Big jump in tickets for bike lane parking violations

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia said there was a big jump in the number of tickets issued to drivers who parked in bike lanes last year. 

About 5,500 tickets were given out last year, according to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, representing a 17 percent increase in 2018 from 2017 — and a 173 percent increase over the last five years.

When drivers park in bike lanes, Bicycle Coalition policy manager Randy LoBasso said they take note and let the PPA know "to show them where the most infractions are happening."

"Cyclists have been noticing that and also reaching out to the Parking Authority," he said, "so, in part, they are putting more officers on those streets." 

He sees the increase in ticketing as a positive move. More than half of the tickets issued in 2018 were for parking violations on Spruce and Pine streets in Center City. Bike lanes on 22nd and South streets also received a high number of violations.

 LoBasso said, in part, that's because the lines on the road are faded. 

"It's hard to tell you're even in a bike lane," he said. "It's hard for people driving cars and driving trucks to know that they're pulling over in a bike lane if they do." 

PPA spokesman Marty O'Rourke noted they have been more vigilant. The cost of a ticket for parking illegally in a bike lane is $40. 

The Bicycle Coalition said delivery trucks are a major offender, but many companies don't seem to care, because they budget for the extra expense.

"It's all part of the business plan," he added, "and I think that, in part, the tickets are not expensive enough and in part, they just don't care."

As for a solution that LoBasso said would prevent cars from parking in bike lanes and give an overall safety boost on the roads, he suggested physically protected bike lanes. "They work," he said.

The Kenney administration has also vowed to install 40 miles of protected bike lanes by 2025.