It wasn’t easy to choose
The 2014 Pro Walk/ Pro Bike/ Pro Place conference was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh, September 8-11th. Most of the Bike Pittsburgh staff attended and we had a blast sharing and learning with folks from around the country and around the world. Here are the top five things we loved about the conference:
1. US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, spoke at the conference and released a brand new plan to increase biking and walking.
2. We met the City of Pittsburgh’s new Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator, Kristin Saunders. Kristin’s first day is October 1, we can’t wait to work with her.
3. Mayor Bill Peduto announced his plans to “leap frog” other cities’ progress in placemaking through creating an interconnected network of bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly complete streets — with community involvement, of course. During a panel discussion with mayors from Philadelphia, PA; Morgantown, WV; and Memphis, TN the mayor said the following:
“[In the mid-90’s] we were ranked one of the five worst cities for cycling. Today we ranked the 21st best city for cycling. But I gotta tell you something – we’re Pittsburgh! We’re not happy about being 21st. We want to be in the top 10 in the next 5 years, which means we are going to leapfrog you. You have been ahead of us for a while, but we’re going to create programs now and models that you’ll want to take back to your cities.
These protected lanes through the Green Lane Project are just the first step – there’s five more miles coming in the next two years. They’ll connect to our riverfront trails in a superhighway system around this city. And we will create in this downtown area, where we have this goofy two-grid system, the most comprehensive and largest contiguous complete streets model in the United States. And we’re going to do it through a community based process, involving everyone as a stakeholder.”
4. 1,000 city planners, bike and pedestrian advocates, community leaders, elected officials and business leaders came to our city. These active transportation lovers – from all walks of life – spent four days learning about ways to “put people first” when planning public spaces.
5. Pittsburgh residents took part in the conference during the first-ever Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place Community Open House.
6. Everyone had a great time exploring our city. They zipped through Pittsburgh on bike tours, strolled up and down our hills on walking tours, spent time checking out our great network of trails and admired our brand new bike infrastructure.
Not a member of BikePGH? Join today! We need you to add your voice! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect cyclist’s rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride. For more info, check out: www.bikepgh.org/membership