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Bike Pittsburgh Says New City Map Shows Signs Of Improvement For Cyclists

Bike Pittsburgh is releasing the sixth edition of its City Bike Map this week and organization leaders said the city has come a long way since the first edition.

Fifteen years ago, the Port Authority added bike racks to buses and in recent years has added bike lanes to major roadways, protected lanes with pylons and bike share stations throughout the city.

In 1990, Pittsburgh was rated one of the worst cities in America for bicycling because of its confusing street grid, hills, narrow streets and congested traffic areas. Then mayor Sophie Masloff pushed for the city's first bike map. In 2007, Bike Pittsburgh took over. 

Stretches of protected bike lanes are noted in this year's map, as well as the 50 Healthy Ride bike share stations. Ngani Ndimbie, communications manager for Bike Pittsburgh, said this version of the map also has fewer cautionary routes – or areas hard to avoid and suggested to be used with caution. She said that proves the city is becoming biker friendly and safer. 

“Lots of times there’s only one way to get through a certain area,” she said. “When we have fewer cautionary routes, it means that the way that is most sensible or safest for someone to bike is also a safe enough place for someone to bike.”

Ndimbie said since the organization began working to amplify the voices of people who commute by bike nearly 14 years ago, the city has become a safer place to ride.

“One of the things that has made Pittsburgh a safer place to bike and walk and has really changed the city is the many thousands of people who have been advocating for Pittsburgh to be a safer place to bike and to walk,” she said.

The online version of the map will include information about crossing bridges and the option to view routes in terrain and satellite mode. The print version of the map can be picked up at libraries, all city bike shops and from several community groups. 

Sarah Schneider is WESA's education reporter. From early learning to higher education, Sarah is interested in students and educators working to create more equitable systems. Sarah previously worked with news outlets in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Idaho. She can be reached at sschneider@wesa.fm.
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