bicyclist advocacy and education effectiveness. This formula has worked in New York, in
Chicago, and elsewhere, locations that now have
enough staff to make a difference for area bicyclists.
Bike Philly should do the same for us.

Jersey

Public Officials Weigh in on


South Street Bridge

Coalition Receives Generous


William Penn Grant

over $80,000 to produce, much of that for closing 10


miles of Philadelphia streets to vehicle traffic.

Members

We were able to cover those expenses thru registrations, sponsorships, and a grant, with enough left
over to rebuild some of our razor thin cash reserves,
hire additional staff early next year, and give a donation to PAL (Police Athletic League).

We set two objectives for Bike Philly: it had to


Many, many thanks to many, many people and
be a fun event that drew bicyclists of all abilities, and
organizations who contributed to its success (we will
we had to cover all expenses in year one.
be announcing a Thank You party soon):
By all measures the inaugural Bike Philly was a
success. The fun factor was beaming all day. An
astounding 95% of the participants rated Bike Philly
as Very Good or Excellent, 97% said they would do
it again.
It drew a wide range of bicyclists: 15% were
riding as a family, 9% were children. 21% had never
ridden an organized ride before. Most (75%) were
from outside the city, the furthest hailing from California; 16 states were represented.

The turnout was big for a first year event: 2,300


riders supported by 250 volunteers and many many
traffic police.
Bike Philly was an expensive event. It cost well

Searching for New Board


New York Citys First Separated Bike Path

Hybrid Cars Pose Peril for


Blind Pedestrians

Calling About Potholes

Each of the 250+ volunteers who ensured it was


a safe and fun event, including eight area bicycle shops, the Temple University emergency
medical services, Second Responder communications experts, and others.
Financial and in-kind sponsorship from Commerce Bank, Fuji Bicycles, Whole Foods, and
many others was also essential for its success
The many representatives of the City of Philadelphia - the Mayors office, various departments, Fairmount Park, and the police department all helped make Bike Philly a reality. A
(Continued on page 8)

Promoting the bicycle as an


environmentally friendly,
healthy and economical
form of transportation and
recreation through
advocacy and education.

PAGE 2

W IN TER

Bucks County Cycling Plans


I am Peter Boor, resident of Doylestown, Bucks County PA, since 2000. I
moved here from California where I had
worked in Aerospace, and had also ran a
bicycle shop and was involved in cycling advocacy. I continued my interest
in cycling advocacy here, working with
a local Bike/Hike Committee, and with
the Delaware Valley Regional Planning
Commission (DVRPC John Madera).
I also rejoined the Bicycle Coalition of
Greater Philadelphia, and met BCGP
President Hans Van Naerssen.
Hans, about two years ago, had discovered that of the five Pennsylvania
counties in the Delaware Valley
(Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Bucks) , only Bucks, despite being the fastest growing county in
the region, had no over-all plan for cycling transportation. All the other counties either had recently put in place
plans, or had revised old ones. Generally, these plans had two parts an on-

road section and an off-road section.


The Task Force recognizes the value
They were quite comprehensive and of a dedicated bikeway network as part
of a balanced transportation system.
well written.
Every trip that can be made by bicycle
Hans and I broached the subject with rather than motorized vehicle improves
County Commissioner Jim Cawley, who air quality, lessens congestion, and rehad seemed favorable to cyclists needs duces runoff pollutants. However, onin the recent past (Cabin Run Covered road bike lanes are a transportation issue
Bridge, Lower State Road/SEPTA RR and beyond the scope of the Open Space
track repair). Commissioner Cawley Task Force.
was quite enthusiastic, calling another
meeting with Lynn Bush, Bucks County
Since that time, there has been little
Planning Commission Executive Direc- movement on this issue. Recent correspondence with Jim Cawley has inditor, to move the plans forward.
cated a continuing interest, and I, Hans,
Commissioner Cawley also solicited Ed Hein and John Boyle have volunmy participation on the Bucks County teered as a sub-committee within the
Open Space Task Force (OSTF) where I County Commissioners office to conhoped to make a pitch for cycling as a tinue the effort for Cycling Plans within
contribution to the idea of open space. Bucks County.
The final report of the OSTF (June 20,
2007) contains a paragraph headed OnNote: Peter Boor is one of LABs
Road Bicycle Routes can provide Link- original League Cycling Instructors
ages to Protect Open Space:
LCI#4

Bicycling Education in New Jersey


Seven years ago, I attended a basic
bicycling course entitled Road 1 offered by the League of American Bicyclists at their national bicycling event
held in Bloomsburg, PA. I had been
riding my bicycle on roadways for
years; mostly for fitness, but I had never
been formally trained how to ride safely
on the roads, and more important to me
at the time, how to do the basic maintenance on my bicycle. So, I signed up to
take the 9-hour course over the three
days of the event.

ways to operate my bicycle on the many past few years.


different types of roadways and intersections that exist in my area.
Most schools do some form of bicycle education, but it tends to be the class
The old adage is true You dont room variety where you only talk about
know what you dont know. I found bicycling and perhaps learn hand sigthe course so valuable, that three years nals, etc. Whats most beneficial is the
later, when I was offered the opportunity kind where students actually ride bicyto become certified to teach the course, I cles in and around the neighborhoods in
committed the three days to do it.
which they live with trained instructors.
Ever since becoming certified, Ive
been a solution in search of a problem.
Dont get me wrong on a daily basis I
see bicyclists who could really benefit
from the courses that Im certified to
teach, but they dont know it. Most figure, like me many years ago, that they
know what theyre doing out there.

I learned how to change a tire, how


to adjust my brakes, and other basic
maintenance for my bicycle, but much
to my surprise, I also learned that many
of the things I was doing to keep myself
safe while riding on the roads, was actually putting myself in greater jeopardy
Ive been successful at offering the
of a car-bike collision. As part of the
course, I learned and practiced emer- course designed for middle school-aged
gency maneuvers and learned the safest youth as an after school program for the

Its hard to imagine teaching someone in a classroom how to drive a car,


and then expecting them to be able to
drive safely in traffic, but yet thats what
we do in teaching bicycling.
It doesnt have to be that way. Resources are available around the country
to support on-bike instruction. For more
information, contact Carolyn Hohne at
chohne@hohneconsulting.com or 609265-7700.

C Y C LE G R A M

PAGE 3

Senator Fumo, Councilwomen Verna and


Blackwell Fight for Neighborhoods, Cyclists
by Kyle Gradinger, BCGP Board Member

Led by Jim Campbell, the South


Street Bridge Coalition hosted a meeting
with elected officials and Streets Department engineers on November 15th
to discuss the communitys concerns
about the proposed design and public
involvement process for the South Street
Bridge reconstruction project. State
Senator Vincent Fumo, City Council
President Anna Verna, and City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell attended the
meeting along with representatives from
PennDOT and several local community
groups including the Bicycle Coalition.
At the meeting, Philadelphia Streets
Department engineers explained the
most recent design concept before fielding questions about safety, engineering
and aesthetics. The community was
particularly concerned about narrow
sidewalks, safety hazards for pedestrians
and bicyclists created by the I-76 on
ramps, and the generally poor aesthetic
quality of the design.
Senator Fumo agreed with community representatives on many issues,
stating that the public involvement proc-

ess was inadequate and that it was not


necessary to design the bridge for large
trucks and high speed traffic. The Senator told the engineers that the architectural design of the bridge did not fit the
local context, remarking that it looked
like a Florida Drawbridge.

By the end of the meeting, the community groups and elected officials determined that the current bridge design
and accompanying public process were
inadequate. Senator Fumo told the
South Street Bridge Coalition that he
will support what the community wants
from the design and requested that the
Streets Department consider the
neighborhoods concerns and incorporate their recommendations. If it is determined that the on ramps are not necessary, the Senator will work with his
counterparts in Washington to get
FHWA approval to close the ramps.

The most compelling idea discussed


at the meeting was the closure of the I76 on ramps locally known as the
death ramps. Removing the on ramps
would eliminate most of the dangerous
conflicts for cyclists and pedestrians and
make I-76 safer as well. A PennDOT
representative at the meeting stated that
the Department is about to begin a study
to evaluate which I-76 ramps could be
At this time, it is not clear whether
closed, but that it would be two or three the bridge will be redesigned entirely or
years before any recommendations are whether the communitys concerns can
made.
be addressed with minor modifications.
But thanks to the hard work of Senator
The City engineers agreed that the Fumo and Councilwomen Verna and
ramps were not necessary, but con- Blackwell, the South Street Bridge Coatended that they would like to move lition and the Bicycle Coalition are now
forward with the South Street project able to work with the Streets Departquickly and a final decision on whether ment to develop a safer and more pleasto close the ramps would consume valu- ant bridge for pedestrians, cyclists and
the surrounding neighborhoods.
able time.

Bicycle Coalition Scores


Significant Grant

Calling All BCGP Members


The BCGP Board Want You...

The William Penn Foundation made a $82,500 twoyear grant to the Bicycle Coalition to develop a map of
Missing Connectors between existing the bike lane network and off-road trails and to promote the development
of a City-wide Bicycle Plan and new position for a Bike/
Pedestrian Coordinator by the next Administration.

The BCGP Board is seeking new board members to


join the team that is working to strengthen the organization. In particular, the Board is seeking members who
have accounting, fundraising and management experience to help guide the Coalition as it grows over the next
3-5 years.

This grant enables the Coalition to conduct public


outreach to bicyclists and to key decision makers about
the significance of bicycling as an important mobility
alternative.

If interested in becoming a BCGP Board member,


please send an email to scspa@comcast.net

W IN TER

PAGE 4

NEW YORK (NY) GETS ITS FIRST SEPARATED


BIKE PATH
Likewise, left-turning drivers' view
The New York Department of youll know that if theres a car next to
of cyclists will be completely unobTransportation revealed plans for New you, that car is turning left."
scured. The bike lane is 10-feet wide
York City's first-ever physicallyseparated bike lane, or "cycle track," at
a community meeting in Manhattan.
The new bike path will run
southbound on Ninth Avenue from W.
23rd to W. 16th Street in Manhattan.
Unlike the typical Class II on-street
bike lane in which cyclists mix with
motor vehicle traffic, this new design
will create an exclusive path for bicycles between the sidewalk and parked
cars.
NYDOT's plan also includes traffic
signals for bicyclists, greenery-filled
refuge areas for pedestrians, a new
curbside parking plan, and signalized
left-turn lanes for motor vehicles. "The
left turn lane will be immediately adjacent to the bike lane," NYDOT Bicycle
Program Director Josh Benson explained to CB4 members. "As a cyclist

(Continued on page 5)

POTHOLES...WHO DO YOU CALL ?


LOCATION
AGENCY & CONTACT INFO:
City Street
Streets Department
Customer Affairs Unit
Phone: (215) 686-5560, *FIX (cell
phones)
Email: csstreets@phila.gov
Web: http://www.phila.gov/streets
State Highway
PennDOT
Maintenance Hotline
Phone: 1-800-FIX-ROAD (349-7623)
SEPTA
Trolley Track Area (Inside tracks andd
18" on either side)

Customer Service
Phone: (215) 580-7852
Web: http://www.septa.org

After reporting the road hazard,


monitor to see if repair is performed. If
not, contact the Coalition at 215These numbers are good for re- BICYCLE.
porting pothole, cave-ins (sinkholes),
and ditches/utility cuts.

THE CYCLEGRAM
Dennis R. Winters, Editor
Editorial Assistance: John Boyle, Alex Doty, Hans van Naerssen &

Jill Gefvert-Minick
Editorial offices: 100 S. Broad Street, Suite 1355, Philadelphia, PA 19102
The CycleGram, Jun-Jul 2006 BCGP
Reproduction permitted. Proper citation appreciated.

C Y C LE G R A M

PAGE 5

(Continued from page 4)

to accommodate street cleaning and


emergency vehicles.
NYDOT planners consulted with Danish urban designer Jan Gehl on the
plan, according to Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Noah Budnick.
"They are drawing from international
best-practice and being smart about
talking to other engineers and planners
who have implemented these types of
designs," Budnick said. "They really

thought holistically about everything part of a larger pedestrian safety and


public space initiative around the interthat is going on the street."
section of 9th Avenue and 14th Street.
These types of physically-separated
The new bike lane design is a break
on-street bike lanes, increasingly referred to as "cycle tracks," are com- from previously stated NYDOT policy.
monly found in bike-friendly cities like At another community meeting in
Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Livable March, during discussion of a possible
Streets advocates have long pushed Houston Street bike lane, DOT officials
NYDOT to experiment with this type said that physically-separated bike
of bike lane design in New York City. lanes should only be installed on streets
with a maximum of 8 intersections per
After Benson's presentation, a com- mile to ensure fewer conflicts with
munity transportation committee voted turning vehicles.
to approve the NYDOT plan which is

HYBRID CARS TOO QUIET FOR BLIND


PEDESTRIANS
According to an Oct. 3rd Business
Week article, "Gas-electric hybrid vehicles, the status symbol for the environmentally conscientious, are coming
under attack from a constituency that
doesn't drive: the blind. Because hybrids make virtually no noise at slower
speeds when they run solely on electric
power, blind people say they pose a
hazard to those who rely on their ears
to determine whether it's safe to cross
the street or walk through a parking lot.

"'I'm used to being able to get sound


cues from my environment and negotiate accordingly. I hadn't imagined there
was anything I really wouldn't be able
to hear,' said Deborah Kent Stein,
chairwoman of the National Federation
of the Blind's Committee on Automotive and Pedestrian Safety.

involved people standing in parking


lots or on sidewalks who were asked to
signal when they heard several different
hybrid models drive by. 'People were
making comments like, "When are they
going to start the test?" And it would
turn out that the vehicle had already
done two or three laps around the parking lot,' Stein said..."

"'We did a test, and I discovered, to


my great dismay, that I couldn't hear it.'
The tests -- admittedly unscientific --

JOIN THE BICYCLE COALITION TODAY!


Yes, I want to help make our region the best for bicycling! Please enroll me as a member.
Name ________________________________________________Address
__________________________________________________
City ____________________________ State _______ Zip Code ____________Phone ___________________Fax
__________________
E-mail ___________________________________________________
I'd like to contribute:
_____$200 _____$100 _____$75 _____$50 _____$35 _____$ Other
_____ Check enclosed

MasterCard/Visa

#_______________________________________ Expiration date ____________

Signature ___________________________________________
Membership includes a subscription to our Cyclegram newsletter, invitations to special events, access to cycling list serves, and
e-mail action alerts!
Please return to:
Bicycle Coalition, 100 S. Broad Street, Suite 1355, Philadelphia, PA 19110-1023
If paying by charge card, you can also fax to: (267) 514-2324

W IN TER

PAGE 6

LAB Members: Bicycle Coalition President Needs Your Vote


Help Me Make Bicycling Better Nationally
I'm Hans van Naerssen and Im
asking for your vote as At-Large Board
Member of the national League of
American Bicyclists (LAB). I have a
record of achievements at the local,
regional, and state levels and would
like to contribute at the national level.
In summary:

I initiated what become the first


state level Complete Streetslike
policy mandating the use of bicycle and pedestrian design guidelines for all funded Pennsylvania
state road and bridge projects.

Got our large multi-state regional


transportation planning agency
(MPO) to require consideration of
bicyclists and pedestrians in all
newly proposed highway projects.

providing a source of funds for


growth of the coalition's advocacy
and education programs.
Retired Partner of a $15 million
consulting practice, helping governments and companies worldwide improve their management
strategies and operational / IT effectiveness.

As Board President and Advocacy


Chair of the Bicycle Coalition of
Greater Philadelphia,
(reestablished, provided infrastructure support for, and guided county
/ regional advocacy subRegardless of the outcome, I will
committees in 12 counties across continue to serve on the Coalition
three states (PA, NJ, DE). Co- Board.
chaired the inaugural and very successful car-free Bike Philly, a fun
event for bicyclists of all abilities

Selected Pics from Bike Philly 2007

C Y C LE G R A M

PAGE 7

More Pics from Bike Philly 2007

BICYCLE COALITION OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA


100 S Broad St, Suite 1355
Philadelphia PA 19110

Nonprofit Org.
US Postage
PAID
Permit #2683
Philadelphia PA

Calendar
Philadelphia Bicycling Committee
3rd Tuesday of the Month
(6:30 PM in the Sky Line Room of the Free Library,
Main Branch)
o
Board of Directors Meeting
Ordinarily the 4th Monday every other month,
Next meeting in January
(6:30 PM at the office)
o
Light of the Moving Bikes Ride
August 2008
o
Always a good idea to confirm meeting date, time, and place
by calling 215.BICYCLE

Rewarding Opportunity to Direct Youth-Oriented


Non-Profit
bicyclecoalition.org
(215) BICYCLE

Neighborhood Bike Works, a non-profit


organization that puts under-served inner city
youth together with bicycles and bicycle maintenance, is searching for a few good board
members. Growing beyond its original earn-abike goal, NBW now offers a regular structured after-school educational opportunity for
scores of Philadelphias youth.

attendance. NBW graduates have become program instructors or retail shop bike mechanics.

The NBW board normally meets every


other month in University City. If you are interested in contributing a little time and energy to
this worthwhile effort, please contact Andy
Dyson
at
215.386.0316
or
a n d y @ n e i g h b o r h o o d b i k e w o r k s . o r g or
Serving young people from 10 to 18 years leland@neighborhoodbikeworks.org.
of age, NBW offers a chance to learn bicycle
mechanics and earn a bike through regular class

(Continued from page 1)

Finally a special thanks the other co-chairs:


special thanks to the citys Department of Rich Ost and Alex Doty. They had the idea for
Commerce, for providing a grant just when this event. Together we brought a very complewe were about to cancel this years event.
mentary mix of skills and experience and personalities and persistence and hard work to
Our steering committee and a Bike Philly make Bike Philly 2007 a reality.
staff for input and help and guidance.

And of course each of the 2,400 participants