2015 was a transformative year for the Greater Philadelphia Region’s bicycling community. And while there was a lot of news surrounding Philly’s bicycling community in 2015, some stories seem to stand out more than others. Below, I’ve listed the nine most popular stories, in no particular order, to come out of 2015, based purely on our website analytics.
Pope Francis came to town in late September, and right up until it happened, the whole thing seemed a bit out of control. Where would people be allowed to walk? To drive? Would I be able to get to work? And what the heck is a Pope Box? Well, we offered another suggestion: Ride your bike. The Coalition’s John Boyle put together a detailed map showing what would be open during the Pope Weekend, where you could rent bikes, how to get over the rivers, park and bike locations, and bike share info.
The Coalition and others—in the Greater Philadelphia region, and around the world—introduced Vision Zero as a governmental policy to lots of people this year. The Bicycle Coalition, for our part, began working on a Vision Zero report early this year, which identified the most dangerous neighborhoods, corridors, and streets for Philadelphia’s road users, and what can be done about it. The year ended with our Vision Zero Conference and Philadelphia City Council passing their first Vision Zero bill, which will raise fees on vehicle registration to help build safer streets for everyone.
Vision Zero stories:
Ride of Silence/Crashes
There’s never been a better time for Philadelphia to adopt Vision Zero. For reasons we can only speculate on (increased distracted driving due to smart phone usage is my pick for the culprit), bicyclists’ deaths on the streets actually went up this year, showing we truly need a comprehensive Vision Zero policy, now. The Ride of Silence in 2015 was attended by hundreds of Philly cyclists, and was of particular importance for friends and family of Vijay Mohan, who was killed in mid-May, shortly before this year’s ride.
Crash/Ride of Silence stories:
Philly Set for an Emotional Ride of Silence on Wednesday
GoFundMe Page Launched After Traffic Violence Claims Another Philly Bicyclist
Cyclist Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver
A Bad Week for Traffic Violence—and it’s Only Wednesday
3 People Riding Bicycles Killed By Motorists In Separate Crashes
3 Charts That Explain Philly’s Hit-and-Run Problem
Indego Bike Share came to Philadelphia in April, and it’s been one of the most successful bike share programs in the world since then. People are using it, and those who aren’t seem to be pretty interested. We consider Indego a total game-changer for Philadelphia.
Indego is Philadelphia’s Bike Share System!
Indego Bike Share Roundup
How Bike Share Makes a City Cleaner, According to Science
High Spirits for Walk to School Day 2015
Indego Bike Share Making an Impact in North Philly and Beyond
The Manayunk Bridge was a long time coming, and the Bicycle Coalition has been pushing for the first bike/ped-only bridge between Philly and Montgomery Counties for a long time. It opened this fall, to much fanfare. However, there were some problems, after the opening—mainly, people didn’t know when it opened and closed. So, we created this much-used explainer page for the bridge, which we hope cleared some things up. In the meantime, we will continue to advocate for the bridge to stay open at all times.
Manayunk Bridge page:
New Bike Facilities
The Philadelphia Streets Department announced 14 miles of new bicycle facilities in mid-May, and Philadelphia’s cycling community was eager to see where we’d be getting some new lanes. Many of those lanes have already been installed. Some, including what is to be Philadelphia’s first protected bike lane on Ryan Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, have not.
Driver Verbally Assaults Cyclist
Philadelphians seemed to have no sympathy for is a man who, over the summer, was filmed verbally assaulting Philadelphia bicyclist and mother Kate Mundie after she safely dodged a truck parked in a bike lane. Driving a 2002 red Chevrolet Trailblazer with the Pennsylvania tags “JBV 0321,” the driver was not identified, but featured all over Philadelphia media, including Fox 29.
Driver acts terribly articles:
Bike Lane ‘Violation’ Bill
Philadelphia Councilman David Oh introduced a bill first reported as upping the fine on drivers who parked in bike lanes. It sounded good! (At first.) Turns out, while the bill did increase the fine for cars in bike lanes, it also would have forced bicyclists “impeding” the normal speed of traffic while taking the lane to move over so cars can get by. We do not support that, and neither does state law. Oh’s bill was dead on arrival.
Bike lane bill articles:
Better Mobility Questionnaires
The Bicycle Coalition held a mayoral forum on transportation and mobility issues in the spring. After that forum, Philly’s mayoral and City Council candidates filled out a questionnaire about many of the topics, including Vision Zero.
Better Mobility Questionnaire page:
For a month-by-month breakdown of the Bicycle Coalition’s work throughout 2015, go to 2015BICYCLECOALITION.ORG
You can give an end-of-year tax-deductible gift to the Bicycle Coalition here.