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
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.
- 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 www.bicycleambassadors.org 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