Pittsburghers call for bike lanes in Oakland after recent deaths

Pittsburghers call for bike lanes in Oakland after recent deaths

PITTSBURGH — Thousands of people are calling for the installation of bike lanes in Oakland after three deaths in four days.

An online petition calls for PennDOT, the City of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh to study the possibility adding the lanes along Forbes Avenue. The petition has received more than 2,500 signatures.

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Susan Hicks was killed while on a bicycle in Oakland last Friday. On Monday, Carol Williamson and her husband Henry Walker were killed while trying to cross the street.

“There's three universities there, there's healthcare facilities. This should be one of the safest areas of the city to walk and ride a bike and it's simply not,” said Scott Bricker, the executive director of Bike Pittsburgh.

City officials told Channel 11 News they have submitted an application for a federal grant which would pay for the installation of bike lanes within the next two years.

The Port Authority and Carnegie Mellon University are currently doing studies on the addition of bike lanes in Oakland.

Meanwhile, the community is coming together for a vigil to honor the lives lost over the last several days.

Erika Fricke is one of the people who will be in attendance. She is a friend of Susan Hicks, who was killed Friday while on her bicycle.

"She was very serious about following the rules of the road, and following the law because she knew that it was important for cars to understand what bicyclists were doing,” Fricke said about her friend.

Hicks was riding her bike home on Friday when she was hit and killed by a driver on Forbes Avenue in Oakland.

Three days later, Henry Walker was run over by a bus after he was hit by an SUV at this Oakland intersection. Walker's wife, Carol, was killed while she tried to help him.

Those three deaths in just four days shocked and saddened the Pittsburgh cycling community and they're now calling for drastic changes to Pittsburgh's roadways.

"Bicycling is safe.  Susan was safe. Susan's bicycle didn't kill her.  A car killed her,” Fricke said.