ThinkBike Workshops Will Roll into Philadelphia to Improve City Bicycling
(Washington, D.C.) — Dutch transportation officials will be in Philadelphia for ThinkBike Workshops on June 18 and 19.
The Royal Netherlands Embassy in cooperation with Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, Temple University, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia Streets Department and the Dutch Cycling Embassy, will host a two-day event – the ThinkBike Workshops – on June 18 and 19.
The ThinkBike Workshops have previously been held in Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, Washington, DC and Miami. Over the course of two days Dutch traffic safety and cycling experts, Philadelphia area transportation planners, and engineers will discuss and develop ideas for how Philadelphia streets can become more bike-friendly and safer for every road user.
According to the latest census figures, no fewer than 10,000 Philadelphia residents ride a bike to work. From Pennypack Park to South Philadelphia, thousands of additional bike trips are taken each day to visit family and friends, to commute to work, for recreation or to just get around town. Census figures also show that Philadelphia already has the highest percentage (2.16%) of residents who bike to work of America’s ten largest cities. In areas of South Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and Center City, more than five percent of all work trips occur on a bike. With gas prices continually in flux more Philadelphians will choose to bicycle. However, these increases in bicycling tend to create conflicting complaints about cyclist behavior and, on the other hand, increasing demands for bicycle lanes, bicycle parking and neighborhood traffic calming improvements.
The public is invited to learn more about Dutch cycling infrastructure and best policy practices. The opening session, which is open to the public, takes place on Monday, June 18: from 9-10:30 a.m. at Temple University School of Architecture (Architecture Building, Temple University, 2001 N 13th Street, 1st Floor).
Following the opening session, two teams, consisting of Philadelphia and Dutch transportation specialists, will survey the area around Temple University, Penn Square and JFK/Market Street by bike and foot to discuss how streets, intersections and entire neighborhoods can be improved for both traveller safety and bike use. The following day, the teams will present their recommendations at the closing session. A variety of other topics will also be discussed.
The public, including local cyclists and other interested residents, is invited to attend the closing session of these workshops, on Tuesday, June 19 from 5-6:30 p.m. at Temple University’s Beury Hall Auditorium, located at the SE Corner of Norris and 13th Street, Philadelphia.
The Netherlands is a country committed to sustainability, where nearly 30 percent of trips up to 5 miles in distance are made by bike. A strong bike policy is integral to Dutch sustainability measures. “There are 1.1 bicycles per person in the Netherlands, resulting in less traffic, less pollution and a healthier population,” said Renée Jones-Bos, the Netherlands Ambassador. “The bicycle is the most popular form of transportation for the 16 million people who live in the Netherlands,” she added.
Through a multi-city initiative, Dutch experts and companies are working with cities in the U.S. and Canada to look at safer conditions as bicycling use continues to increase. Toronto was the first Canadian city to host such an event, while Chicago was the first U.S. city to host a bike workshop, followed by Washington, DC, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Kate Hagedorn, Mayor’s Press Office 215-686-6210
Carla Bundy, Dutch Embassy, 202-274-2632