FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[September 26, 2017 – PHILADELPHIA, PA] Companies from across the Greater Philadelphia Area are signing up and showing their support for bicycling as part of the Love to Ride Philadelphia Challenge. This regional campaign aims to encourage bicycling, foster friendly competition, and inform future decisions around bicycle infrastructure. The Challenge is free and open to all businesses, employees and residents of Philadelphia. The Challenge, in partnership with GoPhillyGo, Indego and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, runs from October 1st through October 31st, 2017.

The Love to Ride Philadelphia Challenge is about encouraging people to hop on a bike and rediscover the joys and benefits of riding. Workplaces compete by encouraging as many employees as possible to ride their bikes and ride more miles. Competitors who log at least a 10-minute ride are eligible for a chance to win prizes, including a new bike, a three-month Indego membership, a full bike tune-up from Performance Bicycle, gift certificates to museums and local restaurants, and more!

“The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is excited to be involved with the Clean Air Council in this city-wide challenge,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The AACR is a global organization focused on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research and cancer prevention; thus our staff is looking forward to participating in any activity that promotes health and wellness right here in our own community.”

By supporting the Love to Ride Challenge, businesses will save money, boost productivity and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Whether employees are regular cyclists or brand new ones, join the Love to Ride Philadelphia Challenge today by visiting www.lovetoride.net/philly. Registration is open, and participation is free.

Clean Air Council is a member-supported, non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to breathe clean air. The Council has over 8,000 members and works in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey on public education, community advocacy, and legal oversight and enforcement of environmental laws.

You may have heard that for the month of October, we, along with GoPhillyGo, Indego, and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, will be celebrating bicycling across Philadelphia with the Love to Ride (LTR) Challenge, a fun, friendly, and free competition to get more people cycling. Increasing bicycling for daily travel is one of the primary goals of our work towards improving air quality in the region. Two of the common cited barriers to cycling include safety and riding, as in knowing where to ride or having other people to ride with. We seek to address these issues by increasing cycling infrastructure, making bicycle trip-planning easy, and advocating for safe streets for all. Read on to learn about our expansive work on bicycle infrastructure, education and advocacy.

Multi-use Trails

We are a proud member of the Circuit Coalition – a group of non-profit organizations, municipalities, and government agencies that are working together to complete the region’s goal of 750 miles of connected multi-use trails. Currently, the Circuit Trails has over 300 miles complete, with about 100 more miles in progress. We are the lead on some of those in progress miles, including the Cobbs Creek Connector Trail and the Heinz Refuge bike/pedestrian connections.

Cobbs Creek Connector Trail

The Cobbs Creek Connector Trail will help complete the Cobbs Creek Trail, a key segment of the East Coast Greenway, and will be an important link between communities to recreational areas and historic sites, like John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (JHNWR), commercial hubs and employment centers. The Connector Trail will run approximately 3 miles from Cobbs Creek Trail’s current southern terminus to the JHNWR, spanning 4 main sections. Click here to learn more about the 4 sections of the Cobbs Creek Connector Trail.

Heinz Refuge Bike/Pedestrian Connections

We are partnering with JHNWR to build 3 additional pedestrian and bicycle friendly links in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties to JHNWR and businesses in the vicinity, including Philadelphia International Airport. Click here to learn more about these 3 connections.

Bike Racks

Secure bike parking is one of the deciding factors on whether a person bikes to work or not. We recognized this several years ago, and since then have been helping businesses with the on-street bike rack  permitting and installation process.

In 2016,  we took on a new (to us) bike rack endeavor – the art rack. We were funded by the Penn Treaty Special Services District and the American Street Empowerment Zone to create and install 15 art racks as well as 10 standard inverted-U bike rack and a bike corral in the Fishtown, Kensington, and Northern Liberties neighborhoods. Art racks not only provide secure bike parking to employees and customers of businesses in these neighborhoods, but they also provide an appealing aesthetic that is as much place making as it is bike parking. These have been created by a local metal worker and have been an exciting asset to add to these neighborhoods.

As an extension of our work with bike racks, the Council was awarded an Azavea Summer of Maps fellow, who helped us analyze where bike racks already exist, how much they are being used, where illegal 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.

Do you know a business that is interested in implementing secure bike parking? Have them contact Will Fraser, Sustainable Transportation Outreach Coordinator, by calling 215-567-4004 ext. 123 or emailing wfraser@cleanair.org.

GoPhillyGo

GoPhillyGo.org is the region’s multimodal trip planner that we created to help make it easier to get around the Greater Philadelphia Area without a car. The website lets users plan biking, walking, public transit directions, or any combination of those modes of travel. GoPhillyGo also gives users the option to make their bike trip flatter, faster, or safer by using the customizable options. A very exciting new addition to the website is the Indego bike share functionality. Not only can you check individual station’s dock availability, but now you can plan a trip from start to end with seamless directions of which station to walk to, how to bike to the end station,you’re your final walking leg, just like taking transit!

As part of GoPhillyGo, we organize bike rides for cyclists of all abilities to environmental centers and nature destinations. Just recently we explored the new Bartram’s Mile, a multi-use trail that goes through Bartram’s Garden, by bike. Subscribe GoPhillyGo’s eNewsletter to stay-up-to-date on our bike rides.

Vision Zero

Finally, one of the most important ways we are working in Philadelphia as an advocate for bicycling is through the Vision Zero Alliance and the city’s subcommittees for Vision Zero. Vision Zero is the approach to traffic safety, first implemented in Sweden, based on the notion that no traffic death is acceptable. Cities that adopt Vision Zero policies have the goal of reducing traffic deaths to zero, and Philadelphia recently established their policy, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2030. The Council works with the City and other advocates to help this goal be met. In addition to Vision Zero’s importance for the dignity of all road users, there is a clear environmental relationship: as the most vulnerable of roadways users, people will not walk or bike for transportation if it isn’t safe.

What’s Next

Until we reach our Vision Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries, there will be crashes. While many major crashes are reported to police, there are many that are not. Soon we will be debuting a a web tool for reporting minor crashes and close calls. This data can help the City identify areas where improvements for road safety are needed. Remember to always report a crash that results in an injury serious enough to involve medical attention. But, for something minor, help us keep track of when and where those events are happening – stay tuned for Close Calls Philly.

Friday, May 19 was National Bike to Work Day. Clean Air Council celebrated new and experienced bike commuters in the Navy Yard with PIDC, GoPhillyGo, and South Philly Bikes. The turnout was amazing. From South Philly, West Philly, Fishtown and even as far as Manayunk, bike commuters rode down to the Navy Yard, where they work, from all over the City. At our Bike to Work Day Station, cyclists enjoyed free 10-minute tune ups from South Philly Bike Works and refreshments from Philly Foodworks. Some even gave our SEPTA bus-bike rack a try. At 2.2%, Philadelphia has the highest bike commute rate among the 10 largest U.S. cities. Hear why a few Philadelphians bike to work and check out the photos from Bike to Work Day 2017 below.

You’re invited to join GoPhillyGo, SPOKE magazine, and Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles on Thursday, February 16 for a multimodal happy hour upstairs at Fergie’s Pub (1214 Sansom St). Philadelphia is fast becoming one of the leading cities in the U.S. to get around without a car, and it just keeps getting better. You’ll hear about an exciting new aspect of GoPhillyGo.org that’s being launched soon, news and plans for the coming year, and you’ll meet up with friends and other multimodal transportation advocates.

RSVP on Eventbrite and join the Multimodal Happy Hour Facebook event page to stay up to date.

We hope to see you there!

What:

Multimodal Transportation Happy Hour hosted by GoPhillyGo, SPOKE magazine, and Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles

When:

Thursday, February 16, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Where:

Fergie’s Pub

2nd Floor

1214 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA 19107

Plan your multimodal trip with GoPhillyGo.org!

Cost:

Admission is free, finger food is free, and drinks are pay as you go. First 50 people in the door will receive a free drink ticket.

About the Organizations

GoPhillyGo is a free online mapping tool for the Greater Philadelphia area, with a major upgrade coming in 2017. Developed with state-of-the-art mapping technology, this site makes it easy for users to plan their routes through multimodal methods — combining biking + walking + public transportation within one trip — to go anywhere within the Greater Philadelphia area without the use of a car. It even provides details on pedestrian and bike routes, letting users customize their trips. Go to www.gophillygo.org to plan your trip today and connect with GoPhillyGo on Facebook or on Twitter and Instagram at @go_philly_go.

SPOKE magazine informs and engages greater Philadelphia by covering mobility. With a focus on long-form journalism and storytelling, the magazine examines urban life through the lenses of bicycling, walking and mass transit. Go to www.spokemag.bike to read SPOKE magazine today and connect with SPOKE magazine on Facebook or on Twitter and Instagram at @spoke_mag.

Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles is a full-service bicycle shop and retail showroom specializing in transportation and cargo bicycles. Now located at 1105 Frankford Avenue, the shop caters exclusively to the urban cyclist with a full range of bike accessories and bicycles from Yuba, Xtracycle, Babboe, Gazelle, Larry Vs Harry, Pashley, Simcoe, Breezer, Linus, Pure Fix, Pure City, SE, and Torker. The option of a custom fabricated bicycle is also on offer, designed by the shop’s owners under the labels David Wilson Industries (DWI) custom cargo bikes and Hanford Cycles custom frames. Go to www.transportcycle.com for more information, and connect with them on Facebook or on Twitter and Instagram at @transportcycles.

GoPhillyGo.org, the free online mapping site for the greater Philadelphia area from Clean Air Council, has now released a mobile version for use on all mobile devices. Designed to make getting around without a car both easy and fun, the power of GoPhillyGo’s mapping technology will now be available on the go. You’ll be able to take the ultimate trip-planning tool for biking, walking and public transit with you—anywhere you go, any time you need it.

Developed with state-of-the-art open-source mapping technology from Philadelphia-based geospatial technology firm Azavea, GoPhillyGo makes it easy to plan a route through multimodal methods — combining biking, walking, and public transportation within one trip — to go anywhere within the greater Philadelphia area, its surrounding counties, and even into New Jersey without the use of a car. It provides details on pedestrian and bike routes and, on the bike segment of your trip, you can prioritize routes that are faster, flatter, or safer.

“Using GoPhillyGo on your mobile phone is a very exciting advancement for the website,” says Joe Minott, Executive Director of the Clean Air Council. “Obviously that is how so many people are accessing transportation information today, and I’m excited that planning non-car trips just became easier for people in Southeastern Pennsylvania. GoPhillyGo users can now explore some of the region’s most interesting nature-oriented destinations and quickly plan how they’ll get there on bike, foot, public transportation, or any combination.”

The new version of the website comes equipped with mobile functionality, a new look and sleek features, including drag-and-drop locations. Different modes of transport in your route now show up in different colors.

“Incorporating Indego bike share is the other big advancement we are excited about,” explains Nick Rogers, Transportation Program Director for the Clean Air Council. “This really makes planning trips with bike share much easier, and encourages people to use Indego as a transportation mode and not just a recreation activity.” Point-to-point Indego directions, dock locations, and bike availability are now included in the map, helping you get around by bike, even if you don’t own one.

“As a Philadelphia company dedicated to a positive civic and social impact, Azavea is thrilled to partner with the Clean Air Council to promote walking, biking, and riding public transit to our local institutions, parks, and other natural resources,” says Robert Cheetham of Azavea. “Now that GoPhillyGo has gone mobile, anyone in Philadelphia can easily explore the variety of destinations accessible to them. As a company full of bike enthusiasts, we are especially excited about the inclusion of Indego bike share locations into GoPhillyGo biking directions.”

Now, with GoPhillyGo mobile, you can get out of your house and just go. Covering five counties—including Philadelphia—and parts of New Jersey, the new mobile site allows you to plan ahead and take your route with you, change your plans on the fly, or figure it out as you go for a truly spontaneous adventure. Confidently explore Philadelphia; no car needed.

GoPhillyGo.org. Your destination ahead. Your map to getting there.

Clean Air Council is a member-supported, nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to breathe clean air. The Council has over 8,000 members and works in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey on public education, community advocacy, and legal oversight and enforcement of environmental laws.

Get multimodal with GoPhillyGo on Saturday, October 22, as we combine SEPTA Regional Rail with bicycling to travel from Center City to Bristol Marsh, a GoPhillyGo featured destination, for an afternoon of bike exploration and nature walking.

We will begin the day at Suburban Station (16th St. & JFK Blvd) by taking our bikes on a reserved SEPTA Regional Rail car at 9:45 am to the Bristol Station. From there, we will bike-explore 15 miles of the Delaware and Lehigh Canal Towpath (D&L Trail). The D&L Trail, now part of the East Coast Greenway’s 3,000 mile bike-pedestrian trail  from Maine to Florida, was once a major shipping route during the Industrial Revolution. This is no-drop, leisurely paced ride (10 – 12 mph).

After the ride, we’ll break for a complimentary lunch at Bristol Marsh. Lunch will be followed by a Heritage Conservancy-led nature walk through Bristol Marsh. Heritage Conservancy works as a local partner to The Nature Conservancy to promote the ecological restoration and stewardship of Bristol Marsh. Bristol Marsh is one of the few remaining freshwater tidal marshes along the Delaware River. It is home to six rare plant species native to the Delaware River Basin.  After the nature walk, we will return to Center City at 2:11 pm by a reserved SEPTA Regional Rail car.

The cost of this event is $10*. The $10 covers your SEPTA fare and lunch. This event is limited to 15 participants.

Buy your tickets TODAY!

Go to registration page.

Fill in personal and payment information.

Select Other and enter $10. The $10 is an event fee, it is not a tax-deductible donation.

Under Anything else we should know, enter GoPhillyGo at Bristol Marsh.

Join the Facebook event page to stay up-to-date on the ride!

Registration deadline is Monday, October 17.

Bristol Borough-area residents, and those coming from outside of Center City are welcome to attend. To join the bike-exploration and nature walk, meet us with your bikes at the Bristol Station at 10:20 am. Please email Erika Reinhard at ereinhard@cleanair.org to let us know we should plan to meet you.

This is a self-supported ride, we highly suggest bringing a spare tube and repair kit. All riders must wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.  Please bring a lock to safely secure your bike while we are on the nature walk. We encourage riders to pay attention to the weather forecast and to dress appropriately. We also suggest wearing high visibility clothing and to bring a water bottle and snacks. Use of Indego bike share is not permitted. If you have a dietary restrictions, please contact Erika Reinhard.

*The $10 fee is not a tax-deductible donation.

For more information, please contact Erika Reinhard, Sustainable Transportation Outreach Coordinator, by calling 215-567-4004 ext. 111 or emailing ereinhard@cleanair.org.

Arrive at Greenfest Philly emissions-free with GoPhillyGo and Kidical Mass PHL! GoPhillyGo and Kidical Mass are hosting a family-friendly bike ride to GreenFest Philly on Sunday, September 11. Anyone is welcome to ride with us; even adults without children. However, all children must have an adult accompany them. This is an all-inclusive, beginner friendly ride and any kind of adult bicycle is welcome. For children, we discourage training wheels as our city streets aren’t very smoothly paved. We do not allow balance/push bikes or scooters on the ride. Kidical Mass riders follow all the rules of the road and tend to ride very slow. Meet-up is at 10:00 am on Sunday, September 11, at Fitler Square (23rd St. & Pine St.).

From there we will ride together, on the road, 1.8 miles to Headhouse Row (2nd St. & Pine St.). This is an all-inclusive, beginner friendly ride and any kind of adult bicycle is welcome. For children, discourage training wheels as our city streets aren’t very smoothly paved. We do not allow balance/push bikes or scooters on the ride. We will ride as slow as our slowest ride and will have a person who rides sweep in the back as well.

At GreenFest Philly, you will find restrooms, complimentary Philadelphia Insurance Companies bike valet (3rd St. & South St.), complimentary MOM Organic Market healthy snacks, complimentary iced coffee and MOM Organic Market Kids’ Corner featuring eco-friendly crafts and activities, games, and more. Additionally, the Indego bike share station at 2nd St. & South St. will be offering free rides for the first 30 minutes of a trip — use code Greenfest16. There will be no organized group trip back to Fitler Square. Please RSVP here. View the route here.

When: Sunday, September 11, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Start: Fitler Square @ 23rd St. & Pine St.

End: Greenfest Philly, Headhouse Row (2nd St. & Pine St.)

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gpg-kidical-mass-family-friendly-ride-to-greenfest-philly-tickets-26789283468

Route: http://bit.ly/2ahnf5E

GoPhillyGo + Kidical Mass Ride Guidelines:

Kids on bikes: no training wheels or scoot/balance bikes (bikes without pedals).

Kids MUST have an adult watching them (no more than 3 kids per adult).

Adults MUST stay with their own kids.

Helmets required.

Sunscreen suggested.

Bring water.

No organized return trip.

About Greenfest Philly:

Greenfest Philly is the largest environmental festival in the Philadelphia area. With over 100 exhibitors and vendors, Greenfest is the place to learn about living sustainably while having fun! This event has something for everyone: shopping for local green wares, great food, live music, live demonstrations, kid-friendly activities, and more. Greenfest Philly will be held on Sunday, September 11, 2016 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in the historic Headhouse Square.

Cities across the world are finding success in combating poor air quality, climate change and their related health impacts with car-free days. Last year, Paris went as far as to ban vehicles in 30% of their city. As a result, nitrogen dioxide, a harmful air pollutant, dropped by 40% in parts of the city. On Butler Street in Pittsburgh, air pollution registered four times lower during their car-free event called OpenStreetsPGH. This year, on September 24th, Philadelphia will be partaking in its first designated car-free event, known as Philly Free Streets. So, what exactly is a car-free day, how will it look in Philadelphia and what are the other benefits? We’ll let the folks at Open Streets PHL, a nonprofit behind the local movement for open streets, explain:

What if we opened our streets to people for walking, cycling, playing and socializing by simply closing them off to cars for a few hours?

It’s called Open Streets and it’s a way to bring life and energy back to Philadelphia’s most underutilized public space — our city streets.

Open Streets initiatives temporarily close streets to automobiles so that people may use them for healthy and fun physical activities. Today, there are more than 100 Open Streets initiatives in the United States and Canada alone.

Many North American Open Streets organizers originally drew inspiration from Central and South American cities, where these initiatives are often called “Ciclovía.” The word Ciclovía literally translates to “bike path,” and was coined in Bogotá, Colombia when the city introduced the program in 1974. With nearly 70 miles of streets open for non-motorized activity each Sunday and holiday and 1 million participants on a weekly basis, Bogotá is an admirable leader of this growing global movement.

Open streets programs are increasingly popular because their goals align with the challenges that cities and towns face related to public health, economic growth, and the environment. Every open streets program follows the same principles: encourage physical activity; allow participants to reimagine their communities as places to walk and bike for transportation; improve air quality by removing cars from the road; and encourage people to frequent businesses and fuel local economies.

Philadelphia’s Open Streets movement grew out of the city’s experience with Pope Francis’s visit in September 2015. As part of the security preparations, the city closed down streets all throughout Center City and some of the surrounding neighborhoods.. Though the street closures created a disruption that negatively impacted many residents and business owners, many people also realized how much they enjoyed our public streets in the absence of motor vehicles.

Parents played in the street with their children; men and women ran, cycled, and walked along corridors typically clogged with cars; and people of all ages came out to enjoy a space both familiar and brand new. Philadelphia residents were energized by the feeling of freedom that comes with open streets.

The advocacy group Open Streets PHL formed in the wake of the Pope’s visit with the aim of creating an open streets program in Philadelphia. We worked closely with City transportation staff to refine the concept, and to provide them with a playbook that served as a how-to guide for hosting these events.

Thanks to the advocacy of Open Streets PHL, the city of Philadelphia will host its first Open Streets event, called Philly Free Streets, on Saturday, September 24th, 2016 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, exactly one year after Pope Francis’ visit.

How Philadelphians decide the use 7 miles of open streets on the 24th is anyone’s guess, but we do have a pretty good idea of what some of the benefits will be.

They’ll get exercise — in other cities, over 90% of participants meet their recommended daily physical activity and nearly 40% get the recommended weekly activity in just a single day. They’ll also connect with the community– 25% of participants in Fort Collins, CO said they attended to strengthen community ties and nearly 90% in St. Louis, MO said they had a more positive view of their city after attending Open Streets.

We also know from open streets programs in other cities that businesses along the route benefit tremendously from all the foot traffic during the event, and from all the additional eyes on their storefronts. In San Diego, CA over 80% of participants shopped or ate at stores along the route and also said they planned to make return visits. St. Louis reported similar outcomes, with over 80% of participants spending some money, and nearly 70% becoming aware of a new store or restaurant they hadn’t seen previously.

We’re expecting similarly positive results from the first Philly Free Streets program in September. This inaugural event will transform the streets from Front & South to the Schuylkill River Trail and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, all the way up to Parkside and West Fairmount Park.

The city team planning Philly Free Streets, led by the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, has announced that the 7+ mile route will include free, family-friendly fitness activities, as well as educational programming about the City’s waterways, public art, architecture, environment, and cultural resources.

A route map for the September 24th Philly Free Streets program and the Open Streets PHL playbook can be found at  http://openstreetsphl.com.

Authored by: LeeAnne Mullins and the Open Streets PHL team

Image Source: Open Streets PHL Facebook

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