Stay tuned next week for an Action Alert to push this bill across the finish line
Municipalities in Pennsylvania lack the ability to easily install “Parking Protected” bike lanes and pedestrian plazas. These types of bike lanes use parked cars to physically separate pedestrians and people on bikes from car traffic. However, due to a technicality in the PA Vehicle Code, cars are required to be parked within 12” of the curb, limiting the use of this life-saving tool.
So far, several parked-car protected projects in Pittsburgh, York and Philadelphia have been put on hold or have had to water down their designs. For instance, here in Pittsburgh, the contraflow bike lane on Forbes Ave in Oakland, between Bellefield St and Bigelow Blvd, is supposed to be parking protected, but due to the existing law, it is only protected with plastic bollards.
There are now bipartisan companion bills in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate Transportation Committees to make parking protected bike lanes and plazas legal. The bills are called the Protected Pedestrian Plazas and Pedalcycle Lanes, HB792 in the House, and SB565 in the Senate.
In 2018, both Mayor Peduto and Mayor Kenney of Philadelphia, co-signed a letter asking the state legislature for the change. Additionally, both City Councils of Pittsburgh and Philly passed “Wills of Council” also asking for flexibility in the design. Last year’s bill unanimously passed the House, but stalled in the Senate.
Be on the lookout next week as we launch an Action Alert pushing to legalize Parking Protected Bike Lanes in Pennsylvania!
In the meantime, several local State Senators and Representatives have cosponsored the current bills. Feel free to call or email to THANK them for their support.