Post-Gazette: How about letting bikes use busways in a strike?

Editor’s note: We think, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and don’t like to always accept the excuse of “liability” whenever the opportunity arises to help people. Of course there’s the liability concern, but this should be the beginning of the conversation, not the end. During the transit strike in NYC several years ago, multiple streets, including 5th Ave, were closed down to allow access for bikes, motorcycles, and vanpools only. Was there a liability concern with changing business-as-usual? Of course there was, but the City and transit realized that it was more important to address these issues, care about their residents, and provide a safe route for people that don’t have a car or do not want to drive.

According to the US Census, 12.6% of Pittsburgh workers do not have access to a car, ranking us at eighth in the nation. Business-as-usual just won’t cut it.

See the Bike the Strike website for the help that Bike Pittsburgh is providing to help cyclists, and soon to be cyclists, get to work.

Getting Around: How about letting bikes use busways in a strike?

Sunday, November 09, 2008
By Joe Grata, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Is there a way to “go green” if Port Authority buses and trolleys stop running Dec. 1 because of labor strife?

It wouldn’t be easy. The Port Authority has yet to announce contingency plans, since the situation between management and Local 85, Amalgamated Transit Union, can change quickly.

Nevertheless, if transit stops, Bill Stoddart, of Brentwood, and others wonder whether the authority will open its three buses-only roads to bicyclists. That might have been a good idea.

The South Busway would make for a safer commute for South Hills residents who would have to cope with heavy traffic on Route 51/Saw Mill Run Boulevard and Route 19/West Liberty Avenue and witha 6 percent grade in the Mount Washington Transit Tunnel.

“But it would be a BIG help,” Mr. Stoddart e-mailed. “Yes, it would be at the rider’s risk, not an issue as far as I’m concerned. I just think it would be a good idea.”

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