Bicycle and pedestrian safety initiatives are key to keeping everyone safe on the road. The state of Pennsylvania has made big gains in terms of its policies regarding cyclists’ safety and has moved up in the ranks of bicycle-friendly states.
Pennsylvania Climbs in Ranking
In the year 2014, Pennsylvania was ranked as number 19 in the nation in terms of bicycle-friendliness, with a score of 41.4 points, as given by the League of American Bicyclists. But the state has made some major gains. In 2015, its score has risen to 47.9, putting it in 12th place rather than 19th.
The state trails behind New Jersey, Maryland, and Wisconsin in terms of ranking; Washington, Minnesota, and Delaware are ranked first, second, and third respectively.
In 2013, the state of Pennsylvania passed Act 89, which has helped to improve its ranking. Act 89 allocated more money to important infrastructure changes, including at least $2 million to biking and walking projects.
Areas Where the State Could Make Even More Progress
While the state has climbed in its ranking, there is still work to be done. New for 2015 are the following plans.
- A safe passing law of more than three feet
- A Complete Streets policy
- State funding for bicycle safety
- A Share the Road campaign
- Two percent or more of federal funds to be spent on bicycle or pedestrian safety.
But the League of American Bicyclists says that Pennsylvania’s progress thus far isn’t enough. According to a report published by the League, they would like to see the following changes made, listed below.
- An adequately staffed bike/pedestrian office within the Pennsylvania DOT
- Provide funding for an update of the state’s 2007 Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan
- Hire full-time Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinators
- Issue a “strike-off” letter to district offices
The state also receives a low score in regard to its bicycle safety evaluation and planning, and mediocre scores regarding its infrastructure and funding, legislation and enforcement, and education and encouragement. For education on biking, read Cordisco & Saile’s pedestrian/bicycle accident blog.
Don’t Just Rely on State Polices for Your Safety
Changes to state policies and infrastructure can help to keep cyclists safe. But if you’re a bike rider, you need to take action, too.
- Make sure you know the rules of the road when cycling.
- Always use hand signals and bike lights.
- Wear reflective clothing when biking at night.
- Never get on your bike without a helmet.
To hold a negligent party liable for a bike accident in Pennsylvania, Cordisco & Saile are the lawyers for you. With experience in bicycle law and legislation, we are the focused bicycle accident lawyers in Philadelphia.