Vision Zero is wearing out its welcome

No one wants to see an unnecessary death — not a pedestrian, not a bicyclist, not a motorist.

A “ghost” bike marks the spot where a young woman died at 11th & Spruce (Photo: Stu Bykofsky)

The question is, how far are we willing to go to prevent all traffic deaths, and severe injuries,, which is the beautiful, unattainable goal of Vision Zero.

Why unattainable? Because people are stupid and evil. Not all, but enough.

People speed, drive recklessly, run red lights, drive drunk. Nothing will end that.

Not satisfied with the unattainable, VZ throws in some social justice crumbs for good measure: Increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility. Equitable mobility?

Vision Zero, like biking itself, has been on the upswing for a couple of decades despite bicycle lanes being hardly used by the public, which overwhelmingly depends on mass transit, and automobiles, each of which is, yes, a polluter.

While that is changing, wild antipathy to cars is growing. Auto hate is a thing among self-righteous, entitled bikeheads.

The Net is filled with confessions — nay, bragging — about car hatred, such as this one from a Brit, writing in the Independent,  proving the pedalphilia cult is an international trend, as was Covid-19.

Author Rachael Revesz beats us to the punch by calling herself an “angry Karen,” but she doesn’t get off the hook that easily.

She is also an ill-informed, illogical shnook.

Mostly it was the noise from cars that impinged on her mental health, although I think there were other factors at work. She rails against cars as noisy and polluting.

Does she own one? Cars have never been quieter nor more reliable, and less polluting, individually.

Her problem is not cars. What Karen Rachael really hates is the internal combustion engine. That is what pollutes.

And is already on its way out.

Ever hear of EV, Rachael? That stands for Electric Vehicle, which is both the wave of the future, and the now.

Yes, most people don’t want them yet because they are too expensive and too inconvenient to charge. Changes are coming, but not fast enough.

President Joe Biden got over his skis in setting a too-soon turnaround from gas to electric.

We are not going to remake society, Rachael, because you woke up one morning panicked about the environment, which is being ruined more by China than anything else — 14 million tons of CO2 released annually, more than double the U.S., in second place with 6 million tons. And by no means is it all autos.

Transportation — including air and rail — produces 28% of U.S. greenhouse gas, followed closely by electricity, at 25%. Yes — safe, clean electricity.


Before leaving the pollution argument, Rachael likes cycling to the store to buy her food. So pastoral. Just like the 19th Century. Does she understand the food was delivered to the store by a gas-guzzling truck?

Another Greta Thunberg wannabe ranted about her hate for automobiles on a digital media publication, which included the fact that auto crashes are a leading cause of death for people 5-24. Karisa Langlo, another social justice warrior,  and bicyclist, did not provide numbers.

I will.

For 2023, the last year reported, there were 41,000 auto deaths in the U.S. 

In 2023, the U.S. sustained 74,702 fentanyl deaths, almost twice as many.

Apples and oranges, you say?

Which is more deadly? More easily preventable?

You won’t get a fair answer from Langlo, who writes, “a portrait emerges of the car not [as] an achievement of human ingenuity, but a pretty good scapegoat for… just about everything.”

A self-described “smug cycling evangelist,” she sees the world through her prism of two wheels good, four wheels bad.

She thinks her numbers are growing, and they are, as schoolchildren are being propagandized against cars.

That’s one reason the desire of teens to hit that magic birthday when they can get their drivers license has taken a hit.

Obtaining the license was like a Christian bar mitzvah — a rite of passage marking you as an adult. Unlike riding a bike.

There are other reasons, including cost, but also soccer parents who drive kids everywhere, and car share services such as Uber and Lyft.

Why learn to drive when you can get someone else to drive you?

So they’re taught to hate cars as monsters, rather than as a form of freedom.

As Langlo quotes her 3-year-old son, “We don’t like cars, right, Mama?”

No question about where he picked that up, right?

“In a span of only a few weeks, I went from proverbial Prius Lover to Car Destroyer on the pro/anti-car political compass I found on the Fuck Cars feed,” she writes.

Well, enough from the mentally ill.

Let’s get local, and the Inquirer’s large coverage of the Ride of Silence that commemorates the Philadelphia bicycle riders who were killed in traffic. I noticed several peculiar things about the story.

The first thing I noticed was the map that accompanies the story showed where 24 cyclists were killed since 2020.

Why 2020? The Ride of Silence is annual. Why not list the deaths in 2023?

There were 10, but 24 sounds scarier.

I think back to 2017, when 24-year-old Emily Fredericks was killed at the corner of 11th and Spruce when she got herself trapped by a truck making a legal right turn from Spruce to 11th. I am not blaming the victim, but she clearly had no idea about the truck’s turning radius and a driver’s blind spot. (The D.A. wanted to charge the driver, but he was held faultless.)

The story reported 935 traffic deaths — not just bicycles — since 2016, according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

Why do the stats come from a partisan organization rather than from, say, the City of Philadelphia, or the Philadelphia Police Department? Why does the city lean on an advocate for impartial stats? When the original traffic survey was done on the need for bike lanes, the work was not done by the Streets Department, but by the Bike Coalition, and it was (much) later learned counts were not made at the intersections of Pine and Spruce and Broad — the two most trafficked intersections. 

I am not making this up. I reported on it. 

The current Inquirer story specifically says the ride is to honor the memory of Philadelphia cyclists, but the first mourner interviewed was there in memory of a woman killed in Cherry Hill. Minor point, maybe, but still a point.

The story then segued into a discussion of Vision Zero, the budget of which was recently cut by Mayor Cherelle Parker.

There were quotes complaining about that.

What was missing, typical of Inquirer coverage of cycling, was the voice of anyone in opposition to Vision Zero and the Bicycle Coalition. Two sides to every story? Not in the Inquirer, which is likewise one-sided in its (illegal) immigration coverage. I say (illegal) because the Inquirer does not recognize any immigrant as illegal. Political orientation trumps even-handed reporting.

Vision Zero’s goal — reducing injuries and death — is noble. It can be achieved in ways other than cutting speed limits, which is Vision Zero’s job one. 

If you cut the speed limit to zero, you would achieve VZ’s goal, but at an impossible price. 

Accident reduction can be achieved by more vigorous law enforcement, but that seems to rub some people — speeders and reckless drivers —  the wrong way, so VZ tries to redesign streets and add other methods of what it calls “traffic calming.” 

Those are not necessarily the best solutions, argues Reason magazine.

It points out that VZ has had mixed results in other cities — poor in Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles, good in San Francisco.

In Washington, the do-gooders find that speed restrictions aren’t enough, what we need are fewer cars.

Improved mass transit is one way to ease people out of their cars. I grew up in New York City in an era where most people did not have, nor did want, an automobile. The best subway and bus system made it fast and cheap to get anywhere.

The buses and trains are now neither efficient nor cheap.

That’s where our efforts should go, rather than to bike lanes that slow traffic and in Philly are used by only 2.1% of commuters, according to the Bike Coalition.

When the city started bike lanes in 2010, its goal was 6% by 2020. 

I predicted it would never happen, and it hasn’t ever come close even as the city added bike lanes and those unsightly white pipes everywhere. And to be counted as a “bike commuter,” you only have to use it three times a week.

It is a transparent farce, a joke that most reporters don’t even question.

It is an idea that has failed, and I think Mayor Parker’s cold-shouldering of the allied Vision Zero thinking is proof that she knows it, too.

32 thoughts on “Vision Zero is wearing out its welcome”

  1. This blog was a bit rambling, but I can’t disagree with your sentiments. I lived in Chicago for 12 years and didn’t own a car because of a great public transit system. No substitute for having one. As for EV’s, the technology and implementation is still being developed, but I believe it, too, is just an intermediate step towards hydrogen.

  2. Bicycle riders with their cocky and self righteous attitudes, are a traffic menace. They ride in the middle of the road, often way under the speed limit. They usually don’t stop at stop signs and just go through them. They always cheat at All-Way stops! The bike lanes are rarely used, they mostly ride on the street and the sidewalks as well. They scream at pedestrians and motorists who walk in, or cars making a right turn from their precious bike lanes, which are hardly used. Now it’s even worse with those ridiculous pickets.

    1. Cyclist are legally allowed to ride on the road, including in the middle. They may be getting ready to make a left or for safety so drivers like you don’t try to squeeze through and place their lives at risk. Cyclists run stop signs at the same rate as cars in Philly. As a car driver, pedestrian, a cyclist, and a user of public transit I can’t tell you the number of times I have watched car drivers roll through stop signs.
      “The bike lanes a rarely used”, based on what. Personal observation is anecdotal at best. If all you are looking for is cyclists rolling through stop signs and riding on the sidewalks, that is all you will see.

      “They scream at pedestrians and motorists who walk in, or cars making a right turn from their precious bike lanes”. Bicycles don’t have 110db horns like cars do so yes we do have to yell.

      1. And because bicycles CAN use regular traffic lanes, there is no NEED for bike lanes other than cyclists are pussies.
        > As to no one would believe my polling, thus no one should believe the Bike Coalition’s numbers, but I will use them because that’s what we get when the city abdicates its responsibility. Running numbers is the job of the CITY — not me, not BCGP.

        1. Lets find out if cyclists who can’t ride in the streets are pussy’s.
          Designate a proxy from one of your commentors and we’ll see what its like to ride a bike without using a bike lane. Let me know at,
          Any interested or are you a pussy?

      2. Judah, Always quick to make excuses for lawbreakers.

        Bottom line, cyclist in this city put auto drivers at risk on a daily basis. When the jackasses ride in the middle of a high traffic street or weave in and out of traffic with impunity or ride down the sidewalk and cross intersections without slowing or stopping,

        The police need to clamp down on these people as well as reckless drivers.

        No excuses, Judah

        1. What high traffic streets are you referring to?
          Weaving in and out of traffic? You mean passing slower moving vehicles.
          Ride down the sidewalk and cross intersections without slowing or stopping. You mean like car drivers that block crosswalks by parking in them or coming to a stop in them.

          Stop making excuses, Philllyborn

        2. So like everyone else who supports Stu you have no answers. Just alternate facts.

          1. No alternative facts from me, just observations. Nothing to prove here.

            Unlike, people that make excuses for people who believe they are above the laws or simple civility. It must be difficult to keep protecting assholes. I guess you all are fighting us facsimile who believe in laws, and civility.

            Can’t wait for your prove it with facts retort or doe other what about ism.

            I spelled that wrong for your benefit.

        3. I observe on a regular basis car drivers running red lights, rolling through stop signs, weaving in and out of traffic, blocking sidewalks and crosswalks by parking in them.

          If I stand at a street corner for an hour and see three blue Honda CRV’s run a redlight. Can I then say that all blue Honda CRV’s run red lights at that corner?

      1. It was clearly past yours when you write this. Next time try a warm glass of milk.

      2. Nah. I just find the whole bike-lane thing a useless waste of time. If bikers in Europe and Asia can handle the traffic, why can’t Philly bikers?

        1. Amsterdam, London, Spain, Denmark, Germany, China, Japan, and South Korea have extensive cycling infrastructure. In South Korea and Amsterdam the infrastructure is so extensive you can from one end of the country to the other without ever getting into traffic. London, England has a bicycle super highway and Amsterdam has a bicycle garage that holds 7000 bicycles.

          If you want them on the road then you will complain about allegations of running stop signs, passing slower moving vehicles/weaving, moving to slow and every other imaginary issue that Stu complains about.

  3. I used to ride NY subway systems, pretty much without any problems, this was decades ago. I lived in Philly all of my life and saw those people in spandex taking documents, rolled up maps, stuff like that through the streets of center city in the 70’s, not really a big deal. Then Biking for dummies came along, then the lanes, people screaming at driver’s for being 1/4 inch in a bike lane, but felt color blind at traffic signals and stop signs meant cars only. The day I saw a bike kick the door of an unmarked police car, and then have the balls to yell at him for being in the bike lane, I realized , people have been getting hit by cars on bikes for years! The lines just make them better targets now. 🙂

    1. Don’t drive or park in the bike lanes. They are next to the curb or a parked car, which means if something happens we can crash and get hurt. Lets see what would happen if a bunch of bicycles were double parked in a regular traffic lane.

  4. Great points, Stu. The LiberalInquirer routinely does Vision Zero articles that quote only those who support Vision Zero goals, none opposing them. At the first Vision Zero meeting I went to a lady from Transportation Altenamatives in New York said speeding is the most frequent cause of car-pedestrian crashes. Lie. Even a New York study, obviously biased because it lists motorist inattention as a cause and doesn’t even mention pedestrian inattention, lists speed as No. 3. VZ proponents are seriously biased, essentially anti-social.

  5. After reading some of the comments, I agree that a high percentage of bikers don’t obey traffic laws, but as one who did so for a couple of years in Chicago, I can say we were made aware of stopping at stop signs, signaling and getting in the proper turning lanes and stopping at red lights. I would suggest that if it does bother you, pay attention not to the idiots who don’t do all these things but rather the ones that do. It’s always the fewer that don’t obey traffic laws that stick out in our impressions, but I’m betting that most do. They do here in Houston as well.

    1. Itys always easier for Mr. Bykofksy to look for “pedalphiles”. I once asked him why he didn’t do a survey similar to what the BCGP does, his response, “no one would believe him”. He’s right, no one would believe that his agenda isn’t what it makes it out to be.

  6. Itys always easier for Mr. Bykofksy to look for “pedalphiles”. I once asked him why he didn’t do a survey similar to what the BCGP does, his response, “no one would believe him”. He’s right, no one would believe that his agenda isn’t what it makes it out to be.

  7. Lets find out if Stu is correct about cyclists who can’t ride in the streets are pussy’s

    Join me for a bike ride and we’ll find out what’s it like ride a bike without using a bike lane. Any who wants to take me up on this? Let me know at,

    Any interested or are you all a bunch of pussy’s

  8. Philly relies upon poor traffic engineering and predatory ticketing already, which actually harm traffic safety. None of this works the way we were told it would either. Electric vehicles are WORSE for the planet and really do not function very well to meet the needs of people. I am still trying to figure out why you cannot pay cash for a charge or put a credit card into the charger? Hmm?

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