Some of Pittsburgh’s busiest bridges are about to become bicycle friendly.
Cycling enthusiasts, along with city and Allegheny County officials, announced Wednesday the addition of short- and long-term bike lanes to the Andy Warhol, Roberto Clemente and 10th Street bridges.
Two temporary lanes will be painted on the Andy Warhol Bridge following rush hour Thursday morning, four days before the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference is set to kick off at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
The lanes will remain open through Sept. 13 to aid in conference transportation.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said traffic on the Warhol Bridge will be cut to one north and southbound lane for the duration of the conference.
“As people come here this weekend, they’ll see the steps that we’ve taken — some great strides over the course of this past year,” he said. “But what I hope they also see is the potential that we have over the course of the next few years by working together.”
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald also announced the installation of two permanent bike lanes on the Roberto Clemente and 10th Street bridges, with vehicular traffic being reduced to one lane in each direction permanently. Each bike lane will be five feet wide with a three-foot buffer between the bike lane and motor vehicle traffic. The Clemente Bridge project is expected to be complete by Oct. 30. No time frame has been set for the 10th Street Bridge development.
Almost 13,000 motor vehicles cross the Roberto Clemente Bridge each day, more than 18,000 make their way across the 10th Street Bridge.
Scott Bricker, Bike Pittsburgh executive director, said the lanes will help connect downtown to some of the city’s most popular trails, such as the Eliza Furnace and the Great Allegheny Passage.
“We’re creating this system of connected bikeways that are going to get more and more people, regardless of their age or cycling ability, on the streets and getting healthy and connecting to work,” he said.
This is just the beginning, according to Peduto. He said the city plans to construct five miles of protected bike lanes in the next two years.
“We’re going to be working with our partners in the nonprofit community and Bike Pittsburgh to make sure that each one of these projects become a part of that larger system,” he said, “and over the course of these next 10 years, see the City of Pittsburgh as a top 10 city for biking in the United States.”