Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in'"

Normally I am not a big fan of petitions so I thought nothing of a recent petition (http://chn.ge/1TF7HbQ) calling on the City of Philadelphia to enforce the parking regulations regarding bicycle lanes. Because, let's face it, the PPA has no interest in ticketing cars parked in bicycle lanes.


That changed when the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia wrote a blog post (http://bit.ly/1Xkzr4J) justifying the current status quo the petition is trying to address. First the BCGP explained that the parking laws along Spruce and Pine St.’s are subject to asterisks. Signs that read “No Parking” were actually 20 minute loading zones. Only those locations that are posted as “No Stopping” mean no parking. But those are few and far apart, at best 25% of Spruce and Pine.


To make matters worse the BCGP tried to justify the current regulations.  With the excuse of “These parking regulations were decided years before the bike lanes were installed and these did not change when the bike lanes were installed in 2009.” They made a similar statement regarding churches using bike lanes as parking on Sunday.


The BCGP tried to rationalize it away by saying; “For someone unfamiliar with these long-standing agreements between the city and religious folks, this agreement may seem bizarre. Simply acknowledging these rules and the long-standing agreement can make a cyclist’s head explode.” 

The only thing making my head explode is how the BCGP tries to rationalize what has been going on since 2009, eight years. With the addition of bike lanes along Spruce & Pine has changed the way traffic flows along these streets. Which means all past agreements should change to reflect the new street conditions. The excuses that the BCGP has given to justify the chronic problems with Spruce & Pine St leaves one asking, whose side are they really on?


The BCGP has a growing number of public issues where their lack of advocacy and being too much of an insider has become obvious. With its increasing number of vanity projects and one sided deals that don’t benefit cyclists. The BCGP has become a bureaucracy and a “bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status”. (Laurence J. Peter, creator of the Peter Principle)