PHILADELPHIA, September 10, 2015—Today, Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District) introduced a bill that will raise an estimated $3.47 million for street calming measures throughout the City of Philadelphia.
The ordinance, which would take effect in July 2016, would add an additional $5 fee to vehicles registered to an address in the City of Philadelphia. Drivers would pay the fee at the time a vehicle is registered or when the registration is renewed.
In 2013, the state legislature passed Act 89, which authorized counties across the Commonwealth to add this fee to registrations. The additional funds would be collected by PennDot and subsequently distributed to the county.
“Every part of our City has been impacted by senseless traffic fatalities,” said Councilwoman Bass. In light of all the traffic deaths and injuries, devoting more resources to slowing cars down will protect all those who use our public thoroughfares—motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit riders.”
According to the 2015 Vision Zero report produced by the Bicycle Coalition, Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of pedestrian traffic fatalities in the country. A recent list from the Bicycle Coalition listed three intersections in the 8th Council District: Broad & Olney, Broad & Lehigh, and Chelten & Wayne in the top 10 for most pedestrian involved crashes. The report also highlights an additional $1 billion that traffic crashes cost the City ever year. If passed, the additional funding provided for traffic calming measures like speed cushions will save lives and save money for the City every year.
Since Act 89 went into effect in January 2015, only three counties –Cumberland, Blair and Fulton— have taken advantage of this new measure, which requires a local ordinance to trigger the funding.
“There are certainly more steps for our City to take to reach the goal of zero traffic deaths, but providing additional money for proven street safety measures is a step in the right direction,” Bass added. “We will continue working with the Streets Department and the Police Department to make sure every roadway is safe for motorists and pedestrians alike.”