If anything, 2015 was the Year of the Bike on the transportation front locally, with major new facilities opening up the promise of faster, easier bike commuting, adding steam to a steady climb in practical bike use. And one major event that promised to disrupt lives all over the city instead opened everyone’s eyes to the potential contained in car-free streets (done right this time; no one’s interested in bringing the Chestnut Street Transitway back from the dead). But the biggest transportation story of the year is the one that’s still not over yet. Herewith, my picks for Top Philadelphia Transportation Developments of 2015: Read more »
A bill has been introduced to the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee which would require bicyclists to wear highly visible reflective clothing at nighttime under all circumstances. But the safety-minded legislation, sponsored by Allegheny County Representative Anthony DeLuca, is being harshly rebuffed by cycling groups.
Bike Pittsburgh thinks it’s crap, for one. In a blog post referring to the legislation as a “bicycle fashion bill,” the group lambasted DeLuca’s efforts (while noting that his bill was “most likely well-intentioned”), saying this change would force bicyclists to carry around special clothing in the event they’re caught riding when the sun goes down. Further, the group notes, the state vehicle code already requires headlamps and rear lighting on bicycles. Read more »
It seems like every week there’s a new list of the most “bikeable” or “bike-friendly” American cities. Lo and behold, Philadelphia makes the Top 10.
Cycling has exploded in the city, but thankfully, traffic accidents involving bicycles have not. Last year, the number of bicycle crashes was nearly half (551) what it was in 1998 (1,058). The number of bicycling fatalities has also dropped, although much less dramatically over that span. After recording an astonishing zero deaths in 2013, the city rose back up to three last year — the same figure posted in 1998 (the median over that span was four deaths). Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
For the first time ever in a Philadelphia mayoral campaign, all of the candidates in this year’s primary tipped their proverbial hats to the importance of multimodal transit.
This was no more apparent than at the 2015 Better Mobility Forum, which was attended by five of the six Democratic contenders, along with Republican candidate Melissa Murray Bailey. The event, which was moderated by Citified, covered once-niche, increasingly mainstream topics like “Vision Zero,” the elitism of bike lanes, and ways to improve SEPTA. Half the candidates claimed to ride the bus to work, and Bailey said she is part of a SEPTA family.
Hosting a forum on matters of mobility, during the thick of election season no less, is one step forward for the nascent — but viable — political constituency surrounding transit issues, which includes bike advocates, civically-minded pedestrians, and residents who rely on public transportation. That last subset in particular — people dependent on SEPTA — is robust.
And yet, we in the press often minimize how many Philadelphians fall into that camp. Read more »
Photo via Indego/Facebook
If you signed up for Indego Bike Share Philly, which officially launches on April 23rd, you should be receiving your Indego key and welcome packet in the mail any day now. (I got mine on Saturday.) And if you haven’t signed up yet, here’s where to do so.
But before you sign up, it’s helpful to know where the bikes are going to be and how many bikes are going to be docked at each location. So here is your neighborhood-by-neighborhood list of Indego Bike Share Philly station locations. If you live in neighborhoods like Overbrook, Kensington, West Philly (beyond Clark Park) or deep South Philadelphia (there’s not a single bike south of Morris Street), you’re out of luck.
Click on each neighborhood to see Indego Bike Share Philly stations nearby, or just scroll down to see the entire list. Read more »
Shared streets, like this proposed project in Seattle, make room on the roadway not just for cars, but for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders as well. | Rendering by Mithun.
New research suggests that “Complete Streets” — those carefully designed, multi-modal travel corridors that often include, yes, bike lanes — can yield handsome returns on investment for cities. Like millions, sometimes realized in no more than a year, because shared streets reduce collisions, which in turn saves money on medical costs and property damage. And there’s more. These street alterations are also correlated with increased property values and even higher employment numbers. Read more »
A map made by Philly analytics guy and bike rider Gregory Kaminski shows where bike thefts are most common in Philly. It’s largely common sense: Most thefts are in Center City and University City.
But it’s interesting to see the details. Technically Philly’s Juliana Reyes flags the number of bikes stolen across the street from City Hall — 15, the most in the data.
Read more »
Mayor Michael Nutter got up this morning and went to Paris to meet with the mayor. There was no advance notice of this six-day trip.
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A few weeks ago, after tipping back a few too many beers, a friend of mine opened up about his girlfriend and their loving but altogether contentious long-term relationship. The one constant? Non-stop arguing over topics big and small (mostly small). Though they’re rarely super-serious, purée-each-other’s-emotions heavyweight bouts, the scraps are consistent enough to merit front-and-center billing on the cute, weird Pinterest board that is their romantic life.
Talking, and drinking, about it helped him come to a realization.
“Dude,” he said, eyes bugging in terror like he’d just spotted the crest of Godzilla’s head rising from the bay. “I think she actually likes fighting.”
This got me thinking about two local groups whom I’ve long suspected secretly get kicks out of battling each other: Philadelphia’s motorists and Philadelphia’s bicyclists. Now that the weather’s finally broken, plenty of locals are pumping their tires and greasing their chains in preparation for three full seasons of city biking. And just as quickly as the bipedal crowd has emerged from the freeze, so too have the bad attitudes. Bikers screaming at drivers! Drivers screaming at bikers! Pedestrians screaming at both of them! Quick, everyone — corner the urbanite closest to you and tell them how much they fucking suck!
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Stu Bykofsky is the Pavlov’s dog of Philadelphia journalism. He has been programmed to do the exact same thing every time he reads a newspaper column espousing vaguely pro-bicycle sentiments. Namely: Bashing bike lanes and decrying the WAR ON CARS. In today’s edition, Bykofsky reads a column by Philadelphia Weekly writer Randy LoBasso about biking in the cold, calls LoBasso a City Paper writer, composes an incomprehensible piece of bike-related doggerel, then rushes over to ride on a few of his favorite hobby-horses.
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