Thousands of stranded SEPTA riders have found a two-wheeled, human-powered solution to their commute. Based on counts conducted by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia yesterday, Day Two of the SEPTA strike saw a 38% increase in bicyclists during rush hour.
"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 Bicycle Ambassadors on hand to give tips on bike
commuting and personalized route planning.
Your Fastest Option
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.
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
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
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.
are not pedestrians with two wheels.
Bikes are vehicles and must comply with traffic laws just as motor
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
commuting tips, go to www.bicycleambassadors.org
and click on Handouts and videos
Bike Commuting in Philadelphia
has the highest percentage of bike-to-work commuters of the country's largest 10
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