Pedal On, Mates!

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

About the author

Nathaniel Popkin is co-founder of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (with Peter Woodall and Joseph E.B. Elliott) and two novels, Everything is Borrowed and Lion and Leopard. He is co-editor of Who Will Speak for America, an anthology forthcoming in June 2018, and the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."



1 Comment


  1. 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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