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More Bike Lanes May be on the Way Next Year

Pittsburghers may see some changes along their downtown commutes, thanks to a bike master plan expected to roll out in 2020.

photo via flickr creative commons

For years, Mayor Bill Peduto had promised to implement more bike lanes in the city, and despite a great deal of “bikelash,” as he puts it, he plans to follow through with that vision.

By the end of the year, the city administration plans to develop and release a bike master plan that will satisfy both cyclists’ need for safety and businesses’ need for on-street parking.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey estimate, about 22 percent of the city’s population reside in a household without owning a vehicle. Many of those residents utilize public transit, in addition to walking and/or biking.

Approximately 15 percent of Pittsburghers commute by bike at some point during a typical week, according to a survey conducted by Green Building Alliance in 2018.

The new bike plan will allow riders of all ages more opportunities to integrate biking into their work commutes, daily errand-running, social events and recreational activities, according to the city’s website

In order to develop an efficient, well connected system of bike lanes throughout Pittsburgh, the city welcomes input from local bikers and residents on The Pittsburgh Bike Plan WikiMap. The map illustrates the city’s current bike routes and trails and all proposed bike routes and trails, in addition to any network gaps where there is little or no support for bikers and a desired route is needed. Viewers are able to view these routes, add their favorite bike route, propose solutions to the network gaps, comment on upcoming projects, identify more network gaps and offer any other feedback or comments regarding biking in Pittsburgh.

One major network gap that bikers identified is between downtown and Lawrenceville via the Strip District. The bikers’ desired route wishes to extend an already existing route on Penn Ave., but many business owners object to the idea since it will take away much of the street parking that is vital to businesses in the area.

Other big network gaps include Oakland to East Liberty via Shadyside, Squirrel Hill to Shadyside and East Liberty, Highland Park to East Liberty, South Side to South Side Park, Central North Side to Riverview Park, North Side to West End and more.

However, plans for the new bike lanes are not official and have yet to be fully revealed.

Through the city’s efforts and feedback from residents, the city hopes to set a framework for building a safe, comfortable and convenient bike network that is well-connected and beneficial to all city bikers.

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