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Philadelphia PUMA click on the image for an interactive map

Last month the US Census Bureau released most of the results of the 2015 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA). The Census Bureau divides the Country into these 3,000 super-sized Census Tracts with an average population of approximately 150,000 residents. It is the perfect population sample to compare neighborhoods in large cities with their mid size counterparts.

While the Census has found that 2.2 percent of all Philadelphians use a bicycle, Center City stands at 7.2 percent mode share.

That mode share puts the Central City Philadelphia public use microdata area (between Washington and Girard from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River) at number 10 in the nation when compared to percentage of bike commuters. And as you can see below we are in some elite company

Top 10 Bike PUMA 2015 ACS

So if Central Philadelphia bike mode share is comparable with places like Boulder and Portland, and the why is that the City as whole barely registers above 2 percent? The reason is that the outlying neighborhoods in the City are well below the national average; even as low as 0.1% in the Far Northeast.

This weekend at the Bike Expo, Bicycle Coalition Sarah Clark Stuart will introduce a plan to expand this Center City network through additional planning and funding.

John Boyle


John has been a commuting cyclist for more than 20 years. In 1994 he began working as a volunteer for the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley after attending a volunteer night, and later served as a board member in 1997-98. In 1999 John left Philadelphia for Charlottesville, VA, where he helped establish the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT), a bicycle and walking advocacy group.

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