With the finalized Bike(+) Plan, Pittsburgh receives high marks in the 2020 PlacesForBikes City Ratings

PeopleForBikes recognizes Pittsburgh’s commitment to rapidly implement new Bike(+) Plan

With the now finalized Bike(+) Plan, the national advocacy organization, PeopleForBikes, has recognized Pittsburgh as a top-performing city in their 2020 PlacesForBikes City Ratings, ranking 20th overall out of 567 cities rated this year.

The program is a data-driven analysis that shows city leaders how they can invest to make bicycling better for all residents and visitors. 

City Ratings are scored across five key indicators: 

  • Ridership – how many people are riding bikes;
  • Safety – how safe is it to ride bikes;
  • Network – how easy is it for people to bike where they want to go;
  • Reach – how well the network serves all parts of the community;
  • Acceleration – how fast the community is working to improve biking.

Top scorers are cities of all types and geographies who have succeeded in different ways, including cities that have made strong historical investments in active transportation as well as cities pursuing ambitious plans to rapidly implement high-quality bicycle networks on their streets.

According to the analysis, Pittsburgh is excelling in the “Acceleration” and “Safety” categories. The City’s commitment to implementing the new Bike(+) Plan, as well as upcoming projects, such as the bike lanes along Fifth/Forbes in the Bus Rapid Transit plan, contributed to this higher ranking. Additionally, the rapid growth of events like BikePGH’s OpenStreetsPGH improved the City’s Acceleration score. PeopleForBikes wants to recognize the building momentum around bike planning and events in the city.

Where we really fell short was “Reach,” or how well the network serves all parts of the community, as well as the existing “Network.” This is not surprising, as the City has only been installing the on-street bike network since 2007, and there are large gaps, as well as some neighborhoods that have not received any bike infrastructure yet. 

PeopleForBikes has developed a system called a Bicycle Network Analysis (BNA), to measure how well the bike network connects people with the places they want to go safely and comfortably.

The BNA rates every street within a city as high or low stress and analyzes where the network is strong and where it is weak. 

Commitment to the Bike(+) Plan

The ten-year Bike(+) Plan lays out a vision for a safe and connected network of on-street and off-street facilities with a goal of making our streets safer, less stressful, and less confusing for all users of the roadway. The benefits from bike infrastructure are experienced by all who use the road, whether or not they bike. 

Last fall, the City committed to installing 60 miles of new and improved bike infrastructure and neighborways, based off of this plan, over the next two years. While the Covid crisis has caused delays, this rapid implementation is being branded as MoveForwardPGH. The website intends to provide a one-stop shop for the City’s projects, as well as provide a place for people to learn and to support. 

MoveForwardPGH is a collaboration between the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, BikePGH, Healthy Ride, and PeopleForBikes to fuel Pittsburgh’s Bike(+) Plan and to help educate the public about how bike lanes and traffic calming initiatives will benefit everyone by reducing stress and confusion, and increasing safety and predictability.

Find out more at MoveForwardPGH.

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