Taking the Case for Bike Lane Safety to City Council

Jan 19, 2020

Stuart Leon is a colorful, crusading bicycle crash lawyer whose case over bike lane safety takes on Philadelphia City Council.

Here’s the Story:

There’s nobody else like him in the city, possibly the entire country. Leon, 56, and his son, Zach, a 2015 Drexel Law grad, represent cyclists only.

Clients often find out about the practice from leaders in the bicycling community, like Firth.

Some post a long message on Facebook bemoaning a broken bone and damage done to their bike and hear from a friend that they need to “call Stu.” Still others may realize what he does when they see him wearing a charcoal t-shirt emblazoned “Stuart Leon Bicycle Crash Law” during his weekend gig as drummer in the Mas Tequila Orchestra (Zach plays the saxophone). The cover band just played at SugarHouse last week, and they’re the official Margate town band.

The money in bike law isn’t astronomical. There’s a reason Penn Law grads aren’t lining up to join in. But it’s been enough for Leon and his son, given Philly’s steady stream of bike crashes. And lately the cases have been particularly frustrating. Leon represents the families of Emily Fredericks, the 24-year-old killed by a truck driver last November while riding in the bike lane on Spruce Street, and Pablo Avendano, the 34-year-old Caviar deliverer killed last month.

Both their crashes occurred in bike lanes. That’s something that’s bothered Leon, and for years he’s wanted to improve and expand lanes throughout the city. And now he might’ve found a solution.

City Council has given itself final say over where to install bike lanes, a setup that might actually be against state law. Using a crash on Washington Avenue as the test case, Leon recently filed a lawsuit that could remove the politics.

“It doesn’t look like the lawsuit that’s going to change Philadelphia,” Leon says, “but my goal is that it will be.”

Read the whole story at The Philadelphia Citizen