Worried about biking in Pittsburgh

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Hi everyone,

I’m a Pitt student residing in the Squirrel Hill area. Recently, I’ve started to put some thought into riding my bike to Oakland each day instead of taking the bus.

Now, I have some serious conflicted opinions about this proposition, so I was hoping I could get some feedback.

Just for starters, I’ve grown up in the Pittsburgh area all of my life pretty much, up until these past two summers where I interned in the Portland, Oregon region. Being in this area really opened my eyes up to cycling since I rely on my bike to get EVERYWHERE around here. It’s truly amazing – there are bike lanes on every single street here.. even in the suburbs.

Ideally, I would like to continue biking when I go back home to Pittsburgh, but I’m seriously worried about it. I’ve done some research and it seems like there’s a lot of accidents and unfortunate situations, coupled with a complete lack of respect for cycling.

In Portland I can ride freely without having to worry about being run over by a car at all times, but in Pittsburgh there’s no such luxuries.

How do you ensure safety when you ride around Pittsburgh? I really want to start cycling more, but I’m pretty concerned about safety aspects, especially in such a pro-car environment like Pittsburgh. The lack of any bike lanes and huge elderly population is what worries me the most.

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