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Release Date: Friday, July 24th 2015

Bike Lane Expansion to last 8 years in Pittsburgh

By Sheldon Ingram 

 

It only trails Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., with the highest  volume of cyclists, according to the cycling advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh.

Bike lane growth during the past years has gotten widespread approval for people who use their bikes for commutes and frequent recreation.

However, it's also created a wave of irritation for those who drive motor vehicle. The two sides have clashed through social media platforms.

Mayor Bill Peduto says the city's bike lane expansion is a necessary component to urban lifestyle, mainly because new corporate residents want it- like Google.

"The majority of people who work at Google ride a bike or walk to work," Peduto said.

"The majority of people who work in downtown Pittsburgh, either come in a bus,  they walk or they ride a bike. And we need to make sure the street and infrastructure are able to handle that."

Really? That would be a question drivers of motor vehicles would ask as their frustration grows with the number of bikes on city streets.

Thursday, a woman was physically attacked by a motorist who couldn't pass her on Butler Street in the city's Lawrenceville neighborhood.

In the city's Cultural District, frustrations are evident along Penn Avenue, which was once a two-way street to vehicular traffic.

It's now one-way to add two-way bike lane access.

"Some don't adhere to the traffic laws. They just turn in front of you and don't pay attention," Clyde Armstrong said.

Jermaine Watkins says Penn Avenue is now more congested.

"I hate it.  Yes, they take up too much space downtown," said Watkins.

Pittsburgh Bike Share has taken off with great success in the face of complaints from motorists and it represents one of the greatest barometers to measure the enthusiasm over bikes and the need for more bike lanes.

Bike Share is a service that allows the public to rent any of 500 bikes at 50 docking stations throughout the city.

The group says it averages between 300 and 500 rentals a day.

Even on Penn Avenue, where motorists complain, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership says cyclists made 24,000 trips on Penn Avenue in just the month of May alone.

Bike lane expansion will continue for the next eight years, using a few hundred miles of bike lanes to connect many of the city's 88 neighborhoods.

"This is giving people the freedom to choose how they want to travel." Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh said.

http://www.wtae.com/news/bike-lane-expansion-to-last-8-years-in-pittsburgh/34341796

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