Released last week, Bike Pittsburgh’s
Better Bikeways Vision
proposes a series of six interconnected, bicycle-friendly corridors that could fundamentally transform transportation and commuting in Pittsburgh.
“We need to build a network of bikeways that are easy to navigate and feel comfortable to navigate for anyone, regardless of how long they’ve been biking or how in shape they are,” says Bike Pittsburgh
Executive Director Scott Bricker. “It has to be appealing to ride on. It has to make sense as a navigational tool, but it has to look and feel safe, and it has to be interconnected.”
The plan proposes the creation of six bike corridors
around the city: the East End Bikeway, the River to River Bikeway, the Allegheny Green Boulevard, the Golden Triangle Bikeway, the Fifth & Forbes Bikeway and the Airport to City Bikeway. While they would each be separate projects and Bike Pittsburgh does not have cost estimates for the whole plan, Bricker says his organization is focused on having the entire plan finished or on the way by 2020.
Pittsburgh’s bike culture has grown substantially over the last 10 years, but according to Bricker, its infrastructure is still far behind those in cities such as Seattle, Portland, Memphis, Chicago and San Francisco.
“We can light our trails, we can stripe them and make them commuter oriented,” he says. “It’s hard to sort of shoehorn commuting into it. If you design them with commuting in mind, people can recreate on them just fine. It’s just an option that requires some more tools.
Bike Pittsburgh’s vision is predicated on standards set by the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ Urban Bikeway Design Guide
. Federally approved earlier this year, the NACTO guide lays out a series of recommendations and best practices for creating bicycle-friendly infrastructure in urban environments.
Still, there’s room for innovation. The tools NACTO guide provides for separating bikes from cars don’t work particularly well on steep hills.
“We’re trying to figure out better tools for hillsides,” Bricker says.
Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Scott Bricker