Are you seeing more bikes on Philadelphia's streets? Yes!
On September 28th the US Census Bureau released the 2009 One Year Estimates for the American Community Survey. The percentage of commuters who used a bicycle as their primary means to get to work jumped from 1.6% to 2.2% The gain represents a 33% increase over 2008 and a 143% increase since 2005. Enabling Philadelphia to once again claim to be number 1 among the 10 largest US cities and 9th among the 70 largest US Cities.
While bicycling has been climbing at a much faster rate than any other mode of transportation in the city, the infrastructure to support it has been lagging. Fortunately phase 1 of the City's Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan is being finalized and phase 2 is already underway. Taking the plans from the drawing board to implementation is an important step and is a priority of the Bicycle Coalition.
Nationally commuters using the bicycle as their primary means of transportation to work remains at 0.55 percent, the trend in the 2009 Census seems to be that the leaders of the movement such Portland and Minneapolis saw a pause in growth while other cities with moderate bicycle use such as New Orleans and Pittsburgh made significant gains. This may be an indication that the bicycling movement is becoming more mainstream. See the League Of American Bicyclists blog post for more information about the 2009 Bicycle to Work data