Corroborating the Bicycle Coalition’s report from August, which reported a marked increase in bike commuting rates during the Nutter years, a new survey from Center City District found that “morning rush hour commuting northbound into Center City increased 33.4%” since 2012 – especially on streets with dedicated right-of-way for cyclists.
An average of 1,165 bikers were documented riding into Center City between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. during the second and third weeks of September 2014, compared to 873 during a similar period in 2012.
Center City District sees a few different trends conspiring to produce the higher numbers – the rise in gas prices, which have made car ownership a less appealing proposition for younger workers; population growth in Center City and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Center City, from which biking to downtown jobs is convenient; and the Nutter administration’s success in handing over more right-of-way on the streets to cyclists in the form of dedicated bike lanes.
They note that the streets with dedicated northbound bike lanes – 13th St. and 22nd St. – have seen the largest increases in bike traffic, which CCD sees as proof that if you stripe the lanes, the cyclists will come. The growing numbers of cyclists and their observed route choices indicate that “opportunities exist to install additional bike lanes, specifically east of 13th St., where there is very little bike infrastructure.”
Third St. and 9th St. are the most heavily trafficked streets east of 13th, and there is also clear demand for dedicated bike lanes west of Broad, most notably on 18th Street.
This was also observable from traffic patterns in the CyclePhilly app, which cyclists turn on when they ride to send information voluntarily to city planners:
Read the full report here.