It's A White (Paint) Christmas in Pittsburgh

Reader Contribution by Staff

It’s already looking like a white Christmas for cyclists in the Steel City.

Thanks to the efforts of Bike Pittsburgh, streets are being trimmed with fresh white paint, marking new bicycle facilities across the East End.

According to BikePGH: “Over the past year, we worked diligently with the City of Pittsburgh to plan for and design over 12 miles of new bike lanes that we have been waiting patiently to see installed.”

Well, Santa came a little early: The waiting is over.

In recent weeks, city officials have striped a number of new bike lanes and installed a slew of sharrows. The advocates at Bike Pittsburgh have been involved throughout the process, so the bicycling facilities create a viable two-wheeling network.

“The city continued the expansion of the East End bike network this weekend with the addition of bike lanes on Dallas Avenue and shared lane markings, or sharrows, on Hamilton Avenue,” Erok Boerer, the group’s advocacy director, wrote on the BikePGH blog. “This adds to the recently installed markings on Highland Avenue and Wilkins Avenue that now connect six neighborhoods and three parks with clearly marked on-street bicycle infrastructure.”

That’s not the only November victory, either. After years of advocacy from BikePGH, the Pittsburgh Port Authority announced last month that it will outfit the remaining 190 buses with bike racks by this time next year.

With so much activity on the ground, it’s no wonder Pittsburgh bicycle mode share jumped 76 percent from 2008 to 2009. According to the latest American Community Survey, Pittsburgh now ranks 7th out of the 60 largest cities for the percentage of people who use active transportation (walking, biking or taking transit) as a means of commuting.

So it’s also no surprise that folks outside bicycling circles are taking notice of the BikePGH crew. Pittsburgh Magazine just released its “40 Under 40” list and guess who’s included? Scott Bricker, co-founder and CEO of Bike Pittsburgh (and esteemed board member for the Alliance).

The magazine raves: “Ten days of BikeFest annually, 100 donated bike racks, a map of the city now in its third edition and a ranking as one of the best cities for bikers. Pittsburgh owes these two-wheeled statistics to the efforts of BikePGH and its co-founder and CEO, Scott Bricker. From advocating for bike commuters to renting bikes to tourists, his work helps cyclists enjoy a smoother ride. ‘[We are] giving a voice to this community and … have begun transforming the city into a more livable, bike-friendly place,’ he says. ‘If I can make local leaders think of our streets as places meant for moving people, not just cars, I will have succeeded.'”

Click here to read more from BikePGH.

Photo courtesy of BikePGH: Scott Bricker cruises down one of the new bike lanes in the East End of Pittsburgh.