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Bicycle Coalition in 2018: September Highlights

As the year closes, we’re highlighting what we accomplished thanks to our members and volunteers. We’ll be publishing a blog each day covering the successes enabled by our members’ and partners’ investment in us.

Spruce/Pine Streets “Car Counts”

In our ongoing — often thankless — efforts to keep bike lanes clear of motor vehicles, we sought to figure out how many cyclists are being impacted by people pulling over their motor vehicles into the bike lane along Spruce and Pine Streets. Several volunteers went out between August 15 and 21 to count the number of cars using the bike lane to pull over, as a loading zone, or to park, along 900 Spruce St., 1200 Pine St., and 1500 Spruce St.

These counts took place for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.

Here’s what those volunteers found:

  • During morning rush hour, over seven dates, volunteers counted 31 cars in the bike lane on 900 Spruce St., 11 cars over three dates at 1200 Pine St., and 28 vehicles in the bike lane over six dates at 1500 Spruce St.
  • During afternoon rush hour, volunteers counted 11 vehicles in the bike lane at 900 Spruce St., two cars in the bike lane over three dates at 1200 Pine St., and 18 vehicles in the bike lane over six dates at 1500 Spruce St.
  • Therefore, there were about four cars in the bike lane, on average, during the morning rush. There were about two cars in the bike lane, on average, during the afternoon rush.

Fredricks Family Helps BCGP Begin Families for Safe Streets

The family of Emily Fredricks, who was killed by a Gold Medal trash truck while bicycling on the Spruce Street bike lane on November 28, 2017, made an important announcement that they had reached a settlement of $6 Million with the owners of the Gold Medal company.

The company also “committed to creating a regional training facility for drivers; hiring a safety consultant; barring drivers from stopping or idling in bike lanes; implementing 26 new safety policies to improve their drivers’ performance, including preventing distracted driving, and inviting the Fredricks’ to speak to drivers about safe driving.”

The settlement also includes a commitment from Gold Medal to contribute $25,000 a year for five years to an organization dedicated to making Philadelphia’s streets safe. The first year’s donation was made to the Bicycle Coalition.

We immediately put their donation to work on advancing Vision Zero goals for all Philadelphians. See, the Bicycle Coalition had already been working with the Fredricks Family on the Philadelphia chapter of Families for Safe Streets (FSSGP). This organization, a program of the Bicycle Coalition, consists of numerous families who’ve been affected by traffic violence in Philadelphia. The city and world will be hearing more about FSSGP in 2019.

Philly Area Bicycling on the Rise

The Census Bureau released the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS),showing a bump to 2.6 percent mode share in Philadelphia.

The latest ACS release showed that the number of Philadelphia bicycle commuters increased 19.3 percent from 14,397 in 2016 to 17,180 in 2017. That number represents 2.6 percent of all workers who live in the City.

That said, the numbers do not count students using their bicycles to travel throughout Philadelphia, nor do they show people who get around by bicycle, but do not bike specifically to work. The numbers are likely much higher than the Census data show.

We also reviewed data for the suburban Counties. In December, the Census Bureau will release 5-year data, which will enable us to drill down to bike commuter rates in every municipality.

In contrast to the City, the numbers are lower, but appear to be rising considerably. At the county level, about 0.4 percent of all commuters bicycle to work. Or more precisely, 0.4 percent of the survey recipients reported bicycling to work at least three times in the previous week.

New Circuit Projects Get Funding

Five Circuit Trail projects and four Circuit Connection projects were awarded funds from the Greenways Trails and Recreation Program. This is one of the state grant programs that benefits trails and bike/ped facilities, and this is good news for The Circuit. Keep reading to see the specific projects getting funded.


Through advocacy and education, the Bicycle Coalition leads the movement to make bicycling a safe and fun way to get around for anyone in Greater Philadelphia. We’re a member-funded organization, and we can’t advocate for building out the region’s bicycle network without your support. Join or donate today to partner with us and make your ride better.

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Topics: Featured, Vision Zero

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