Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Year 2012 In Other Philadelphia Bicycling News

Bicycling in Philadelphia is a hot topic, and with good reason: Philly is gaining national recognition as a bicycling town. Among the many reasons for that are three we'll mention here. First, Mayor Nutter's administration is committed to making Philly a better city to ride a bike. Second, you all are riding bicycles in extraordinary numbers. Third, your friendly local Bicycle Coalition, who is doggedly pursuing every lead and opportunity to improve your ride in our region.

(It's the holidays, and we've snuggled up on the couch with some spiked eggnog and are feeling all lovey. "You're great. No, you're great. No, you are! Stop it! Come here!" *Big hug*)

Photo: Andrew Dobshinsky, Wallace Roberts and Todd LLC

This post is to recap the Philadelphia bicycling highlights not covered by our other year-in-review posts. Here are some Philly bicycling-related events and milestones to be grateful for in the past year.

  • Mayor Nutter committed to bringing a bikeshare system to Philadelphia by 2014.
  • Philadelphia installed eight in-street bike corrals around the city, bringing new customers and better visibility to those forwarding-thinking businesses who requested them.
  • Walnut Street was repaved and now contains a left-side buffered bike lane. The lane took some getting used to, but is worth the confusion for mitigating the bicycle-bus conflicts which had made Walnut an unpleasant street to bike.
  • Our Safe Routes Philly program spent a long and productive year in Philadelphia public elementary schools. Over 32,000 students in 125 school received our bicycle and pedestrian safety lessons, 1,300 students participated in encouragement activities like bike rodeos and walk/bike to school days, and we helped place 191 bike racks at 33 different schools.
  • Our Bicycle Ambassadors educational outreach taught 26 adults how to ride a bicycle, talked to 4,200 people at 92 events, and recruited volunteers who donated 800 hours of their time.
  • In a little-reported victory, we helped obtain $400,000 to add protected a bikeway to Gray's Ferry Bridge.
  • In the summer-long National Bike Challenge, over 1,000 Philadelphia-area bicyclists rode 352,000 miles, burning off the caloric equivalent of 27.5 million beers, and helping Pennsylvania place 7th nationally in the Challenge.

Let's raise our glasses to a 2013 filled with more reasons great and small why Philadelphia is a great city to ride a bicycle.


Beroea said...

The new bike lane on Walnut is great and I wish more bike lanes move to the left hand side of the roads.

But there is one issue with traffic light timings. Unless you're riding a racing bike, you almost have to stop at every light (or every other light). Very annoying. Same thing with Spruce between 63rd and 38th.

Last but not least, the new bike lane on Market street between 52nd and 45th is great but the traffic light timings are based upon cars and I don't understand why they install it on the right hand side of the road. The left hand side would be much better and cyclists would be protected from sun and rain under the train bridge. Not to mention the conflicts with right turning vehicles.

Andrew J. Besold said...

Congratulations on a great 2012!

But 27,500,000 beers to propel a bike 352,000 miles?1?! That's 78 beers per mile!! That can't be right! ;)

Anonymous said...

Andrew - Good catch. Endomondo reported that Philadelphia-region bicyclists rode 352k miles and burned 6.8 million kilocalories.

I didn't realize that a kilocalorie, in this context, is equivalent to the "calorie" we talk about when discussing food, and not 1,000 of those calories.