Construction begins on third bike lane
The City of Pittsburgh announced the installation of a third protected bike lane as part of the two-year long PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project program that was announced in March.
The next protected bike lane will occupy the former eastbound lane of Penn Avenue from 6th Street Downtown to 16th Street in the Strip. The eastbound -- or outbound -- lane of Penn Avenue between 6th Street and 16th Street will be closed to motor vehicle traffic.
The first protected bike lane on Saline Street between Greenfield Avenue and Swinburne Street (connecting with the Panther Hollow Trail) in Greenfield is near completion. The city will continue to refine the project based on input from the community. Construction of the second protected bike lane along Schenley Drive in Oakland from Schenley Plaza to Anderson Playground in Schenley Park is underway. Restriping of Schenley Drive parking spaces continues this week.
“Protected Bike Lanes are transformative for city biking,” said Ray Gastil, director of the Department of Planning for the City of Pittsburgh. “They open up biking to a broader constituency of people who live, work, and visit, demonstrating how biking can be a safe, dependable, everyday way to get around the city. I’ve seen it change the whole attitude to biking in cities across the country, making biking a more diverse and intergenerational activity.”
Protected bike lanes are designed to help improve safety, ease traffic congestion and augment economic activity while providing necessary infrastructure for the city’s upcoming bike share system. On street infrastructure is an ingredient to the recipe for success of bike share programs.
“Safety is a primary concern of prospective riders and we support an increase in cycling as an investment in the future of our city,” said Patrick D. Roberts, principal transportation planner at the Department of Planning.
“Pittsburgh is showing how a city can move quickly to design and install protected bike lanes in places where they’ll have significant benefits,” said Martha Roskowski, vice president of innovation at PeopleForBikes. “These connections are turning busy streets into comfortable places to ride and they’re connecting important missing links in the bikeway network. We are proud to call Pittsburgh one of our Green Lane Project cities.”
Protected bike lanes are traffic lanes for bikes, alongside motor vehicle lanes. As a traffic lane, the protected bike lanes differ from shared-use paths or other off-street trails. The protected bike lanes are exclusive traffic lanes for bikes -- motorists, Segways, scooters and pedestrians are not permitted to merge into or travel within the protected lanes.
Turning vehicles and bikes must both yield when turning across a lane. Bikes must yield to vehicles when merging back with traffic. Both vehicles and bikes must still yield to pedestrians in crosswalks as traffic signals dictate. Bikes can exit the protected lanes during an exclusive pedestrian phase as long as they yield to pedestrians.