Bikes on Water

Pittsburgh is among six cities selected to participate in a program to build better bike lanes across America.

The Boulder nonprofit PeopleForBikes and its Green Lane Project picked Pittsburgh along with five others: Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, and Seattle. All will receive financial, strategic and technical assistance toward the creation of safer bike lanes with the ultimate goal of increasing the vitality of cities.

“Being chosen is an enormous honor and shows that Pittsburgh has the vision and political will necessary to put in this type of innovative bicycle infrastructure that’s safe and comfortable to ride on,” says Scott Bricker of Bike PGH.

The Green Lane Project is a highly respected initiative launched in 2012. Its mission is to fast-track the creation of bike lanes that are safer and better protected by including on-street lanes separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts to make riding safer and more appealing.

The cities were chosen from more than 100 in the U.S.

Pittsburgh installed its first green painted bike lane in Bloomfield last year with help from a PeopleForBikes grant. The lane is one of the city’s most popular and successful on-street infrastructure projects to date and significantly improves the visibility of people on bikes in the high volume intersection, says Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

In other biking news, Pittsburgh is home to what might be the first ‘road shift’ project in the country thanks to the collaborative efforts of Bike Pittsburgh and the City of Pittsburgh.

‘Road shift,’ a term coined by Bike PGH, takes an innovative approach to land use. In this first instance, Pocusset Street was remodeled from a structurally unsafe street with sharp curves to a pleasant avenue  through Schenley Park for bikers and pedestrians.

In the process, the road was repaved and resized and has wider shoulders and LED lighting.

“Parks are there for urban residents to act as connectors to other neighborhoods and that’s exactly what the project does. It fits in very nicely with out park plans,” says Marijke Hecht of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

In even more biking news, Mayor Bill Peduto publically nominated Scott Bricker, executive director of BikePGH, to a seat on the board of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), a regional planning group responsible for setting transportation agendas, priorities and funding for our 10-county area.

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared in Fast Company, Ozy and Pittsburgh Magazine.