|(Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)|
Why has bicycling gained such traction in the City of Brotherly Love? I'd say it starts with the natural and built environment the City has long had - incredibly flat terrain and wonderfully narrow streets (and an lack of demolition to allow for their widening), the latter of which limits the preference of driving. The next reason is one of simple economics - bicycles take up little space when parked and in motion (which makes infrastructure for them easier to provide). When supply of land is limited, but demand for access is high, you get worsened traffic conditions, we seek alternatives to driving (walk, bike, bus, roller skate!), or the demand isn't met and a city stagnates.
So the city has taken some strategic, albeit limited, steps (shared lanes, bike lanes, and increased parking options) to to balance out priorities in the street and make bicycling more attractive than it used to be. No, Stu, it's not a massive conspiracy by the Nutter administration; the city is just finally unlocking the potential it has nearly always had... and demonstrably reaping the benefits. Sit back and enjoy the ride.