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After Advocates Complained, City Says Bike Lanes Are Coming To Smallman Street

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh says a five-block bike lane is coming to the Strip District, on Smallman Street between 16th and 21st streets. It's part of a larger redesign of the stretch, which will likely reconfigure parking by the Produce Terminal.

The bike lane decision was announced at the third public meeting about the redesign held by the city's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure. Previously, many people complained the original plan did not include bike lanes or address the need for a safe passage for cyclists between the East End and Downtown.

Karina Ricks, Pittsburgh's Director of Mobility and Infrastructure, said she believed the cycling community was skeptical the city would listen. 

"Having the faith and confidence of the people of Pittsburgh and being able to meet their needs was critically important," Ricks said. "So we did decide to go ahead and to respond to what the constituency was asking for."

The Smallman Street lane will essentially be an extension of the bike lane on Penn Avenue in the Strip District.

Eric Boerer of advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh said the extension is welcome, but that more is needed.

"The game changer is when those Penn Avenue bike lanes get connected to the eastern neighborhoods," Boerer said. "This is one small step to make that happen."

Bike Pittsburgh has advocated for a bike route running from the Strip District to Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield and Lawrenceville.

A final design for the Smallman Street renovations will be presented in the fall.