Detail of Version 5 of the Pittsburgh Bike Map
Brand new design, better transit info in Version 5 of our Pittsburgh Bike Map
Our city’s beauty, in many ways, stems from our lack of a traditional street grid, our rivers, and our many hills — three elements that also make riding in the city challenging at times, especially since these geographic components provide most of our neighborhood connections. Often, the routes that we’ve all learned from driving or taking the bus around, are not the best or safest cycling route to reach the same destination. The Pittsburgh Bike Map is designed with the commuter and urban explorer in mind, in the hope that folks can learn the easiest and safest routes to traverse our landscape, as well as explore some new territory.
We identify the best routes for cycling and connecting neighborhoods, the car-free trails, as well as the less-than-ideal, yet unavoidable stretches of road as “Cautionary Bike Routes.” We also have a separate safe cycling section so riders can familiarize themselves on how to stay safe while riding a bike in Pittsburgh.
Over the course of the four previous versions, we’ve received feedback from map users to help us continually improve its usability. One improvement that we’ve made is to better integrate transit service into the map, to help people figure out how to combine the modes. With our hills, bridges, and unpredictable weather, Pittsburgh is a perfect place to combine cycling with a transit ride, especially for those who live in outlying communities. Someone can ride down a hill, and then throw their bike on the front of a bus to get back up. Likewise, one can now easily take the T in from the South Hills, and then continue on to their destination on their bicycle. Bikes also help improve the “catchment area” of a bus or train stop. A distance that may be a bit too far or difficult to walk, can often easily be done on a bicycle.
Version 5 of the Pittsburgh Bike Map clearly lays out all of the busways and their stops, as well as marking which “T” stops are accessible for boarding with a bicycle. The Port Authority has been actively improving bike/transit connections by installing bike racks on the front of every bus (with room for two), and now allows bicycles on board the light rail and incline, with no peak restrictions. This is the first version of the map printed since these improvements to transit service were announced.
With the help of Deeplocal, a Strip District based innovation studio, we’ve also given the bike map a face lift. New graphics and colors give the map a fun appeal, while also improving readability. Deeplocal has been involved in the Pittsburgh Bike Map project since the beginning.
The “official” release party for version 5 of the Pittsburgh Bike Map will coincide with our annual BikeFest Kickoff Fundraiser Party on Friday, August 9, at the Pittsburgh Opera (2425 Liberty Ave, Strip District).
Next week, the map will be available in bike shops around town.
The Pittsburgh Bike Map, first developed by BikePGH in 2007, was born because at the time, there was no map to help cyclists safely navigate Pittsburgh. The City produced a bike map in 1991, known locally as “the Masloff Map,” but by the late 2000s, was near impossible to get ahold of. With the rising number of cyclists, BikePGH began producing the version you see today.
BikeFest is BikePGH’s annual 3-week long celebration of bicycling in Pittsburgh organized by bicyclists for everyone! Whether you ride everyday, the weekends, or simply always wanted to give it a try, BikeFest has an event for you! To view the events calendar check out the BikeFest 2013. This year’s festivities kick off on Friday, August 9th with the BikeFest Fundraiser Party at the Pittsburgh Opera.
Purchase BikeFest Fundraiser Party Tickets here: http://www.showclix.com/events/13712