Urbanism

Pedal On, Mates!

September 9, 2011 | by Nathaniel Popkin

photo: John Vidumsky

“A culture of cycling,” where parents serve as examples for their children, is one reason Cambridge is bike capital of England. Some 20% of all trips there are on bike and, indeed, bikes are used by everyone. (In Philly, 2.1% of commuters are on bike, the highest rate for a major city.)

Of course, Cambridge has something else going for it. In a city of 120,000, some 43,000 are university students. That’s more than 1 in 3. In Philly, it is more like 1 in 13. And yet, 110,000 students is enough to shape policy. Undergraduates at Cambridge universities aren’t allowed to have a car except under special circumstances. While that’s unlikely to be adopted here, its worth thinking about bicycle amenities to be aimed directly at the student set.

From yesterday’s Possible City: How Philly cycling stands up to Global cities

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About the Author

Nathaniel Popkin Hidden City Daily co-founder Nathaniel Popkinā€™s latest novel, "The Year of the Return," explores race and loss in a year of upheaval, 1976. His book To "Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in an Age of Eco-Crisis" is forthcoming in December 2020.

One Comment:

  1. libby rosof says:

    Other possible factors–the huge number of young, impecunious artists. They all bicycle. And the street scape–er, would you really dare to bicycle in New York? I’m not as scientific as you; no stats. Just saying.

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