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BikePGH Reveals Vision for 'Better Bikeways'

Bike Pittsburgh is pedaling toward a vision of Pittsburgh where cyclists have their own space to ride safely.

This can be done with bikeways, or passages made specifically for bicyclists to ride.

Scott Bricker, BikePGH executive director, said the lack of bikeways in Pittsburgh present many challenges to bicyclists.

“We don’t have a lot of our own space in which to maneuver, people feel a lot safer when they’re separated from fast moving cars … predominately, the majority of motorists do respect bicyclists on the road, there is a minority that’s often taking our lives in their hands,” he said.

BikePGH’s “Better Bikeways” vision would prevent these issues by separating the cyclists from traffic and sidewalks.

The vision concentrates on installing six corridors around the city: the Airport to City Bikeway, Golden Triangle Bikeway, Allegheny Green Boulevard Bikeway, River to River Bikeway, East End Bikeway and Fifth and Forbes Bikeway.

The corridors would incorporate separated bikeways — some replacing traffic lanes — signs for bikers and improved intersections.

BikePGH hired urban designers from Studio for Spatial Practice to create the six bikeway corridors.

Bricker said the idea is to unite existing plans involving bikeways, like the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard and the Oakland 2025 plan, and advocate for their implementation.

The bikeways would be modeled after others in Portland, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and New York.

“Looking at other cities, they’re seen ridership skyrocket with better bikeways, they’ve seen overall crashes amongst all modes of transportation go down, they’ve seen bad riding behavior such as riding on sidewalks go down, so more compliance with the law,” Bricker said.

Bricker said BikePGH doesn’t anticipate the corridors affecting traffic if they are implemented.

“We think that a lot more people will be riding bikes instead of driving cars, we think that there’s way more efficient ways to move cars on Fifth and Forbes Corridor, we think that bus rapid transit or potentially a subway could help alleviate congestion,” Bricker said.

BikePGH will be meeting with municipal and county officials, community organizations, stakeholders and other partners to gather support and advocate for the implementation of the vision.

Jess is from Elizabeth Borough, PA and is a junior at Duquesne University with a double major in journalism and public relations. She was named as a fellow in the WESA newsroom in May 2013.
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