On July 11, 2012, USA Today’s Alan Gomez reported on the rise of bike-share programs in American cities, including Denver, Washington D.C., Miami Beach, and now New York City. Bike-share programs — which offer citizens and tourists an opportunity to rent bicycles from self-service kiosks rather than take to the road in automobiles — are a good way to address the surge in bicycle ridership in the U.S. in recent years. And the success of these programs suggests the trend will spread to other major cities — for example, Chicago and Baltimore are slated to begin their own bike-share programs this year.
And a report by Worldwatch suggests that increased biking in a city can actually make traffic safer. In Portland, Oregon, for instance, despite an immensely growing population of bicyclists from 1991 to 2006 saw a 69 percent drop in bicycle crashes. The idea being that, the more bicyclists riding on the road, the more aware drivers and pedestrians are. Who’d have thought that an increased number of cyclists could result in less bicycle accidents?
So, as Rachel Aland asks in her article “Why Philly Deserves Bike Share,” how far off is a bike-share program for us Philadelphians? According to the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia, of the nation’s ten largest cities, Philadelphia has the highest rate of bicycle commuting. So it would make sense for the city to start giving the program some real consideration, especially if these programs result in less bicycle accidents.
And Pennsylvania already has bicycles on its mind. This year, the state passed a law requiring automobiles to give bicycles more room on the road. Our bicyclists are receiving some much deserved acknowledgment from state legislature, so it isn’t farfetched to think that we will one day see some bike-share kiosks popping up around the city.
For more information on bicycle laws, bicycle safety information, and bicycle accidents, see the articles in the blog categories section of the Carpey Law website. Or type “bicycles” in the search field to your right.