The number of cyclists in the U.S. has grown rapidly from coast to coast. The Census Bureau began releasing annual estimates in 2000 of bicycling in the cities, and the phenomenon of commuter cycling. In 2016, 12.4 percent of Americans in over 30 cities regularly cycled for a range of reasons ranging from wanting to save money to saving time navigating through congested streets or they are simply wanted to get exercise incorporated into their day. Bicycling is growing method of transportation in many cities around the world.
The National Household Travel Survey, a self-administered transportation survey, showed that the rising number of riders in the U.S. made two billion trips in 2001 to over four billion in 2009, and yes, that’s billion. The numbers of riders increased until 2014, then in 2015 the numbers began to stabilize. U.S. cities and communities are embracing the concept of commuting by bicycle on a regular, everyday basis.
Public interest groups are stepping up to take responsibility for the cyclists, and in Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition is a prominent voice. With more cyclists on the streets, there is an urgent need to have safety measures in place to prevent serious accidents like the one that occurred on November 24 on Spruce Street. Horrendously, a woman was riding her bike on a bike path on Spruce St. in downtown Philadelphia when she was hit by a garbage truck. Just a few weeks later, another cyclist was hit on Pine Street in Center City.
Bike-friendly Cities and the Safest Biking Cities are not the Same
Philadelphia rates well on most lists of Bicycle-friendly Cities in the U.S. These are the cities claiming the most riders and commuters. In 2016, the list from the top was Portland Oregon, Minneapolis MN, San Francisco CA, Washington DC, Seattle WA, New Orleans LA, Oakland CA, Tucson AZ, Philadelphia PA, Denver CO, Sacramento CA, Chicago IL, Honolulu HI, Pittsburgh PA, and Boston MA. Philadelphia has a very real need to improve the safety of its streets for its thousands of bike riders.
The Bicycle Coalition is a group of urban cyclists who commute or ride in Philadephia suburbs and into the city. They are aware that 70 percent of all fatal bicycle injuries and fatalities occur in urban areas, but Philadelphia does not compare with Albuquerque and Tucson, which had the highest fatality rate for cyclists in 2016. Their goal is to make Philadephia one of the safest bike-friendly cities and be included with Boston, El Paso, and Oklahoma City where there were no deaths of cyclists reported at all.
Is Philadelphia a safe place for bicyclists?
Despite the numerous placements in “best of” style articles online, Philly has a lot of work to do. Things are getting safer but there is still a long ways to go before cyclists feel safe or are safe from vehicles on city streets.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Philadelphia, contact the best Philadelphia personal injury lawyer for your needs.