Hub and Spoke
The Hub and Spoke campaign was developed by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to increase public understanding and support for new infrastructure that would attract new bicyclists and contribute to traffic-calming in areas plagued by crashes that cause fatalities and severe injuries.
This campaign aims to articulate the need for implementing high quality bicycle infrastructure on a series of roads and corridors* over the next 5-7 years (during the Kenney Administration) in order to triple the percentage of people who use their bicycle to commute to work (up to 6 percent, citywide) and improve safety in key neighborhoods that disproportionally suffer from crashes that lead to fatalities and severe injuries.
Philadelphia can do this not only by creating a better bicycle network around Greater Center City that allows easy access into the city’s central business hub, but by ensuring that every planned bike lane is as “high-quality” as possible.
What’s that mean?
Every street on this network should separate bicyclists from motor vehicles either by a buffer, physical barrier, a parking lane or be an off-road trail. That should not only decrease the number of crashes that lead to traffic deaths and injuries, but also encourage more bicycle ridership overall. That would create a situation where more people feel comfortable riding bicycles, because it’s safer to ride, and there are more cyclists on the streets.
In fact, most of these bike lanes were mapped by the Bicycle Coalition as part of its recent Bike Lane Toolkit campaign, during which we brought neighborhood residents to meet with their representatives and discuss which neighborhood corridors they wanted to see more and better infrastructure.
But just because a lane or trail is in an approved Master Plan does not mean its future is guaranteed.
New, high-quality infrastructure needs the support of City Council and the Kenney Administration for funding and implementation.
Getting to 6 Percent
The City’s 2010 Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan set out to reach 6.5 percent bicycle commuting mode share by 2020. That figure is only at 2.2 percent, as of 2015.
In order for Philadelphia to reach this goal and triple the number of people who use their bicycle as their primary mode of transportation, it will need to upgrade its bicycle infrastructure to better accommodate those who don’t bike because of their fear of riding in traffic.
If the number of people bicycling to work in Center City doubled and the number in Lower North, West Philly and South Philly grew by 50 percent, that would double the figure to 4 percent.
If the outlying neighborhoods together doubled, the City would reach 6 percent citywide. This is why we propose a “Hub and Spoke” network of high quality bike lanes and trail segments to reach that 6 percent goal within the confines of the Kenney Administration.
More Cyclists, Better Infrastructure, Safer Streets
An analysis of fatal and severe injury crashes by Azavea found that those crashes (over a five year period) concentrated in three areas of the City: Fairhill/Feltonville; Center City and far West Philadelphia.
The Hub and Spoke proposal for high quality bicycle facilities addresses both the issue of increasing the number of people who bike and reaching toward Vision Zero through traffic calming strategies via a network of high quality bike lanes and Circuit trails.
*These identified corridors and trails are not the only projects that will contribute to greater ridership or more traffic calming; but they are the ones to focus upon to ensure their successful accomplishment over the next 5-7 years. Our support and advocacy for all Philadelphia bike lane and trail projects will continue unabated.
Know and Show
Now, we hope you understand where all these projects are. Getting high-quality infrastructure in Philadelphia is a complicated process involving many. Over the next year, the City will conduct public outreach on a corridor level.
Know the facts, show up to the meetings, make the case.
We are also working with specific staffs and members of City Council to better make the case for this network as it pertains to their districts. If you’re interested in joining the effort for a better network of bicycle infrastructure that will make Philadelphia safer and triple bicycling, sign up for our email campaigns.
You will receive information directly in your in box about specific corridors, talking points, and how to move forward with some of these projects.