Biking in Philly
Transforming our streets for safety and equity.
Making Philadelphia the best place in America to ride a bicycle.
We have come a long way but there is much more left to do. Transforming our streets is a complicated endeavor, requiring us to work on many fronts and with many different partners.
Philadelphia's Bike Lane Network
The Bicycle Coalition worked with the City of Philadelphia on its 2012 Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan and, since then, worked with the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability and the Streets Department on the plan’s implementation. In 2015, we called for the City to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes, which became one of Mayor Kenney’s campaign commitments. We also developed a vision of a high-quality bikeway network throughout Philadelphia such that anyone can get from any neighborhood to any other neighborhood via a series of protected street lanes or trails. This high-quality network, which the Bicycle Coalition calls Hub and Spoke, is critical to the City being able to triple the number of people using bicycles for transportation in the near future. This high-quality network concept was also adopted in 2018 by the Kenney Administration in Connect: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan.
Enforcing parking regulations on motor vehicles that block the city’s bike lanes is an ongoing struggle in Philadelphia. Since the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia began advocating for better enforcement on the City’s most-used (and abused by motorists’) bike lanes, ticketing by the Philadelphia Parking Authority has increased more than 170 percent. Enforcement is not a long-term solution to the problem of motorists abusing bike lanes, but, along with more protected bike lanes, it can begin to clear bicycle-centric lanes throughout the city.
The Bicycle Coalition and our partners in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors worked together by hosting annual conferences, issuing reports and advocacy to introduce the City of Philadelphia to Vision Zero: A series of engineering, education and enforcement policy efforts intended to bring total traffic deaths down to zero. This policy was adopted by the Kenney Administration, who, additionally, created the Office of Complete Streets within the Managing Director’s Office to plan for and implement Vision Zero policies.
Since Mayor Kenney’s 2017 adoption of a Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030, the Bicycle Coalition and our partners have continued to work on community engagement and policy efforts to support the City to build the infrastructure and create new policies necessary to reach the Vision Zero goal.
Documenting the Growth of Bicycling in Philadelphia
Since 2005, Bicycle Coalition volunteers have conducted intersection and bridge counts to ascertain the level of bicycling on different streets, correlations of behavior with bike lane types and trends over time. Reports are released annually, with the latest report here.
Bike Lanes and Other Campaigns
We are always looking for opportunities to get new stretches of bike lanes installed. Many factors influence when and where Philadelphia adds bike lanes. They include City Council’s opinion, neighborhood support, and the Streets Department’s paving schedule (which is, in turn, influenced by Streets’ budget). It’s not always where a bike lane is needed most, but sometimes it’s where the fight will most likely be won.