The website www.walkscore.com, in collaboration with researchers at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, announced that Philadelphia ranks as the ninth most bikeable city United States and the best city for biking with a population more than one million. The rankings are based on four factors: bike lanes; hills; destinations and road connectivity; and bike commuting mode share.
“I am pleased to see Philadelphia recognized as among the nation’s most bikable cities,” said Michael A. Nutter. “The work of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities to coordinate agencies across City government has led to major strides in making biking a safe and convenient option for traveling around Philadelphia,” Nutter continued.
More than two percent of Philadelphians bike to work according to the 2011 Census Bureau’s American Communities Survey, this is a full percentage point higher than the next American City with a population more than one million; Chicago. The Census Bureau data also ranks Center City Philadelphia and South Philadelphia as among the top twenty five biking neighborhoods in the United States.
In the past five years the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and Streets Department efforts have significantly expanded bike infrastructure in high demand and key employment areas including Center City, University City and around Temple University.
In 2010, the City was awarded a $17.2 million US Department of Transportation TIGER Grant to fill critical gaps in the regions biking and walking trail network. By the end of 2013, nearly five and half miles will be added to the trail network knitting together a more that 50 mile network of cycling and walking trails, with a focus on the ability of the trails to be used for transportation. By the end of 2014, the City expects to complete another five trail projects creating more than ten miles of new trail that leverage the existing network.
“We have been working hard for five years to make Philadelphia easier to get around, however you travel. The latest survey shows that our efforts are working. Perhaps most importantly, our streets and trails have never been safer for cycling, with bike commuting up by 150 percent since the year 2000 and the number of accidents involving cyclists down 50 percent,” said Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler.