By Karen Price
Friday, June 22, 2007
It was a sight Monday that no doubt caught some folks standing along Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield off guard.
There was Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, in a dress shirt, slacks and tie, pedaling along on a bike, accompanied by about 25 other cyclists and a police escort.
With police lights flashing, Ravenstahl and members of Bike Pittsburgh officially opened the city’s first bike lane, a stretch of Liberty Avenue from Baum Boulevard. to Ligonier Street that’s now marked with a combination of five-foot wide lanes and on-street shared lane markings.
The markings, called sharrows, consist of a bicycle with two arrows above it.
The city plans to mark more lanes and shared spaces in the future.
Greenfield Road — from Hobart Street to the Greenfield Bridge, alongside Schenley Park in Squirrel Hill — is the next area slated for a new bike lane and signs.
“This is just the beginning of where we want to take this,” Ravenstahl said.
Mary Shaw and Roy Weil, both avid cyclists from Squirrel Hill, rode along with the group on a Cannondale tandem bike.
“I think it’s great because this certainly could be a great biking city,” Shaw said. “We need to improve the interaction between drivers and cyclists. Many people aren’t aware that bikes belong on the roads, too. They’re not malicious, but uneducated.
“This is a first step.”
Ravenstahl also announced that the city will be hiring a full-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. That person will be responsible for, among other things, updating and managing the city’s bicycle plan and identifying and pursuing funding sources for cycling and pedestrian improvements.
Ravenstahl hopes the position will begin Jan. 1, 2008.
Karen Price can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7980.