A number of advocates and members of the government met this morning at City Hall as Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order creating the Philadelphia Bicycle Advocacy Board, which will seek to “advise the mayor on ways to promote and protect recreational and professional cycling” in Philadelphia.
Among the members of the Board: The Bicycle Coalition’s executive director Alex Doty, who welcomed the mayor’s executive order with the idea that such a group could help make Philadelphia “a great bicycling city.”
“This is a board that is being created by the mayor who has done the most to make the city of Philadelphia bike friendly [and] is something that has the legs to continue to do that work beyond this administration,” Doty said. “Philadelphia has more of an opportunity to be a great bicycling city than, I think, any other large city in the United States.”
The purpose of the new Board:
- To advise the Mayor on ways to promote bicycling among Philadelphia residents and on public policies that effect bicycling;
- To create, market, and promote national and international cycling races in Philadelphia to attract the finest and most highly-rated bicycle riders to compete in our City, including supporting and raising funds for the annual Philly Bicycling Classic;
- To promote City policies, including but not limited to traffic regulations, that make bicycling safer and more attractive;
- To foster volunteer efforts (i) that promote bicycling among people of all ages in all neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia; and (ii) that establish or maintain bicycle trails; and
- To encourage private sector support of bicycling, especially among Philadelphia employers.
Among its members:
- Karen Bliss, Vice President of Marketing for Advanced Sports International (chair)
- Philip Senechal, Velodrome Planning Team
- Joseph Wentzell, co-owner of Breakaway Bikes
- Patrick Cunnane, president of Advanced Sports International
- Lisa Nutter, president of Philadelphia Academies, Inc.
- Camille Durocher, technical consultant
- Kristin Gavin, executive director of Gearing Up
- Sean Petty of USA Cycling and Union Cyclist International
- Marty Nothstein, president of Valley Preferred Cycling Center and Olympic Gold Medalist for Track Cycling
- Heidi Grumwald,, co-creator of Philadelphia Pump Track
- Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
- Ryan Oelkers, founder of the Cadence Foundation
- Matt Diefenbach, senior account manager of Motorola
- Gary Ryan, owner of Vie 13
- Mark Featherman, attorney
“The city now has more than 500 miles of bike lanes. We will be launching a new bike-share system next spring,” said Nutter. “Cycling is about more than just physical activity or transportation; it’s about youth development, sustainability, healthy living and an overall economic impact on metro regions.”
In addition to the announcement of the new Board, Mayor Nutter noted that Philadelphia will host a Union Cyclist International Women’s World Cup series event: The Women’s Professional Road Cycling Series. The Parx Casino Philly Cycling classic is unique among international races in that it offers equal prizes to men’s and women’s race winners.
Doty noted the importance of the Women’s World Cup series event on bicycling culture in Philadelphia, and promoting bicycling to women.
“If there’s nothing else the city of Portland has taught us, it is that culture matters a lot in getting people to bike and we have a great anchor for that kind of activity in the race in the city of Philadelphia, the Parx Philadelphia Cycling Classic, and the effort to make that the race a leader in the world for women’s cycling, to have an equal purse follows on much of what we want to do in the city of Philadelphia, to make bicycling more attractive to women,” said Doty. “We know that about a third of bicyclists in Philadelphia are women and that if we get to half, we will have more bicyclists than any other city in the United States.”