Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and words of the below guest blog post do not necessarily represent or express those of BikePGH. They are solely those of the author.
The time has come for a safe, easy route to bike through the Strip
Guest Blog Post by Will Bernstein, President, Better Streets Lawrenceville
I’ve been riding my bike from Lawrenceville to Downtown – through the Strip – for almost 10 years. Over that time, the route I take has varied quite a bit. When I first started riding, I would take Butler/Penn Ave all the way in, dealing with heavy traffic and dangerous intersections (looking at you, 40th and Butler!).
Later, even though I still had to deal with getting across 40th Street, I realized that I could ride on Smallman St, or even Railroad St most of the way, and then get on the Strip District Trail at 21st Street. Even though it took longer, I liked this route because it was much less stressful to not have to deal with all the traffic on Penn Ave, and there’s really nothing better than a morning bike ride along the river as you pass under the Allegheny’s three sister bridges.
Unfortunately, that trail has been closed for years, and doesn’t usually work in the winter anyway, since the trail doesn’t get plowed, so it’s back to Smallman and Penn for me. The downtown Penn Ave bike lane makes that option a little easier (at least when it’s plowed), but you’re on your own once you get to 16th Street. And now with all of the construction along the trail and on Smallman St, there’s just no comfortable way to get from Downtown back to Lawrenceville on a bike, especially given all of the extra traffic caused by new development. Even the once peaceful Railroad streets is full of autonomous cars now.
The time has definitely come for a safe, easy route for people to bike through the Strip. Let’s make it happen!
Check out our campaign page and join our #ExtendPenn email list: bikepgh.org/extendpenn