We counted One bike for every Three cars during peak morning commute on the Penn Ave Bike Lanes
This year, we counted 176 bikes and 644 cars between 7:15am and 9:15 am – the morning peak commute. Bike traffic remained the same, but auto traffic increased over previous years. This is not a surprise, given the large number of new housing development, without any change in making it safer to bike. As the saying goes, if we plan for cars what we get is more cars, if we plan for people we get more people.
It’s time to extend the Penn Ave Bike Lane
Since the Penn Ave Bike Lanes were installed in the Fall of 2014, each Bike to Work Day we’ve been counting bikes and cars at the intersection of Penn Ave and 10th St to capture a snapshot of how the protected bike lanes are performing. While the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership maintains live bicycle counts at three locations within the bike lane, we also wanted to count cars to get a picture of how Penn Ave is used.
New bike lane visitors in 2019
One notable difference this year was the sight of e-scooters, something that we didn’t observe in previous counts. While these new mobility options are still not quite legal in Pennsylvania, it’s only a matter of time before they are allowed on the roads. Which means that we’re a short time away from e-scooter companies have them available for rent all over the city.
Our infrastructure needs to be ready for this. People will ride where they feel safe, and if the streets are hostile, that means they will be riding on the sidewalk.
We’re now in our 5th year of waiting for the City to extend the Penn Ave bike lanes to the eastern neighborhoods, something that was the intention from the beginning.
Much has changed over the past five years, except making it safer to ride a bicycle. The Strip District Trail has been closed due to development. Other large developments, with their required parking, have also been built. It’s no surprise that if we increase the number of people living and working in a neighborhood without providing safe biking and walking facilities, people will drive.
Please join out #ExtendPenn campaign and make sure the future of the eastern neighborhoods isn’t a traffic jam.
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