Bicycling will never be a serious commuting option here due to many factors, including weather and distances to be traveled.
About 83 percent of bike commuters live within 4 miles of City Hall (a/k/a walking distance.)
For the first three quarters of the year, from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, police wrote 59 tickets for bicyclists breaking the law, compared with only 28 in the first nine months of last year. In percentages, it's a dramatic 210 percent, although the number is small.
But not to complain. It's a start.
Tickets handed to pedestrians for walking offenses rose even more - from 49 in the first nine months last year to 125 so far this year, a 255 percent increase.
Tickets written to vehicles - strap on your helmets, pedalphiles - actually declined 13 percent, from 132,627 in the first three quarters last year compared to 115,806 this year. The figures come from the Police Department.
Have Philly drivers suddenly gotten so much better? I asked police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers.
The answer might vary by police district, he said, "but sometimes it might be just staffing. We don't have as many cops as we did at one time and radio calls are more important than car stops."
But tickets written for bad biking are going up. Why?
"Police are aware they are to enforce the law."
Music to my ears.
The tickets written to bad bicyclists already surpasses the 40 written for all of last year.
I can't say it's had much effect yet. It will take time for the red- light-runners, sidewalk-riders and wrong-way pedalists to realize that the law applies to them and that they may have to pay for breaking it.
I wonder how all this ties in with the city's recently launched "Give respect, get respect" PR campaign urging motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to be more courteous. Good idea, but there's always the meatheads who won't sing "Kumbaya" with the rest of the class. The only thing that penetrates their thick skulls is enforcement.
Meanwhile, the city has now painted bike lanes on 10th Street through Chinatown, and an analysis of last month's "test" of bike lanes on Market and JFK is expected today.
I got $100 that says the city will proclaim the "test" a "success" and then announce plans to add bike lanes. (I am on the record as saying those two wide arteries probably can handle the loss of a lane. Unlike 10th Street.)
The willfully dumb call me anti-bike. I am anti-bike lane where they screw traffic. I oppose illegal behavior by bicyclists and skeeve their air of moral superiority.
As exemplified by Ron Konieczny in an Oct. 20 letter to the editor: "Hey, if I gotta run a light or two, it's still the drivers' responsibility to be in control and fully alert when driving."
That's the sense of entitlement of too many pedal-pushers. He's "gotta" run red lights and it's your problem.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-854-5977. See Stu on Facebook. For recent columns: