A new Census report came out yesterday showing that bicycling is the fastest-growing mode of transportation for commuters in Philadelphia.
Two percent of workers in Philly biked to work between 2008 and 2012, which is low in absolute terms, but more than double the 0.9 percent number from the 2000 Census. The percentage of people walking to work fell from 9.1 percent in 2000 to 8.6 percent for 2008 to 2012. One explanation might be that as the city has installed more separated cycling infrastructure, more people have taken to biking instead of walking.
A more pessimistic take on the walking numbers might be that more people are working in the suburbs than commuting from the outer neighborhoods into Center City.
One interesting finding from the national data was that the number of male cyclists was almost double the number of female cyclists. Studies show that women are more comfortable cycling on separated bike lanes than in mixed-traffic, so if America’s Number One Green City wants the bike commuting rates to keep growing, city politicians are going to have to get behind more protected bike lanes.
Luckily, a new tool from Code for Philly points the way forward.
Developed in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, DVRPC, SEPTA, and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the CyclePhilly smartphone app allows cyclists to record their bicycle trips and compare their routes to other cyclists on an interactive map.