Clean Air Council

Clean Air Council awarded with 2017 Azavea Summer of Maps fellow

We are proud to announce that we have been awarded the 2017 Azavea Summer of Maps program. Summer of Maps is a three-month long fellowship giving Geographic Information System (GIS) students the opportunity to perform geospatial data analysis for local and national non-profit organizations. Our Summer of Maps fellow, Jianting Zhao, will be helping us visualize bike parking demand in Philadelphia based on relevant factors such as employment, land use and transportation infrastructure.

Prior to the Summer of Maps fellowship, Zhao studied at the School of Design of University of Pennsylvania and researched urban bikeability with a focus on Philadelphia. She is very excited to work on this project as the “bike” topic has always been her favorite. Through this project, she hopes to see a clear demand forecast which could help bikers alleviate parking difficulty.

In Center City, from to Vine Street to South Street and from the Schuylkill River to the Delaware River, our study will look at where bike racks already exist, how much they are being used, where unofficial bike parking is happening, and ultimately design a way to predict how many bike parking spaces per employee or customer are needed in different situations. The result will be a report outlining gaps in bicycle parking infrastructure, recommendations for locations of bike racks installation in high demand areas, and a formula as a guide to the City and private businesses recommending what bike parking capacity is needed based on conditions such as employment, land use, and transportation.

Adequate, convenient, and secure bike parking is a vital piece of bike infrastructure. It allows people to access jobs, services, and shopping via an affordable and sustainable mode of  transportation. At 2.2%, Philadelphia has the highest bike commute rate among the 10 largest cities in the US. Additionally, in 2016, Center City West was named America’s most bikeable downtown by Walkscore, a Redfin subsidiary. However, the availability of bicycle racks on the street, in parking lots, and inside buildings has not kept up with the increase of bicyclists in Philadelphia. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia reports that cycling grew by 250% between 2005 and 2015. Philadelphia has less than 3,000 sidewalk bike racks, a fraction of the 12,000 daily bike commute-to-work trips made in Philadelphia. Additionally, according to Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, 70 % of bicyclists report they would bike more if secure bicycle parking was available.

Currently, the bike parking count is underway. Look for the results in September.

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