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Report: Philadelphia ranked 4th-best city for cyclists

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(The Center Square) — For cyclists in the commonwealth, Philadelphia is the place to be. A national ranking slotted the state’s largest city as the 4th-best in the country for riding a bike.

PeopleForBikes, a Colorado-based nonprofit, compared about 1,500 cities across America; Philadelphia was bested by Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Seattle. Mifflinburg in Union County placed 10th overall for small cities.

Philadelphia’s ranking improved significantly over the last five years, surpassing New York City and Portland.

“High-scoring cities often perform well across six factors captured in the acronym SPRINT: safe speeds, protected bike lanes, reallocated space for biking and walking, intersection treatments, network connections, and trusted data,” Rebecca Davies, PeopleForBikes’ city ratings program director, noted in a press release.

Slowing down cars is a high priority in the rankings.

“Slightly more than half of U.S. cities have speed limits of 25 mph or less on residential roads, while the remaining cities with speed limits of 30 mph or greater on residential roads could improve the safety of their bike network by reducing travel speeds,” Davies noted.

Lowering stress while biking, too, helps. PeopleForBikes encouraged cities to build protected bike lanes with barriers to separate cyclists from drivers.

The high ranking, however, doesn’t mean that streets and roads in Pennsylvania are improving safety. Traffic deaths slightly fell last year, as The Center Square previously reported, after years-long increases. Since 2019, pedestrian deaths have risen by 20%.

PennDOT’s Pedalcycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is in the process of producing a report on the safety risks for pedestrians and cyclists, mandated by the federal government. Expected to be completed by October, committee members are asking for more details on how the commonwealth spends money currently for road safety.

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