Bike Pittsburgh releases City’s first bicycling map since the Masloff Administration…15 years ago!

pittsburgh bike map

After a fifteen-year wait, Pittsburgh cyclists have in their hands something that cyclists from other cities take for granted, a bicycle map. Pittsburgh’s “spaghetti bowl” street layout makes it difficult to get around, so newer residents and cyclists ride the larger, arterial roads, which are usually poor for cycling. The back streets are quite pleasant, so the map, created by Bike Pittsburgh, is designed to help cyclists find the best alternative route to traverse our myriad neighborhoods. “Our goal is to make it simple for people to choose a bicycle to transport themselves,” says Scott Bricker, Executive Director of Bike Pittsburgh.

In 1991, Bicycling Magazine ranked Pittsburgh one of the worst cities to ride a bike. The mayor at the time, Sophie Masloff, then produced a bicycling map of the city. Since then, bicycling in Pittsburgh has exploded, so the time was ripe to make a new one to help out local cyclists.

Pittsburgh has no traditional urban grid pattern, and the streets that transect the city tend to be busy with fast moving traffic. Also, the lower-traffic routes tend not to connect neighborhoods, or are very steep hills. “Our hills and bridges give Pittsburgh it’s unique identity and beautiful views,” says Eric Boerer, Bike Pittsburgh’s Membership Director, “but it also makes bike travel between neighborhoods intimidating, especially if you don’t know the milder side streets, and how they connect to one another.”

Bike Pittburgh’s map contains a cartoon depicting a safe commute and locations of major hills, landmarks, and trails. We also identify and mark unavoidable stretches of road that are hazardous where people are to ride with “Caution.” For these areas, we provide information on who to contact to lobby for safer streets.

The “Sophie Map” was produced and funded by the City of Pittsburgh, an arrangement common in most urban areas that try to encourage bicycle transport. Bike Pittsburgh produced this new map with funding provided by the Heinz Endowments. Map cartography by deepLocal with illustrations by Glen Johnson.

Maps available for free at lots of locations around town!

6 Comments

  • misterhare says:

    The map is very helpful and looks great.
    One possible issue is the graphic reminding you to lock up your bike with the front wheel.
    I have always been told to lock up your back wheel as it is the more expensive of the two and not as easily replaceable.
    Does anyone have a thought on this?

  • erok says:

    you’re right, that isn’t the most secure way to lock it. ideally you want to take off your front wheel and lock it along with your frame and back wheel to something. or take along a cable lock and lock one of the wheels with it using the u-lock.

    the front wheel back wheel debate is sure to rage forever. the back wheel is more expensive and more of a pain to replace, but the front wheel is easier and faster to get off the bike without struggle.

    what the map doesn’t show is that only the front wheel is quick release, and the back wheel is bolt on. ;)

  • Dave says:

    Just wanted to say the map is awesome. Worthy of framing.

    PS: maybe the lock graphic should just show bolt on axles?

  • misterhare says:

    Yeah, I discussed this with someone last night and realized that the back is harder to get off.
    For me it is a mute point because I have a U-lock and cable. No problems.

  • really excited to see the map — any chance that the map is available online as a pdf? any chance that it may become available online?

    Justin

  • erok says:

    OK, got the pdf version online. its available here: http://www.bike-pgh.org/campaigns/commuter-bike-maps

    Also, the second phase of the map is to have an online version on our website. Users (ie all yinz) will be able to post things on top of the map, and then comment on the posts. It’s essentially using the map as a communication tool. We’re already doing this with the maphub site, but it will be over our map and integrated into this website instead.
    Currently we have been logging things like bridge crossing info, general useful cycling info, crashes, etc.

    We’re looking by the end of the year?

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