Last week, Mayor William Peduto announced the first phases of the city’s new protected bike lane program to be built in Schenley Park, Greenfield and Downtown. More lanes will follow around the city in partnership with People for Bikes
and the Green Lane Project
The city’s first protected two-way lanes will be built from Schenley Plaza to Anderson Playground in Schenley Park; along Saline Street between Greenfield Avenue and Swinburne Street (Panther Hollow Trail) in Greenfield; and on Penn Avenue from 11th Street to Stanwix Avenue, Downtown.
These segments account for just more than one mile out of five that are being partially underwritten through $250,000 in support from the Green Lane Project. The Green Lane project chose Pittsburgh as one of six cities that will receive such support. The budget for this first phase, paid out of city capital funds, is $188,000. Bike PGH
advocacy director Eric Boerer added that the Mayor has a goal of five miles of protected trail in two years.
"We’re in the top 30 best cities in the country for cycling but that’s not good enough," Mayor Peduto said at a July 3 press conference in Schenley Park. "We have the ability to be a top 10 city in this country and even do better, and that is going to be the commitment our administration is going to make. We will make sure cycling is not only safe, but a viable part of our economic development strategy and a critical part of our transportation needs."
Boerer elaborates that this is the type of infrastructure Bike PGH has been advocating. He explains that these protected lanes physically separate cyclists from cars, which creates a multi-use framework that motivates Pittsburgh to get on their bikes.
“[The protected lanes create an] infrastructure that is safe for all types of users from eight to 80 years old,” he says, calling the Green Lane Project’s initiative the “next level bike infrastructure on the street.”
Penn Avenue traffic Downtown will be changed to inbound-only to accommodate the protected lanes, which will be on the southern side of the street. Later phases of the Downtown protected lanes are planned to connect to the city’s existing trail systems and the Strip District. Construction on the Greenfield and Schenley Park lanes will begin first later this month and construction Downtown will follow.
“There’s a really big symbolic element,” Boerer says. “[The protected lane initiative] shows that Pittsburgh is thinking differently than ever before … It’s pretty huge step forward for our city.”
Boerer also notes that these bike lanes help Pittsburgh keep up with the rest of the country in a national bike movement. Other cities with protected bike lanes have seen them strengthen neighborhood and business development.
“Protected bike lanes have proven to be economic generators from San Francisco to Chicago, and they will be too in Downtown Pittsburgh and other neighborhoods citywide,” Mayor Peduto said. “These lanes are in keeping with the decades-long revitalization of the Cultural District and will add human-scale improvements to the Downtown streetscape as it turns into a unique residential neighborhood.”
Source: Eric Boerer, Office of Mayor William Peduto