Though the number of cyclists and bike commuters in Philadelphia has doubled since 2002, the number of crashes and deaths has declined.

Philly.com reports that traffic crashes involving bikes have fallen by about half, from a high of 1,040 in 1998 to just 553 in 2010.

"The correlation was reported in 2003 by the medical journal Injury Prevention, when it published what it called an "unexpected result" of a safety study: The likelihood of a cyclist or pedestrian being hit by a car "varies inversely with the amount of walking or bicycling."

The study concludes that the safety of pedestrians and cyclists appears to be linked to the institution of policies that promote walking and bicycling.

The moral of the story? As bothersome as they may be to Philly's cabbies, bike lanes save lives.