Bike lanes: Enforcement

I am delighted my colleague Helen Ubinas writes, “We’re either serious about enforcing our laws or we’re not.”

Her topic (alas) is not immigration, but bicycling.

She wants enforcement against those illegally parking in bike lanes. So do I.

My hobby horse over the years has been illegal bicycle behavior, falling into four categories: Running red lights, blowing stop signs, riding on sidewalks and riding against traffic. I have long reported on the number of tickets cops hand out for bad bicycling: I include tickets written to motorists and pedestrians. Enforcement against bikes has been nearly non-existent.

Maybe I will add tickets handed out to motorists for blocking bike lanes.

Later stats are here:

Helen quotes an “urban strategist” as saying bicycling will attract young people to Philadelphia. I’ll agree it won’t keep them away and many of them like to bike. (Mandatory disclosure to be ignored by bikeheads: I am anti-bike lane, not anti-bike. I am pro-bike, but anti-unlawful behavior.)

You know what will attract young people to Philadelphia, I mean, more than bikes? Jobs. Until we can offer living wages, we are screwed. Ditto schools. If we can’t offer a safe, effective education in public schools, young people (who can’t afford private schools) won’t start families here even if the whole damn city is nothing but bike lanes.

Bikes are fun and a tiny fraction (see the numbers in my column) use them for commuting – latest figures from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia was 2.1 percent and most of them live within four miles of their jobs. The vast majority of commuters don’t use bikes, and in my opinion, never will for reasons I have explained many times before, from Philly weather to fitness of the cyclist.

Helen may disagree, but at least we agree on enforcement.

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