Thursday, January 17, 2008

DVRPC Takes In-Depth Look at the Region’s Bicyclists

New information about the habits, attitudes and desires of bicyclists in the Philadelphia region is now available. The new study by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), is the most comprehensive look at bicycling ever done in the Delaware Valley, and may be the largest of its kind ever conducted in the United States.

The report, entitled Bicycling in the Delaware Valley in 2005, provides information about the behavior of adult bicyclists and the trips they make. Data was collected about trip purpose, length and duration of the trip, use of supplemental modes of transportation (transit, vehicle), frequency of bicycle travel, reasons for riding, crash experience, safety habits and more. Key findings included:

• Nearly two thirds of daily bicycle trips are for utilitarian transportation purposes, rather than for exercise or recreation.

• Approximately 60 percent of adult bicyclists were observed without a helmet.

• One out of three bicyclists reported having been in a crash or fall in the preceding year and slightly more than one in six were involved in a crash involving a motor vehicle.

• Bicycle lanes are favored by bicyclists over any other facility type; other popular facilities included wide roadway shoulders and education of motorists on sharing the road.

The survey drew a sample of the region’s estimated 133,000 daily bicycle trips and 1 million adult bicyclists. To collect the data, field staff intercepted passing bicyclists at select locations across the Delaware Valley and administered a short interview. In addition, participants were given a postage-paid, mail-back questionnaire with more in-depth questions. In all, over 1,200 surveys were completed and 372 individual interviews were conducted.

The results of this survey, a "snapshot" of bicycling in the Delaware Valley, will help planners and policymakers better understand the underlying trends in bicycling and plan for future bicycling facilities. The report can be viewed at:

To receive a hard copy, please contact John Madera at 215-238-2854 or


DVRPC serves as the official planning and review agency for the nine-county metropolitan region, which comprises Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties in New Jersey. Through data collection, research, coordination, and planning efforts, DVRPC sets a framework for governmental decisions affecting development within the Delaware Valley. For more information, visit