February 12, 2013 | vol. 73 No. 29

Legislation would provide more money for bike infrastructure

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has introduced legislation to provide more than $135,000 to add new bike infrastructure to the city’s 50 miles of riverfront trails and bike lanes and 500 bike racks – continuing efforts to make Pittsburgh an even more bike-friendly city.

Other efforts to be completed in 2013 include the installation of the city’s first-ever green bike lane and the launch of a new, $100,000 educational campaign to encourage bike safety.

“Since introducing new bicycle and pedestrian initiatives in 2007, we have aggressively worked to make Pittsburgh a world-class, bike-friendly city by providing more bike lanes, more bike racks and more on-street bike corrals,” said Mayor Ravenstahl. “As a result of these efforts, Pittsburgh has celebrated such milestones as being named a bronze-level, bike-friendly community and one of the top 30 most bike-friendly cities by Bicycling Magazine, as well as being chosen as the host city for the 2014 Pro Walk/Bike Conference - which will welcome nearly 1,000 bicycle and walking professionals to our City.”

Bike commuting in the city has increased by 270 percent over the last decade – making Pittsburgh the 13th highest bicycle commuting rate in the country (American Community Survey, 2011). As Pittsburgh experiences an increase in cyclists, the city is expanding its bicycle infrastructure to tap into the economic development potential of bicycling.

Currently Pittsburgh boasts 500 bike racks, 50 miles of riverfront trails and bike lanes and two on-street bike corrals.

Projects scheduled for 2013 include the installation of the city’s first green bike lane on Liberty Avenue thanks to a $23,000 grant from Bikes Belong. The lane will be painted green in an effort to increase the lane’s visibility and improve safety.

Additionally, the city will contribute $25,000 this year toward a $100,000 educational campaign sponsored by the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) to help ensure that both drivers and bicyclists are lawful, cautions and respectful of one another. This campaign will provide information and tips to drivers on how to safely share City streets with pedestrians and cyclists in dense urban areas.

“Pittsburgh has come a long way in the last five years in improving bicycle safety and infrastructure to create a more flourishing urban environment,” Mayor Ravenstahl said. “Our city’s pedestrian and bicycle friendliness are key components to residents’ quality of life and help us grow our city’s population. As the city encourages walking and biking, we remind everyone that when driving, biking or walking, safety not only for yourself, but for your fellow street users, is paramount.”

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