Smallman today
Smallman Street today. The Produce Terminal, which would be redeveloped by McCaffery Interests, is to the right. Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Planning Department.

One hundred years ago, The Strip District was the gathering point for Pittsburgh’s bustling fleets of trains, barges and trucks. Today, the historic neighborhood is preparing to welcome a new class of vehicle.

According to media reports, the city of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) announced at a recent public meeting that new bike lanes would be designated on Smallman Street in the Strip between 16th and 21st.

The lanes will connect with existing bike lanes that already extend down Penn Avenue, allowing cyclists in Bloomfield and Lawrenceville to have direct and safe access to the Strip and Downtown Pittsburgh.

The announcement comes in response to advocacy from residents and local bicycle activist groups, who said during earlier public forums that the city’s initial designs favored businesses and street parking at the expense of bicycles and pedestrians.

The bikes lanes are just one part of the city’s larger Smallman Street Improvement Project, which aims “to facilitate the restoration and reuse of the historic Produce Terminal building,” according to DOMI.

The project will include the construction of new sidewalks and pedestrian medians in the road, as well as a complete asphalt resurfacing. Final designs are expected to be unveiled this fall.

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.