Pittsburgh to host international biking and walking conference

Photo by Flickr user Lisa Xing

Pro Walk Pro Bike 2014 will be held in “America’s most livable city”

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) announced last Friday at the closing of Pro Walk Pro Bike 2012 in Long Beach, CA that the next location for their conference will be held in Pittsburgh. Pro Walk Pro Bike is one of the leading bike/ped conferences in the world, attracting nearly 1000 planners, engineers, advocates, elected officials, public health officials, and urban designers to participate in the week long symposium.

Why Pittsburgh? “It certainly doesn’t hurt that we rank 4th in the nation in terms of biking and walking as primary modes of transportation,” said Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh. He added, “There’s been a buzz about Pittsburgh for years in the biking and walking world, but it remains a hidden gem. Pro Walk Pro Bike will be the great unveiling of Pittsburgh to all the leading advocates, elected leaders, planners, urban designers and engineers who are transforming cities throughout the world into world class places for biking and walking. It will be our time to shine, to show off our wonderful neighborhoods, riverfronts, bridges, public spaces, bikeways and steps, but also learn from the best and brightest how to make Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods and streets safer and more livable.”

Mayor Ravenstahl’s spokesperson, Joanna Doven, had this to say, in an interview with Pittsburgh’s NPR news station, WESA 90.5FM, “We’ve striped more than 30 miles of bike lanes, we’ve but in over 500 bike racks throughout our neighborhood business districts, and we’re actually going to be striping the first green bicycle lane in the coming months so there’s a lot that we’ve done, [and] a lot we’re going to be doing in the next couple of years.”

Doven said the city plans on doubling the number of bike lanes in the next two years, and for pedestrians, she said the city plans on making wider sidewalks and installing safer crossing signals.  The motivation for the projects is to make the city more sustainable and more livable, especially for young people, she said.

“Really we’re making complete streets,” Doven said.  “When a resident moves into the city of Pittsburgh or lives in the city of Pittsburgh, they not only can drive to a business district, they can walk and they can bike, and really live more healthy, and really more happy.”

Become a card-carrying member of BikePGH today! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect cyclists’ rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place ride. For more info, visit: www.bike-pgh.org/membership

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