Some welcome news to begin your Thursday: The League of American Bicyclists just announced that after a rigorous application process, Philadelphia has moved up in the Bicycle Friendly Communities ranking from Bronze to Silver. We were one of six cities to take the step up in the ranks, and by far the largest out of those. In the state profile on the League’s website, you’ll note the star next to “encouragement”, one of the 5 E’s by which they measure bike-friendliness. As a proud partner in a variety of projects and programs aimed at encouragement – completing bike and trail plans, grant applications for trail extensions, the signage system, the new map – PCPC is pleased to see this national organization honor Philadelphia with this award and feels we deserve our silver. Our aspiration, of course, is to be the Michael Phelps of bicycle-friendliness. We’ll get there.
Stay tuned for details of a celebratory event! And speaking of bike-friendly-related events, we hope you’ll be heading out this weekend to celebrate the opening of the Connector Bridge (the dark grey structure to the left in the picture above).
Today’s Wonky Wednesday describes a seldom used term we hope will grow in popularity over the coming years: Sidepath. A sidepath is a multi-use sidewalk/trail facility adjacent to a roadway. As you know from previous posts, bicycling on the sidewalk is illegal in Philadelphia unless you are under 12 years of age. On some busy roads, a cyclist must be brave and take the travel lane for safe passage. A sidepath allows some respite from traffic and a more leisurely ride, as well as a wider pedestrian area for dog walking, stroller-pushing, and roller blading.
A rendering of the 58th Street Greenway – now under construction. It’s the perfect sidepath illustration.
Go to http://biketotransit.shareabouts.org/ and tell us about bike parking (as in, where we need more of it, or where you’d use it if it were there).
One of the obstacles to public transportation as a viable commuting option is that it isn’t always convenient to where you live or work. “If I’m already getting in my car to drive 3 miles to the train station, then why not just jam out to B101 on the Schuylkill for an hour anyway?”, we hear you saying to yourselves. We totally hear you on this. Of course, our planner response is, “have you ever considered biking to complete your trip, as opposed to driving?” to which your normal person response is probably, “BAHAHAHAHAHA, but silly rabbit, what do I do with my bike all day? It’s not like there’s anywhere to PARK.”
Ah yes, parking, the scourge of many a planning discussion, no matter what type of vehicle you’re trying to stow. That’s where this nifty interactive map from the Bicycle Coalition, SEPTA, PATCO, NJT, DVRPC and Open Plans comes in! They want to hear from you about bike parking at stations. Really anything on that topic at all, including:
1) Where do we need more of it? READ MORE
More and more, you see stories like these creeping up. Research that confirms what we see everyday to be increasingly true in Philadelphia: cities and urbanized areas are growing, more people are living in areas that provide greater transportation choice, and a growing segment of the population is flexing that choice muscle and doing something other than driving.
Installed THIS MORNING: Parking for 44 bikes in front of our office building at 1515 Arch. Why? Because the previous half-dozen racks were full everyday…and because when you make investments in this stuff, you see the return, little by little.
Why do city planners generally support this trend? Well, it’s more fun to plan growing cities than shrinking ones, that’s for sure. READ MORE