Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Philly bike scene in review

Philly Bike Party – After a one year absence the Philly Bike Party resurfaced for a Halloween ride. I understand that the organizers have had a busy 12 months with college, graduation, jobs, and planning the Philly Naked Bike Ride. I would like to challenge them to hold a ride once per quarter in 2014 to show that this group is more than a capricious flight of fantasy.

PPD Bike theft sting – One of the funnier and at the same time depressing moments was the Philadelphia Police Department's attempt to reduce bike thief. Instead of equipping an expensive bait bike with a GPS tracker and motion sensor and locking with an easily cut lock. So they could track thieves back to their homes and recover more bikes. They left an unlocked bike and arrested the first person who took it, not really a sting, more like entrapment.

On the other hand its hard to take the Philadelphia Police Department's efforts seriously when their own bikes get stolen

#unblockbikelanes - Recently the Philadelphia Parking Authority has begun to take the steps towards dealing with vehicles that park in the bike lanes. They created a Twitter hashtag, #unblockbikelanes, as a way to crowd source a database of problem locations throughout the city. There is only one minor problem, the launch for this undertaking was announced in the middle of December. So for the next three months the fewest number of cyclists will be riding due to the weather. I can only hope that there is a relaunching of this program in April to remind everyone. When more cyclists will be riding and more eyes will be on the street so this initiative succeeds. More importantly will be to see how long before the PPA starts cracking down on this problem.

Philly Full Moon Ride – With rides planned to coincide with the full moon of every month. The organizers of the Philly Full Moon Ride have been made a consistent effort to hold monthly rides since they first appeared on the scene. The fall and winter rides have been moved to an early start time something that allows for more ride time and makes them more accessible to people in 9 to 5 jobs who have to get up early in the morning. A practice that I hope will continue into the warmer weather.

Philadelphia Kidical Mass – One of the best success stories of the year has been Philly Kidical Mass. Created by Dena Driscoll and Marni Duffy as a way for families with children to enjoy child friendly group rides with other families. Each ride is a few miles long, using a combination of bike lanes of side streets, and finishes at a local playground. Philly Kidical Mass has quickly become the local source for cycling with children and cargo bikes; which have become the minivan for the urban cyclist.

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