One lane?? Two lanes?? Bike Lane!!
Squirell Hill cyclists rejoice!
The 2009 construction season has begun with the addition of 1.2 more miles of bike lanes to the city-wide bicycle network that’s in the works. The City striped Wightman St and Beacon St in the cyclist dense Squirell Hill neighborhood. Both of these streets were notorious for having wide, ambiguous lanes where drivers would sometimes treat it as one lane, sometimes as two, creating confusion for everybody. Bike Pittsburgh recognized this confusion on the popular cycling route, and worked with the City and the Mayor’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, Steve Patchan, to add some order to the streets, giving Pittsburgh our second “Road Diet.” The lanes also have a buffer on the right-side, adding protection from the dreaded “door-zone.”
Leading into Schenley Park, Beacon and Wightman are part of the City’s initiative to connect the parks via clearly marked and safe bike routes. Beginning long ago with Beechwood Blvd, last year East Liberty Blvd became the next puzzle piece of the initiative with the addition of bike lanes to help residents access Highland and Frick Parks more easily. In addition to ELB, expect future bicycle-friendly treatments on Highland Ave and Forbes Ave.
Cyclists are definitely known as a bunch that likes to use 311 to complain about things. Take a moment to call or email the 311 line to THANK the City for these safety improvements and for taking our concerns seriously. We need this momentum to continue!
For Drivers: Bike lanes are restricted use lanes for bicycles only. It is not legal to drive or park in a bike lane, even if there are no bicycles present. A police officer can and will ticket you. BikePGH and the City recognize that the appearance of bike lanes is new to Pittsburgh drivers. Be on the lookout for an education campaign this summer that we’re developing with the City.
A resident already sent us a message stating that the “new bike lanes in squirrel hill are fantastic. I drive on Wightman and Beacon every day to/from work. Those are dangerous roads for pedestrians and bikes – if a car stops to let someone cross, others behind zip around to pass blind. I’ve seen a number of close calls. Plus it drives bikes to sidewalk, illegal crossings, etc. which makes it worse. Keeping bikes out of car traffic and preventing blind passing – a win/win.”
Not a member of Bike Pittsburgh? Join today! We need you to add your voice! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect cyclist’s rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride.For more info, check out: www.bike-pgh.org/membership
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