City Planners Want Help Developing Wish List For New Bike Infrastructure, Events And Education

Jul 25, 2016

From left: Eric Boerer, Rachel Dingfelder and Kate Hails count the number of bicycles and cars passing through the intersection of Penn Avenue and 10th Street on Friday, May 20, 2016, during national Bike to Work Day.
Credit Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

  The Pittsburgh Department of City Planning will hold its third and final public meeting on its new Bike Plan on Monday. The new Bike plan replaces the 1999 version and will set the agenda for Pittsburgh’s biking infrastructure, events and education initiatives.

Bike Pittsburgh Advocacy Director Eric Boerer attended one of two previous meetings, which he said included maps where residents could mark areas that they'd like to see become safer and more accessible for cyclists.

Boerer said these simple displays are useful in identifying priorities.

“One display is maps spread out on a table, and you can put dots on it, like physically stick dots to the map, and then write about what you want to see improved there,” Boerer said. “It’s just so that they can get some input on general trends people are thinking about.”

Attendees can also provide input on what types of infrastructure, such as bike racks and bike lanes, the city should invest its limited transportation dollars in.

When the first Bike Plan for Pittsburgh was approved, there were only two trails in the city. Seventeen years later, the number of trails, lanes and services dedicated to biking in Pittsburgh has mushroomed. Boerer said the new plan will make it easier for organizations like Bike Pittsburgh to receive grants and funding because it will ensure their initiatives are in line with the city's broader goals.

Representatives of Healthy Ride, a bike sharing program with 50 stations around the city, will also be at the meeting to solicit public feedback about the 10 new stations they are proposing.

“This is our opportunity to connect with the community and ask them where they want to see bike share stations, and where bike share stations make the most sense” said Healthy Ride spokesperson Erin Potts.

While Healthy Ride will attend the meeting, its bike station expansion will not be written into the official city plan.

The new bike plan is expected to be finalized by this fall.