We’re pretty excited about the City of Pittsburgh’s 2015 budget
The 2015 City of Pittsburgh budget has the largest allocation of money for bike infrastructure that we have ever seen, as well as funding dedicated for some key pedestrian improvements. Even more encouraging is that bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure is being integrated into other services like lighting and paving. For instance, this budget shows consideration for where bike share stations will be installed by planning to add adequate lighting nearby. Similarly, budget line items for streetscape improvements in business districts can be used to enhance safety and accessibility for pedestrians.
With the popularity of bike commuting on the rise and Pittsburgh’s bike share system set to launch in the coming months, this investment is certainly needed.
Here are the highlights:
- Funds for more protected bike lanes. The budget includes money for installation of new protected bike lanes this year. The 2015 projects will expand on the existing projects and work towards Mayor Peduto’s promised 5 miles of bike lanes by mid 2016.
- An equitable use of resources. Homewood will be the site of a complete streets-style makeover. We’re excited to see some investment in neighborhoods that have yet to receive bike-friendly improvements.
- Funds for bike racks. Riders know it: endpoint facilities are important! Gone are the days where you’re always locking to whatever immobile thing (fence, railing, parking meter, sign post) you can find, bike racks are now a line item.
- Additional bike lanes and shared markings. New markings will make the recommended bike routes clearer and more identifiable, allowing riders to navigate the city more easily.
- Greater investment in accessible pedestrian signals. There’s a $175K increase in spending on audible signals from last year.
- Steps! The city more than doubled last year’s investment in the wall step and fence program.
- New sidewalks. New sidewalks will be constructed in the Hill District and in Brighton Rd in the North Side.
A huge thanks to Mayor Bill Peduto and City Council for approving a budget that invests in bike infrastructure, demonstrating a commitment to creating a network of connected bike routes. Thanks also to Jennifer Sample, the City’s Budget manager, who compassionately guided many through the process of submitting statements on the capital budget or signing up to give public comment at a hearing.
And, of course, thanks goes to all of you pedestrians, bicyclists, and advocates who spoke at the capital budget hearing, submitted written testimony, or wrote to the mayor or council.
Not a member of BikePGH? 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.bikepgh.org/membership