Join the City in July’s meetings and help shape the most important document to create a bike-friendly Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Department of City Planning is launching their effort to create their first citywide bike plan in nearly two decades.
Consider this: when the “current” Bike Plan was drafted, the Eliza Furnace Trail was brand new. Today, we have high-tech bike share (that you can rent with your phone), OpenStreetsPGH, a trail that connects to Washington DC, and protected bike lanes – things whose existence was barely even conceivable two decades ago.
An updated Bike Plan is a necessary tool to move forward in expanding bike infrastructure, policies, and events.
• It allows the City to more easily seek funding
• Has a level of public and political buy-in
• And was also one of our top three policy requests of the City of Pittsburgh from our Member’s Meeting in November of 2014.
Our existing Bike Plan, created in June of 1999, is needless to say, out of date, and quite frankly nearly complete. Initiatives such as the Hot Metal Bridge, the hiring of a Bike/Ped Coordinator, and bike lanes were directly pulled from this document. It’s interesting to take a look at the document to see how much has been accomplished, or still needs to be, in the past 17 years.
The old document comes across as kind of simple and quaint, considering how much more complicated a new plan will need to be now that bicycling has developed and gained in popularity over the years.
Moving us forward
A Bike Plan is not just about when and where bike lanes are going to go. Ideally it will help add clarity to a “bigger picture” vision and agenda, formalizing the City’s commitment and goals toward improving the bicycling environment and culture. Ultimately this includes the 5 E’s, Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation and Planning (and we’d like to add Equity to that list). A Bike Plan will lay out the steps, and funding necessary to help raise Pittsburgh from our currently designated “Bronze” Bike-Friendly Community Status.
For instance, this is also a great opportunity to request an expansion of the Open Streets program, infrastructure funding, or towards the development of an Off-Road Mountain Biking Plan.
To create the Bike Plan, the Department of City Planning will be hosting four, city-wide Bike Plan meetings in July.
Using an “Open House” format, there will be opportunities for learning about the internal city processes and project selection, as well as soliciting your feedback on aspects of the plan.
Pittsburgh Bike Share / 3328 Penn Ave / Pittsburgh, PA 15201
You can find links through the City’s Bike/Ped Facebook Page.