Photo by Tracy Certo for NEXTpittsburgh

StreetsBlog highlights Pittsburgh’s use of “shared spaces” as part of the blog’s summer-long preview of the 2014 ProWalk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference held at the Convention Center this September.

A shared space is a street space designed to accommodate cars, bikes and pedestrians in an area without traffic signs, lights or curbs.  “This allows everyone to navigate the street using their own common sense and by communicating…” StreetsBlog explains.

Pittsburgh’s shared spaces have helped us become an emerging leader in progressive street design.

The redesign of Market Square brought “500 new residential units and 32 restaurants within a block in a half,” notes the article.

The outdoor patios lining the inner circle Market Square have no clear divider between restaurant space and street, such as a sidewalk or curb-and buses were rerouted to keep large vehicles out of the square. “People will walk wherever they want to walk. If a car comes in there, it’s very clearly understood as a pedestrian space as opposed to a car space,” Strada architect Michael Stern tells StreetsBlog.

The blog also mentions Pittsburgh’s shared spaces at the Rivers Casino and at Bakery Square.

Outside the North Shore’s River Casino is a “40-foot-wide esplanade without markings,” shared by pedestrians and bikes. And Bakery Square further integrates the shared space design by including dedicated bikeways and shared paths for walking and biking, as well as a shared street, writes StreetsBlog.

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Ryan Hoffman

A recent grad of Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Ryan also has a degree in journalism. He has a passion for innovative ideas in Pittsburgh, green urban spaces, music and the...