MOTU Announcements | New Sharrows in Philadelphia

This summer, the Philadelphia Streets Department installed 13 miles of sharrows on Philadelphia streets. Shared lane markings, or ‘sharrows’, were initially developed as part of an experiment to help control traffic in several cities across the United States. The findings of this experiment were that sharrows helped to guide bicyclists away from the door zone — the area adjacent to parked cars where bicyclists could potentially be trapped or hit by a door. These findings led to approval of sharrows by the Federal Highway Administration in 2009.


Philadelphia first began identifying streets where sharrows could be installed in the 2012 Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan for Philadelphia. As shown in a map of current bike facilities in central Philadelphia below, the streets marked this summer include portions of 13th and 15th Streets between Spring Garden Street and Temple University; Memphis, Tulip, Columbia, and Malborough Streets; Sansom Street; and 18th and 21st Streets between Washington and Fairmount Avenues.


How does the Streets Department determine which streets should have sharrows? The main requirement is that streets be part of the city’s Bicycle Network Plan. Bicycle planners and traffic engineers then identify places where installing sharrows would help provide a clear, continuous, and safe path for bicycles to ride on. The chart below outlines more specific reasons for installing sharows.

Sharrows-01 You can read more about some of the new installations here and here.


MOTU Announcements | New Green Conflict Zone Markings


Bicycle Conflict Zone at Logan Circle/19th/Race

Bicycle Conflict Zone at Logan Circle/19th/Race

Have you seen Philadelphia’s new green bicycle conflict zone pavement markings?

Green conflict zones highlight locations where bicycles and motor vehicles must cross paths.  Bright green pavement draws motorists’ attention to these areas while providing cyclists with a clear place to negotiate a crossing.

MOTU and the Streets Department have been working to install new green bicycle conflict zone pavement markings as part of the City’s ongoing Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements Program, which is funded through the Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) program.  Certain green conflict zone areas also include improved white bicycle lane pavement markings as well as two-stage-left-turn boxes, to help facilitate left turns for bicycles at busy intersections.

Keep your eyes out for new green conflict zone markings at:

  1. 5th & Race
  2. 6th & Market
  3. Logan Circle & Vine
  4. 6th & Wood (I-676 ramp)
  5. 19th & Race
  6. 7th & Oregon
  7. 34th & Grays Ferry
  8. 54th & Christian
  9. Columbus Blvd & Morris
  10. Columbus Blvd & Oregon
  11. Columbus Blvd & McKean
  12. Columbus Blvd & Dilworth
  13. Columbus Blvd & Mifflin
  14. Columbus Blvd & Snyder
  15. Grays Ferry & Washington
  16. Penrose & Pattison
  17. 20th & Belfield
  18. Belfield & Wister
  19. Umbria & Domino
  20. Henry & Wigard
  21. Henry & Gates
  22. 19th & Ogontz
  23. 20th & Ogontz
  24. Champlost & Ogontz
  25. Kemble & Ogontz
  26. Olney & Ogontz
  27. Walnut Lane & Ogontz
  28. Byberry & Academy
  29. Woodhaven & Thornton
  30. Langdon & Oxford
  31. Kensington & Allegheny
  32. Cumberland & Aramingo
  33. Westmoreland & Aramingo
  34. 52nd & Parkside
  35. Washington & Water
  36. Washington & Moyamensing

Conflict zone at Logan Circle/19th/Race in action


MOTUnes Monday | The Ride

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities showcases a song related to transportation, energy, or sustainability. This week, in honor of National Bike Month and Philly’s Bike to Work celebration today, we’re in Ireland to hear Luka Bloom’s paean to biking. Many thanks to a reader for suggesting this song!

CyclePhilly App Launches


Calling all cyclists with smart phones! With a new app called CyclePhilly, you can record and report your biking routes, travel times, and trip purposes. The aggregate data, which will include a map showing your and other participants’ rides, will help planning agencies and their partners improve area bike infrastructure.

The CyclePhilly app was developed by volunteers with Code for Philly, a branch of Code for America, in partnership with DVRPC, the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and SEPTA. It is the first bike route mapping mobile application for the Philadelphia area.

The CyclePhilly app is available for free in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Visit to learn more.

June 26, 2014 Update: Preliminary results after two months indicate that the app has collected data from more than 5000 bike rides in Philadelphia. WHYY’s NewsWorks recently wrote about the app here.

Tidbit Tuesday | How Philadelphia’s different age groups commute to work

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week we are looking at how Philadelphians in different age brackets get to work.  Of all Philadelphia workers, 50% drove alone, 9% carpooled, 26% took public transit, 12% commuted by “other” (taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle, walking, etc), and 3% worked from home.  It is interesting to see how similar/different the various age groups are from this overall trend.

Age Commuting Tidbit Tuesday-01

This data comes from the US Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.  It is important to note that the age brackets reported by the US Census Bureau are not at equal intervals and the above age brackets reflect those reported by the US Census Bureau.

Tidbit Tuesday | Philadelphia Continues to Lead the Top 10 Largest US Cities in Bicycle Commuting


Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week we are looking at data published based on the US Census and American Community Survey from the League of American Bicyclists (found here) about bicycle commute rates in the 70 largest cities in the US and how it has changed over time.  We took the top 10 most populous cities in America and graphed percent of commuters who are bicyclists by the year that the data was taken.  It is important to note that the years represented along the x-axis are not at equal intervals, largely due to the change in data collection by the US Census with the addition of the American Community Survey.  Regardless, it is obvious that Philadelphia continues to lead the top 10 largest US cities in bicycle commute mode share!


Tidbit Tuesday | How Philadelphians commute to work, broken out by race/ethnicity

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week we are looking at how Philadelphians commute to work, broken out by race/ethnicity.

Untitled-1-01This data comes from the 2012 American Community Survey.  Due to statistical variability, only those race/ethnicity groups which make up more than 5% of Philadelphia’s worker population (as defined by the US Census) were included in the above graphic.


MOTU@5 | 5 Years in Review: Safety Success Stories

The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities released a report titled MOTU@5: 5 Years in Review.  We will be featuring a section per day on the blog from now through the end of the month.  You can find the full report online here.

“Safety Success Stories: Safety Matters” describes how MOTU has worked to ensure that Philadelphians can get where they need to go in a safe manner.  From this section, we picked what we thought were the top 3 most interesting facts:

3. 400 pedestrian countdown signals were installed in 2012


2. 40% decrease in serious accidents following the introduction of bike lanes on Spruce and Pine


1. 2,400 intersections were retimed for your safety


Tidbit Tuesday | How do men and women in Philadelphia get to work? Part 2

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

Last week we combed through some 2012 American Community Survey data (the ACS’ website is currently down due to the government shutdown, we actually pulled the data a month ago) to see if men and women use different modes to commute to work at different rates and featured a post about the rate at which men and women travel to work by driving alone, carpooling, or taking public transit.  This week is a follow-up graphic in which we illustrated how men and women bike to work, walk to work, or work at home at different rates. Note, the below graphic’s scale is based on a 10% maximum.


Tidbit Tuesday | Bicycle Commuters in Philadelphia are More Female than in Other Major US Cities

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week we decided to comb through some 2012 American Community Survey data and see what the gender split is for those who commute to work by bicycle in America’s top 10 most populous cities.



Just as an FYI, the gender split of all workers who are residents of the below cities is 48%-56% male and 44%-52% female.  Therefore, this may account for some the variation, but certainly not all.

In any case, we found that Philadelphia has the highest percent of bicycle commuters that are women across the largest cities in the US!  Nationally, the percentage of bicycle commuters who are women sits at 27% (according to the 2012 American Community Survey).   It is important to note that the American Community Survey only allows those surveyed to select one transportation (even if they use multiple modes) and only asks about commute mode.  Overall, one’s commute is only a portion of the overall trips made over the course of the day.  Therefore, there may be a different percentage of overall Philadelphia bicyclists that are women than the above bicycle commuter numbers.  In fact, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has done a lot of research and work around women and biking, we encourage you to check out their site and their recent write up over at

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