A Simple Tool To Save Bicyclists’ Lives

Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

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 »

The Media Is Vastly Underestimating SEPTA’s Constituency

Credit: Jeff Fusco

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 »

Here Are All the Indego Bike Share Stations in Philadelphia

Photo via Indego/Facebook

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 »

How Bike Lanes & Shared Streets Pay for Themselves, and Then Some

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.

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 »

Map Shows Where Bike Thefts Are Most Common in Philly

maps-bike

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 »

Maybe Philly Drivers and Bicyclists Actually Like Fighting With Each Other

drivers-vs-cyclists-2-940x540

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!

Read more »

Another Day, Another Incoherent Stu Bykofsky Rant About Bicycles

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.

Read more »

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