Robust bicycle infrastructure ensures access for all. Designing for multiple populations ensures children can ride to school and the elderly can bike to shuffleboard, while speedy fitness maniacs can still pretend they are in Le Tour. Bicycle infrastructure helps support the density required for a walkable, livable city, allowing seniors to retain independence after giving up their car and to keep young professionals from feeling required to take on
the financial burden of a car. Bikeability is one component of the growing trend of design for aging-in-place.
Supportive bicycle infrastructure is physically separated from automobile traffic, so the integrity of bike lanes is not compromised by a parked delivery vehicle or cars veering over a painted line. It is wide enough to allow those with limited bike handling skills (for instance, Caviar delivery riders, young children, or those with compromised balance) to exist in the same lane as skilled riders, and for a standard commuter rider to fit in the same lane as a cargo bike packed with children and groceries. Crossings prioritize the safety of people, not the speed of automobiles, though studies of some Philadelphia bike lanes have shown that safer infrastructure can positively benefit travel times
and safety for all.
The best networks of protected infrastructure are continuous, connecting residential neighborhoods to stores, schools, jobs, and recreation without interruption. A well-designed web of safe bike lanes means riders at all stages of life, incomes, and abilities have equal access to the features that make our cities and towns great.
That’s over 10,000 people, and the highest percentage for a city over 1 million people! San Francisco, a smaller city and home to ride-sharing company Uber as well as our West Coast colleagues, beats Philly with a higher percentage of bike commuters at 4.3%.