Mayor Peduto dishes on bike infrastructure, changing the city’s culture
2014, Bill Peduto’s first year in office as mayor of Pittsburgh, was a busy one. BikePGH’s executive director, Scott weighs in on the bike-friendly improvements in this week’s City Paper.
By Rebecca Nuttall | City Paper
…”When someone can appeal both to the hipsters and the people living in blighted neighborhoods by talking about what we can do together, that’s a unified message,” says Barney Oursler, executive director of activist group Pittsburgh United. “He’s talking about a renaissance in the city, but every time he’s talked about that, he’s also very carefully said it’s going to be done differently, so parts of the community aren’t left out of that movement.”
To that end, Peduto describes his freshman-year accomplishments as culture changes. He’s doubled down on efforts to improve the city’s basic functions like snow removal and pothole repair. But he’s also made more drastic changes, like creating protected bike lanes and selecting a police chief who didn’t come up through the city’s ranks.
“A lot of the changes we’ve done go to the core of the city’s culture,” Peduto says. “Eliminating a lane of [Penn Avenue] Downtown to put in a bike lane, that’s a culture change. Bringing in a police chief from outside of the city, that’s a culture change.”
Bike lanes are perhaps the most visible impact the mayor’s already had in Pittsburgh. To date, there are three protected bike lanes in the city, and funding earmarked for cycling improvements in the 2015 capital budget promises more to come.
“He ran on the idea of making Pittsburgh biking- and walking-friendly,” says Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh. “He’s made investments in safe, comfortable bike infrastructure, and we’re working with his administration to build off of those projects in 2015 and beyond.”…
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