Biking Is On the Rise Again in Philly

And other encouraging findings from a Bicycle Coalition study.

Yo, bikers: Our legions are yet again increasing, according to a newly released study by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

Last fall, the coalition counted the number of cyclists on 18 intersections and bridges throughout the city during the morning and evening rush hours. The group counted 168 bikes per hour in 2014, compared to 160 a year prior.

This is the second year in a row that bike traffic has gone up. In fact, it has greatly risen overall when looking at historical trends. In 1990, the coalition counted just 32 bikes per hour.

The study also found that the number of female bikers on the streets is on the rise as well, from 33.7 percent in 2013 to 34.5 percent in 2014. This indicates that more people may perceive Philly’s streets as safe for cyclists, since women are more likely than men to say that they don’t ride a bike due to concerns about security. And the increase among women may be more impressive than the percentages suggest: A little math indicates means four new women per hour are taking the roads — half the increase, even though they make up just a third of riders overall.

Women are more likely to protect their dome while riding a bike: Sixty-four percent of them wore a helmet, compared to 47 percent of men who did, according to the coalition’s study.

For its report, the coalition looked at intersections and bridges from Temple University to south of Washington Avenue, and as far west as 44th Street. The group also surveyed Frankford and Girard avenues.

One of the few areas that saw a major decline in bike traffic was the Spring Garden Street Bridge, where it dropped 50 percent between 2013 and 2014. John Boyle, research director for the Bicycle Coalition, believes that is due to the fact that bike lanes were temporarily removed to make way for construction.

“We hope when construction is done, numbers will bounce up again,” he said.

If you’re pro-cycling, there’s more good news: The recent launch of the city’s bike-sharing program means that Philadelphia is in a good position to see cycling go up again in 2015.