Report: Center City Bicycle Commuting on the Rise


A new report conducted by Center City District shows bicycling is on the rise in Center City, Philadelphia, confirming Census data the Bicycle Coalition reported on earlier this fall.

In their new report, “Bicycle Commuting,” Center City District reports that cyclists entering Center City on northbound streets during rush hour (8am-9am) “was up 22 percent over the … last count in 2014” and up 79 percent since 2010.


According to CCD’s bike counts, cyclists are using Center City lanes specifically engineered for high bike rates—like Spruce Street and 13th Street, which have wide, buffered bike lanes.

And Center City residents and commuters agree that motor vehicles parking in those bike lanes is especially annoying for Philadelphia road users. A Transportation Priorities Survey, also released by Center City District, found that the most important issues hindering mobility are vehicles blocking lanes, lack of enforcement and poor street conditions.


Cyclists are well aware of the problem of people in motor vehicles thinking they can pull over into a bike lane without fear of being ticketed, and without care for the other road users who can get injured when they do so.

But interestingly enough, these numbers were found even as more Center City residents named walking, the subway, driving, and the bus as more typical transportation means than bicycling.

Expanding cycling infrastructure came in at the Number 2 most prioritized “Action item” wanted by Center City residents in the survey—showing, perhaps, that even those who don’t use a bicycle as their main means of transportation, want to.


While it’s nice to see more evidence that cycling is way up amongst Philadelphians, it remains frustrating to city residents that our infrastructure is not yet there, and lack of enforcement of vehicles parked in bike lanes (or, simply the allowance of vehicles to park in certain bike lanes) needs to be changed.

It should also come as no surprise that in Center City, residents see delivery tricks, motorists, and taxis as much bigger offenders than bicyclists.


The Bicycle Commuting Report can be found here.

Topics: Featured, research

4 comments on “Report: Center City Bicycle Commuting on the Rise

  1. Rob

    Philly is soooooo close to being a great bicycling city on a par with North American leader Montreal. A NETWORK of Protected Bike Lanes, please!!!
    * Fix the cluster@#$% around City Hall as it is terrifying.
    * Make Broad and Market Streets protected bike lane streets from the city line to City Hall as they are this incredibly bike-able city’s calling cards.
    * Get the suburbs on-board! There should be a caravan of cyclists coming in from Wynnwood, Ardmore, and Cheltenham every morning, but they need protection in those suburbs.
    * Tell the hotels to talk up cycling. Those tourists are great Indego rebalancers.

    • Joseph

      I bike in from Collingswood at least once a week to work on Broad Street, and honestly the ride through Camden is better than streets in Philly with no bike lane. I think when they built county roads in Jersey, they made the travel lanes way too wide, giving you enough space to comfortably enough ride a bike. There’s no such space on streets in Center City thar don’t have bike lanes, which makes them really stressful for all but the most experienced riders to bike in. I think overcoming the idea that you can’t bike in the suburbs (at least the older ones) would go a long way to increasing ridership everywhere.

      • Rob

        I find the wide suburban lanes, where they exist, often lead to drivers going faster. Both city and suburbs need Protected Bike Lanes.

  2. Joseph

    Riding a bike on a street without a lane in Philly is insanely uncomfortable, and riding on a street with a lane is like heaven. It’s completely night and day. If Philly could get more lanes, biking would absolutely explode.

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