Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bicycling up 38% during SEPTA Strike

Thousands of stranded SEPTA riders have found a two-wheeled, human-powered solution to their commute. Based on counts conducted by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia yesterday, Day Two of the SEPTA strike saw a 38% increase in bicyclists during rush hour."

Many people are trying out a bike commute for the first time and realizing how convenient, cheap and fun it is, " said Alex Doty, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. "This spike in bike commuters is a glimpse into Philadelphia's future as an increasingly bicycle-friendly city and confirm that building buffered bike lanes, off-road trails connecting the city to its suburbs and providing bicycle parking can change commuting habits."

There was also a 27% increase in the number of women bicycling during the strike. This is encouraging because a recent study published in Scientific American found that an increase in female bicyclists is a good indicator that a city is perceived as more bicycle-friendly.

Yesterday's bicycle counts were conducted on the Walnut and Chestnut Street bridges as well as 21st and Pine and 22nd and Spruce Streets. The increase was calculated from counts conducted in September and October.

With lots of new bicycle commuters, and an increase in both cars and frustrated drivers on Philly streets, keeping safe while bicycling is critical. "We urge anyone using a bicycle to ride safely for their own sake and others using the road," said Breen Goodwin, Education Director of the Bicycle Coalition. "Bicyclists are not pedestrians with two wheels, nor are they exempt from traffic laws. It's important for all bicyclists to be civil, courteous and comply with traffic laws, such as walking their bikes on sidewalks and stopping at signals, to ensure everyone's safety."

In cooperation with Philadelphia's Office of Transportation and Utilities, the Bicycle Coalition has established a Bike the Strike station at City Hall (Dillworth Plaza). The station has bike parking corrals, free coffee, bike maps and

Bicycle Ambassadors on hand to give tips on bike commuting and personalized route planning.

Your Fastest Option
  • For those who commute four miles or less, bicycling instead of driving will get you to your destination faster and will take no longer than using a bus or trolley.
  • A Center City District study found that bicycling by following the rules of the road is always faster than walking, driving or taking the bus across Center City during rush hour.

Your Healthiest Option
  • Commuting by bicycle for 15 minutes each way (about 2-3 miles) meets the Center for Disease Control's minimum recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day
  • Regular physical activity may help reduce your risk for many diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancers, and osteoporosis.
  • It also helps to control weight; contributes to healthy bones, muscles, and joints; and reduces falls among older adults.

Safety First
  • Bicyclists are not pedestrians with two wheels. Bikes are vehicles and must comply with traffic laws just as motor vehicles do.
  • Bicycles should stop at all red lights and walk their bikes on sidewalks.
  • Stop by your local bike shop during the strike for a free bicycle safety check
  • For more commuting tips, go to and click on Handouts and videos

Bike Commuting in Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia has the highest percentage of bike-to-work commuters of the country's largest 10 cities-55,000 commuters bike to work once a month.
  • On a typical day in Philadelphia in 2001, 11,000 people commuted by bike.
  • 1.6 % of commuters ride their bike to work


JohnWa said...

I see do's and don'ts from this video on the Daily News link of The bicyclist does use the Spruce Street bike lane but also uses the sidewalk when it suits him, like along Walnut Street in Rittenhouse Square in the Business District. Any comments from the Bicycle Coalition?

Anonymous said...

John, thank you for bringing this to our attention. The BCGP has dispatched its secret bicycle police squad to this cyclists home where he will be flogged with a wet noodle.

How many traffic laws do you violate when you drive in Center City?

JohnWa said...

Thanks "Anonymous"! If I do drive at all it is with PhillyCarShare and Zipcar and I do not drive on sidewalks and roll through intersections. If this "give respect to get respect" theme is to be believed, which is really in response to a long simmering backlash generated by unfortunate encounters like Andre Steed's death, a video produced by a major news organization showing common but wrong bicycling behaviors ought to be called out. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable "Anonymous". Read Kimberly Garrison's YO! article in yesterday Daily News.

Anonymous said...

So John how many yellow lights do run, signal for all your turns,and stop precisely at the line before the side walk?

Andre Steed is a trgedy and who ever killed him should be found. Lets not forget the numerous hit and runs that occur with cars in Philadelphia that remain unsolved. So before you start blaming all cyclists trying cleaning up your own house first.

JohnWa said...

Thanks again "Anonymous". Is this the same "Anonymous" or another "Anonymous"? Either way, the introduction of what I believe is a straw-man argument is so lame. Why do bicyclists always defer to this "what about car drivers" argument? We are talking about a Daily News video which is now on the website of the chief advocacy organization for bicyclists, the BCGP, showing illegal behaviors which not only put pedestrians at risk but also the rider. When driving, I go out of my way to obey ALL laws, which I believe is giving respect, if you really need to know, even though that will not satisfy you.

uggs-outlet said...

When she had gone several miles she thought she
would stop to rest, and so climbed to the top of the fence beside
the road and sat down. There was a great cornfield beyond the fence,
and not far away she saw a Scarecrow, placed high on a pole to keep
the birds from the ripe corn.

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