Republicans Are Taking Bike Lanes Hostage In Their Quest To Stop A Progressive Prosecutor

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Politics

Bike safety advocates in Pennsylvania have spent the past five years trying to convince lawmakers to change an outdated law to allow for safer bike lanes on state roads. This year, it seemed like they might finally prevail. A bill to amend the state’s vehicle code passed unanimously out of the state House and headed to the state Senate. But instead of putting it up for a vote there, Republican lawmakers tied the previously uncontroversial bike lane bill to a completely unrelated GOP policy goal: undermining Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. AdvertisementRepublican lawmakers have worked to undermine Krasner since he was first elected in 2017 on a promise to reduce incarceration and dramatically reform the criminal justice system. This week, the GOP’s yearslong sabotage campaign reached a dramatic milestone when House Republicans filed articles of impeachment against Krasner, blaming the progressive prosecutor for an increase in crime in Philadelphia — a trend that has been occurring across the state and country. Although Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature, they are unlikely to actually remove Krasner from office, which would require support from two-thirds of the Senate. Instead, they have tried to push a series of laws containing sneaky provisions that would strip Krasner of his ability to decide how and whether to prosecute certain crimes. That’s where the bike lane bill comes in. Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code currently requires cars to park with their tires within 12 inches of a curb. This prevents the installation of parking-protected bike lanes, which sit between a curb and a parking lane, shielding bicyclists from moving traffic. Even the small number of parking-protected bike lanes that exist as part of a pilot program have been linked to increased ridership and a decrease in crashes and fatalities, according to a recent study. A cyclist rides down a parking-protected bike lane in Denver on Dec. 3, 2015. Because of Republican state lawmakers, Pennsylvania cyclists most likely will not get their parking-protected bike lanes, a common-sense measure that could potentially save lives. RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty ImagesAdvertisementA legislative fix to Pennsylvania’s vehicle code was introduced in 2017 but faced persistent resistance from state Sen. John Sabatina (D), who represented northeast Philadelphia. Last year, Sabatina resigned …

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