Report shows bicycle commuting into Center City continues to surge

The Center City District recently released a report that shows northbound bicycle commuting numbers have increased by 33.4% over the past two years.

Philadelphia has more people commuting by bicycle, per capita, than any of the other ten biggest cities in the United States. (Source: Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)

Amid rising gas prices and improved access to bike lanes, soon to include an improved Washington Ave. experience, the numbers are only expected to grow.

The report tracked ridership on all northbound lanes between 3rd and 22nd St. during morning rush hour (8 a.m. to 9 a.m.) over a two-week period in September. The main factors include the aforementioned rising gas prices but also a few other variables, mostly the rise in the 25-44 demographic in the outlying Zip codes of 19123, 19130, 19146, and 19147 — where the population has grown 38% to 43% in that age range. It’s just out of the “walkable” zone, so people have chosen to bike to work.

Center City District also cites a shift in on-site office bicycle parking options provided by Center City employers and also the Nutter Administration’s emphasis on “bicycles as a mode of transport”. However, given the surge in ridership through South Philly, the lack of Philly Bike Share stations below Morris St. seems like an odd choice.

What streets are seeing a swell of traffic? Take a look at this handy infographic:

22nd St. and 13th St. lead the way. (Source: Center City District)
22nd St. and 13th St. lead the way. (Source: Center City District)

There are a few measures in the works to ensure that those numbers continue to grow. The restriping efforts of Washington Ave. are progressing, with community meetings recently held by Councilman Mark Squilla and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson to discuss moving forward in the heavily congested business corridors 16th to 13th St. and 4th St. to Columbus Blvd. As PlanPhilly notes, the reorganization of these areas need to be approved by City Council.

It also seems like we can expect better bike infrastructure east of 13th in the not-to-distant future. The report specifically mentions the nightmare that is 11th St. The numbers above prove that it’s an unpopular route, to say the least, and future plans to pave over the trolley tracks will help riders navigate the oftentimes dangerous stretch of road.

Center City District also provides a glimpse of what’s to come:

Opportunities exist to install additional bike lanes, specifically east of 13th Street, where there is currently very limited bike infrastructure. The 2012 Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan released by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission recommends installation of up to 117 new miles of bike lanes city-wide

Here’s a map of the bike lanes in Center City:Screenshot 2014-10-29 at 5.27.38 AM

For a closer look at the report from Center City District, click here (.pdf)


10 thoughts on “Report shows bicycle commuting into Center City continues to surge

  • October 29, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Imagine what could be possible when traffic laws are properly enforced and double parked cars blocking the bike lane are a thing of the past. Imagine real protected bike lanes and street reconfigurations that attempt a pedestrian / cycle track / roadway diet approach. Imagine a functioning city wide bike-share program. Philadelphia is a great bike city in spite of all the negatives , change a few things and it could truly be a national leader. Between a relatively small central core and a generally flat terrain the city is absolute positioned to be a cycling capitol for real.

    • November 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Imagine what could be possible when we outlaw cars and trucks and lock up everyone who drives, even on rainy days… Imagine if we just converted the city to a giant disney world with electric monorails…

      We don’t have 12, 10, 9… Or even 7 months of pleasant weather… A loud active minority is forcing changes, some of them very stupid, on the majority of the population who do not want to ride a damn scooter in the cold…

  • October 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    @Newsman: +1!

    Also imagine if all the stupid surface lots were developed into something useful, Instead of having people driving from Snyder Ave to CVS, they could maybe bike!

  • October 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I happened to cross 13th and Lombard on foot during a recent morning rush hour and stood amazed at the number of bicyclists. They outnumbered the cars heading northbound. It was a beautiful sight.

  • October 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Yeah if ya like wind blown hair and smelling like the street at work, by all means, ride a bike… Real professional… Love the stained pant legs from the filthy puddles they encounter on their way too.. Classy…

  • October 30, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Yeah if ya like wind blown hair and smelling like the street at work, by all means, ride a bike… Real professional… Love the stained pant legs from the filthy puddles they encounter on their way too.. Nothing says “business professional” like a puddles stained person with helmet hair that smells like the street… LoL

  • October 31, 2014 at 8:04 am

    1st,: if you didn’t have a mullet you wouldn’t have to be concerned about “wind blown” hair.
    2nd: what does a Streets Department employee know about “business professional”?!

  • October 31, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Hmmmm… Nobody on this block has a mullet… And uhh… Yeah I don’t work for the streets department. Keep tryin buddy. Its interesting the stereotypical images you keep trying to apply to me every time I make a comment. Its a sign of your vast intelligence I’m sure… Ammusing though… Please don’t stop.

  • October 31, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    @Provwitout: You’re so cute, criticizing the use of stereotypes, in response to own poor attempt at using them. Alas, the irony escapes you. Perhaps have someone else read back your original posts, maybe they can explain it for you…

    • November 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      You can’t go one day without thinking of me… Even articles I don’t post comments on, you mention me… I think you’re also that dude who comments under my name to post something mocking something I would say.. You’re obsessed. Whatever I’ve posted before, it seems to have captivated you… Insult me all you want. But I own you.

Comments are closed.