- Volunteer Night
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia holds volunteer training nights every month, typically the first Wednesday. You’ll learn what’s involved in helping us with outreach events (sharing and speaking about our work, and listening to concerns about the state of cycling and cyclists in Philly); then you’ll have a chance to sign up for events in the following weeks. Please register here.
- Youth Learn to Ride – August 6th
Learn to Ride is a 2-hour class for children and teens who are ready to ride! Through a safe, easy, effective method, Learn to Ride students learn how to balance, pedal, start, stop, and steer a bike as well as adjust a helmet for proper fit. All participants must provide their own bicycle and helmet. Class space is limited to 10 youth and is most suitable for children ages 4 -15. All children who participate must have a signed waiver by their parent or guardian.
For more information about the class and/or to volunteer, contact Megan Rosenbach: 215-242-9253 extension 307.
To register: http://activateyouth.eventbrite.com/
We regularly offer free workshops, rides, and classes in Philly and the suburbs. Check out our blog for event descriptions, dates, and links for registration.
- New Report Finds Evidence That Greater Bicycling Means Greater Safety
The Alliance for Biking & Walking released a major benchmarking report covering data and research on walking and bicycling across the country. The goal is to identify trends and examine how they relate to public health, safety, and social and economic well-being.There's a lot of juicy information in here, and you should do the "informed citizen" thing and check it out yourself. (We're not Upworthy, we're not going to turn their report into a listacle and chew it for you.) But we're pulling out one chart to share because we are especially heartened by its findings:Cities With More Biking and Walking See Lower Fatality RatesOne of the report's findings is that bicycling and walking fatality rates are lower in cities where more people bike or walk to work. This supports the "safety in numbers" argument and the intuitive understanding that as bicyclists become more common on streets, drivers and bicyclists learn how to share that street safely.Alliance for Biking & Walking's website here.
- Are You Ready for the National Bike Challenge? Registration Is Open
This year's National Bike Challenge is nearly here! Registration is open at nationalbikechallenge.org, where you can set up teams and workplaces and log practice miles. The challenge begins for real on May 1st, and runs through September 30th. (Miles recorded during April won't count towards your final totals.)What is the National Bike ChallengeIn a nutshell, it is a nation-wide friendly competition to encourage bicycling by making it a contest. Using the website or one of three(!) smartphone apps, you can log the trips you take by bicycle. You are awarded points for those trips, and points allow for competition on a individual, team, workplace, school, city, and state level.The challenge rewards riding frequency over distance. It's about using your bike for a wide variety of trips, and encouraging others to give it a try! You can register anytime, even after the start on May 1st. For more information, check out the site's FAQ.What Is New This YearThe League of American Bicyclists, who runs this program, overhauled the website for this year. The site's functionality, the leaderboards, and other mechanics have been tweaked. They have also facilitated integration with three apps: Endomondo, MapMyRun, and Moves. (No Strava integration yet.)Why Should I Do ThisIf you already bike regularly, it can be a fun way to compete against your fellow bicycling friends. Form two teams of friends and place a wager on monthly or summer-long totals.The Challenge offers a fun, engaging framework through which to encourage a partner, friend, or coworker to give bicycling a try.The League of American Bicyclists offers prizes based on points level, up to and including new bicycles.Workplaces that encourage bicycle commuting have healthier, more productive employees.Pride and glory.The challenge begins May 1st. Register today, get your profile and team set up, and start bicycling!
Any and all bicycle trips count! Warning: the bicyclist shown here is an immortal professional. Do not attempt.
- How to Keep the South Street Bridge Bike Lane Safe After CHOP Expansion
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has proposed a new building for Schuylkill Avenue with driveways that will connect to the South Street Bridge. We testified on the project at the April 1st Civic Design Review meeting and sent a letter to CHOP today that further clarifies our concerns about the impact of the driveways on the bike lane.The two proposed driveways for the new CHOP office building seriously degrade the safety of the bike lane on the South Street Bridge. While it would be optimal if the project could be designed to require only one driveway, whether with one or two driveways we believe the safety of the bike lane can be restored by repositioning and protecting the bike lane.The driveways onto the bridge came as a response to strong community desire, expressed at CHOP-held community meetings, that the project not create increased traffic on neighborhood streets. The second driveway was added to facilitate SEPTA buses reaching the site, as transit access is a priority and buses can't otherwise make the difficult turn from the bridge onto Schuylkill Avenue.For bicyclists, adding one or two driveways creates additional turning conflicts, on a downhill, on the most bicycled bridge in Pennsylvania. Continuing the existing bike lane to the right of these new turning conflicts seriously degrades the safety of this bike lane.To mitigate this danger, the bike lane should be: Repositioned to the left of the vehicles turning into the new driveways. Protected from encroachment by vehicles crossing the bike lane to get to the right turn lane. This will require some sort of physical barrier to cars encroaching on the bike lane and also the creation of a right turn-only lane. There are design solutions in the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide that can restore the bike lane to its present safety level, such as flexible bollards that can be removed during snow season. Other cities have used these solutions but Philadelphia has not yet tried them.We have asked for the chance to meet with CHOP and the Streets Department to develop a solution that repositions the bike lane and protects it from right-turning traffic.We made a word choice error in an earlier blog post by suggesting that CHOP had only recently shared plans for the new building with the Bicycle Coalition. In fact, CHOP’s designs have been publicly available but we only commented on them earlier this month.Peter Grollman, CHOP’s Vice President for Government Affairs, Community Relations & Advocacy, serves on the Bicycle Coalition board.