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Pittsburgh looks to rapidly add over 100 miles of on-street biking

PITTSBURGH — The City of Pittsburgh is looking to rapidly add “an additional 150 miles of safe and appropriate bicycle facilities to the city expanding the total network from 57 miles of on-street facilities and 36 miles of trail to 180 miles on street and 63 miles of trails for a total of over 243 miles of travel lanes for bicycles.” This nearly doubles the existing network and could include motorized scooters as well.

CLICK HERE and scroll to Appendix A to see which areas will be impacted through this plan

According to the Bike(+) Master Plan released Tuesday morning, there is an increased demand for safe areas for cycling. To accomplish this, the city must expand the biking network, connect neighborhoods to grocery stores and other commercial areas, provide safe short-term bike parking and remove barriers such as connections, bridges or intersections that put bicycle riders at risk. The report said biking in the city has to compete with narrow streets, heavy traffic volumes and drivers going at high rates of speed. Fewer than 37% of people surveyed for the report said riding a bike in Pittsburgh is a safe option and there are on average 57 crashes per year involving people on bicycles.

The report said in order to accomplish these goals, there will need to be shared use paths or trails, protected bike lanes, buffered bike lanes and shared lane markings, among other things. Some roads will need to have narrower lanes for cars, lanes reduced from four to three, and on-street parking will need to be removed in spots.

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“Now more than ever, we need resiliency and safety in our transportation network,” Mayor Bill Peduto said in a news release. “People on bicycles, people in vehicles, and people on foot all benefit from a complete network that logically accommodates travelers of all modes.”

City officials said a new public awareness program will be launched in order to quickly start working on adding new biking areas.