Philly Bike Messengers To Rally At 16th & JFK At 5PM

messengerSure, the proposed new bike bills by City Councilmen Frank DiCicco and Jim Kenney could be an expensive annoyance to the average bicyclist, but if you’re one of Philly’s bike messengers, the new fines proposed by these bills could put you out of business altogether. So at 5PM today, The Philadelphia Bike Messenger Association will be holding a demonstration at 16th and JFK Blvd., outlining their stance on the proposed new legislation. In a press release, the PBMA declares that, while they have no problem with existing laws on the books being enforced for the betterment of all, ” It is our membership’s consensus that the proposed laws put forth by Councilman DiCicco and Councilman Kenney would be specifically harmful to bicycle messengers. No working bike messenger in this city could afford a $1,000 fine or possible confiscation of a work bike deemed “brakeless” according to the proposed laws.” They also go on to echo the sentiments of many bike legislation experts: A bike registration program would be sure to be a fiasco. Meanwhile, the PBMA goes on to state something we have anecdotally suspected for a while now: That motorist/bicyclist acrimony seems to be ramping up. “It is also apparent to our membership that anti-cycling sentiment continues to grow rapidly in Philadelphia,” say the PBMA. “Recently a co-worker was intentionally targeted by an angry motorist and was the victim of a hit and run. Aggression from motorists in the form of verbal threats or their leaving the scene of an accident is commonplace in our workday and sadly increasing in frequency for other city cyclists as well. It is our hope that we can change the views of the public and see Philadelphia become the bicycling friendly city it can be.” At this point, with the bicycling community at large voicing strong resistance to new laws of any kind, the ball would seem to be in DiCicco and Kenney’s court, and in all likelihood, far more of a political hot potato than either ever imagined it would be.

Full PBMA press release after the jump.

The Philadelphia Bike Messenger Association will be holding a
demonstration at 16th and JFK Blvd on Monday Nov. 30th at 5pm.

Philadelphia Bike Messenger Association
Press Release
November 2009

The Philadelphia Bike Messenger Association (PBMA) would like to
declare our stance on new cycling legislation proposed by councilmen
DiCicco and Kenney and respond to the rise of an anti-cycling climate
in our city.

We do not oppose the enforcement of existing laws regarding bicycle
riding, but believe that equal and consistent enforcement amongst
cyclists, pedestrians and motorists is key. Consistent enforcement of
traffic violations would improve the lives of everyone in this city no
matter what their mode of travel might be. It is our membership’s
consensus that the proposed laws put forth by Councilman DiCicco and
Councilman Kenney would be specifically harmful to bicycle messengers.
No working bike messenger in this city could afford a $1,000 fine or
possible confiscation of a work bike deemed “brakeless” according to
the proposed laws. The PBMA does not think that a registration program
is feasible in a city under so much budget distress and would rather
see resources allocated to better causes.

The idea that Philadelphia bike messengers are dangerous is an
unfortunate perception amongst motorists and pedestrians. We are
often mistaken for dangerous cyclists, as people believe that anyone
with a bag and a bike is working as a bicycle messenger. Hazardous
cycling makes a professional messenger as concerned as any motorist
alongside of them in traffic. It is also apparent to our membership
that anti-cycling sentiment continues to grow rapidly in Philadelphia.
Recently a co-worker was intentionally targeted by an angry motorist
and was the victim of a hit and run. Aggression from motorists in the
form of verbal threats or their leaving the scene of an accident is
commonplace in our workday and sadly increasing in frequency for other
city cyclists as well. It is our hope that we can change the views of
the public and see Philadelphia become the bicycling friendly city it
can be.

In the coming months the PBMA will work towards improving our working
conditions that not only benefit us but other city cyclists,
pedestrians and motorists in Philadelphia.

www.phillybma.org
phillybma@gmail.com