PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new study by bicycle advocates says Philadelphia has, per capita, twice as many cycling commuters as any other big city in the U.S.

“Philadelphia is a remarkable city for bicycling,” said Alex Doty, Executive Director of The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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Doty says they sifted data from the Coalition and the census and determined that Philadelphia is the number one big city, per capita, for bike commuting, especially in the central core of the city.

“It’s unusual to talk about South Philadelphia being comparable to Santa Barbara, California, but that’s what we’re seeing. There are very few places in the country where you see more bicycle commuting than you see in Center City and South Philadelphia neighborhoods,” Doty said.

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Doty said the U.S. Census shows that between 2000 and 2009, the percentage of workers who bike to work grew by more than 150 percent.

The coalition also says bike lanes and more bicyclists lead to better behavior with a marked decrease in sidewalk riding on streets with bike lanes.

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Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio