Why Mountain Bikers Need to Show up to the City’s Open Space Planning Meetings

Mountain bikers volunteering in Frick Park


Help change the status of Mountain Biking in City Parks

Despite thousands upon thousands of volunteer hours in Pittsburgh’s City Parks, an old piece of zoning code causes confusion and problems for mountain bikers.  The Mountain Bike Community needs you to attend the City’s Open Space Planning meetings to change this.

The following is a guest post by Eryn Hughes of Velomuse.

WHO: Velomuse is encouraging mountain bikers to attend en force, at each night’s forum to ensure the longevity of access to trails within the City’s regional parks (Frick, Schenley, Riverview and Highland parks), as it prepares its long range plans for Open Space.

WHY: One unresolved point of debate that has been discussed over the last few years is whether the City acknowledges mountain bikers as a legitimate non-motorized trail user.  We believe mountain bikers should be permitted equal non-motorized access to all trails (including singletrack, noted as “narrow, wooded path” in code*), unless otherwise designated as explicitly “off-limits” (example: Nature Center). It is currently, largely subject to interpretation.

As a new legislation is on the horizon (read: new Mayor and new long-range open space plan), establishing a precedent where mountain bikers are treated as equal trail users is important, not to mention, significant as hundreds of volunteer hours by mountain bikers have provided trail maintenance.  Many other non-profit organizations are in support* of this dynamic, demonstrated by Memorandums of Understanding between the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group and the City.

HOW: Please consider attending a meeting local to you, sharing your thoughts and representing mountain bikers’ interests.  If the equal access issue is important to you, please leave that in writing on any feedback forms allowed.  The City is most likely to keep these on file with the long range plans, and will last much longer than verbal input alone.

Reference #1: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=13525
(473.03 section e:Bicycles confined to roads. No person in a park shall ride a bicycle on other than a paved vehicular road, or path designated for that purpose. A bicyclist is permitted to wheel or push a bicycle by hand over any grassy area or wooded trail or on any paved area reserved for pedestrian use.)
Reference #2: http://www.pittsburghparks.org/frick-bike-trails


The Remaining Meeting Locations:

Tuesday, May 14th, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Schenley Ice Rink
  • Overlook Drive, off of Greenfield Road (15213)
  • Nearby Transit: Bus Routes 52L, 53L, 58

Wednesday, May 15th, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Propel Northside (former Columbus Middle School
  • 1750 Brighton Road, Central Northside (15212)
  • Nearby Transit: Bus Routes 13, 15, 16


Thanks in advance for advocating for mountain biking!

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