Philly group crunches numbers and says city tops for bike commuting

A new report identifies Philadelphia as “the top big American city for bicycle commuting.” It was produced by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia using nearly a decade of data to identify trends in the city’s bicycle commuting.

The coalition’s Nicholas Mirra says the report uses nine years of data drawn from the group’s annual bike counts, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This goes beyond just sort of trendiness or some sort of immediate reaction to the economic downturn,” Mirra said. “This is an increasingly viable way for people of all ages and interests and backgrounds to get around Philadelphia.”

The report shows that between 2005 and 2013, bicycle commuting across the Schuylkill River rose 260 percent. It also shows that since 2009,  Southwest Philadelphia, the Brewerytown/Temple University area, Fishtown/Kensington have seen the largest increases in bicycle commuting.

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“One of the important findings from this data is that safer bicycle infrastructure promotes more bicycling and safer bicycling,” he said. “We found that if you put a bike lane on a street it reduces the number of bicyclists that ride on the sidewalk, that ride the wrong direction against traffic, and it increases helmet use and female ridership.”

The report identifies South Philadelphia and Center City as among the top-25 neighborhoods for bike commuting in the country.

Mirra said in September, the Bicycle Coalition plans to release a second report with recommendations for infrastructure and safety in Philadelphia.

Scroll through to check out the infographics below, provided by Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.



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