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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter (second from left and US congressmen Chaka Fattah (center of phot0) and Bob Brady (not shown) put on helmets today, then hopped on bicycles with other enthusiasts for a ceremonial ride from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, to City Hall for “National Bike to Work Day.”

Mayor Nutter had appointments right after the bike ride so he wore a suit and necktie, but Congressman Fattah, who rides with his wife and kids for recreation, and Congressman Brady, who admits he doesn’t ride too much, were dressed more casually.

Rep. Brady (D-Pa.) said he does hop on a bike once in a while, “down the shore,” on the boardwalk.

“Next time you fit me I need a fatter seat and a bigger helmet,” he told ride organizers with a smile.  “I got a lot of wide parts to me.”

Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, set up the event. His group also helped make Philadelphia more bike friendly by getting dedicated bike lanes installed on Spruce and Pine Streets through center city.

Doty says that in the past year there has been a 46-percent reduction in major crashes on those routes.

“This helps safety of motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists on that street,” Doty says.  “We’re making the streets safer by putting in those buffered bike lanes.”

And the mayor says the city is nearly ready to go with even more options for bike commuters:

“In June, 10th and 13th Streets — the north-south connection — will happen.”

Those dedicated north-south bike lanes will connect South Street to Spring Garden Street.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060

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