The voice of constituents is crucial
While we do work on better biking and walking full time, we can’t be everywhere. We’re also a only one piece of the puzzle, and while we have members in every neighborhood, it’s also very powerful for residents to contact their elected officials with problems, praises, and making sure that they are aware that you want to live in a walkable, bikeable neighborhood. Our message is amplified when citizens take some time and contact decision makers.
Join or start a neighborhood bike/ped committee
Several neighborhood residents and organizations have begun to work toward making their streets better for biking and walking, while building a local community of bicyclists. Below are some contacts.
Lawrenceville: Lawrenceville Bike/Ped Committee
Eastern Suburbs: Share the Road East, Contact: Mike Boyd
South Hills: Economic Development South Bike/Ped Committee
Allegheny River Communities: ARTEZ Bicycle Pedestrian Committee
Write to decision makers
The key people to focus on are your elected officials, your employer, and government agencies.
Locally, the most important individuals to connect with are Mayor Bill Peduto (click here to email him) and Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald (click here to email him). Call their office, send a letter, or email them stating that you’re a voter and that it’s important to you to make our region’s streets, business districts, and places of employment more bike friendly.
Next, in order of importance, is your city councilperson. It’s the councilperson’s job to represent the interests of the specific neighborhood(s) in which they got elected. They can’t represent those interests if they don’t know what matters to their constituents (i.e. you). So, if you care about making Pittsburgh a better place to ride a bike please take a second to find out who your councilperson is, and write him or her and tell them that you’d like your neighborhood to be made more bike-friendly! Most likely, you’ll be surprised at how engaged they are and the response you’ll receive.
Here are some talking points:
- Implement the City of Pittsburgh Bicycle Plan
- Install of on-street markings such as: bike lanes and shared lane markings whenever possible
- Calm traffic using speed humps, “your speed is” signs, better crosswalks, and pedestrian signals
- Install bike route signs
- Installing bike racks in your business district
- Pass Complete Streets legislation
- Repair potholes and other dangerous road hazards
- THANK THEM!!!! If you see something you like, let them know! They get a lot of complaints, so praises go really far!
Write a Letter to the Editor
Anyone who’s read the comments section of our local newspapers know that we have a long way to go for people to accept biking on city streets. That’s why it’s crucial that we write to our papers when issues arise, or if new infrastructure that you like has been installed. Otherwise, only the voices of opposition are being heard.