Was biking home after tonight's pirate game over the clemente bridge in their shiny new pirate logoed protected bike lanes, and was stopped/slowed by a (polite) officer mid-way. He mentioned that bicyclists were not allowed to ride on the bridge before/after games as it was closed to pedestrians who according to his definition needed to be walking (i.e. it is only ok to walk a bike over the bridge).
This kinda blew my mind (as I always bike with a decently strong light at night and will flash it/use my bell to notify pedestrians if they are in the lane).
What kinda confuses me is:
1) The bike lanes markers have pirate/clemente logos on them
2) The announcement over the PA mentions that the bridge is closed to motorized vehicles (but doesn't explicitly call out only "pedestrians" only)
3) I'm not 100% sure of this, but generally I've always equated "pedestrian-only" use areas as being open to bicycle use (i.e. sidewalks).
I understand the safety concerns, as too many folks walk in the bike lane, but this still doesn't make sense. I shot a note to @pgh311 asking about this, but wanted to figure out the best route to get some clarification before biking to pirate games in the future (as I can switch over to the 7th street bridge).
Best case, hoping for a retraction/clarification, or at least some sort of signage/logo adjustment.
I've biked over the bridge many times on game days and have never had this problem. I suspect that the cop was just making this up on the fly, but please post your response from 311 so we know what the real rule is. And it would be nice to have signage spelling out the rule either way.
Full season ticket holder who bikes to every game, and this was the first time it happened to me. Suspect they just started doing this recently as they have been cracking down on bridge t-shirt sellers/buskers/vendors recently (as I didn't see the sax man last night for the first time in a while).
Still, even the post-gazette article on the lanes mentioned they could be used for games "On days when the bridge is open only to pedestrian traffic for Pirates games at PNC Park, bikers will still be allowed through.".
I don't get it. What's so hard about getting off your bike and walking across the bridge. It's not safe to ride when they have the bridge closed to vehicle traffic. According to the pa vehicle code a bicycle is a vehicle.
Nothing is hard about getting off a bicycle to walk across the bridge. Still, the longer it takes to get home when I ride my bike, the more I'd just be better off just driving as usual from squirrel hill and parking my car downtown (defeating the purpose of bike lanes and bike infrastructure investments). It takes me 25 minutes to go door to ticket gate by bike/35 minutes home (as I need to go uphill). If I'm driving (and parking downtown) it takes me 30 minutes door to door. Port Authority takes 50 minutes so I usually just avoid it.
The bigger concern for me is the mixed message the lane is sending if you aren't allowed to ride a bike on it before/after pirate games - as from the design, it looks like it was explicitly designed for this purpose. Given the 20 bikers who just went over it during the 1st inning today (that I could count from my seat), I don't think I'm alone in interpreting it that way.
No response from @311pgh yet.
@mntBiker25, the question is whether it's closed to all vehicle traffic, or only motorized vehicles.
Also, I know you're trolling, but nobody likes to get off their bike and walk when they can safely ride.
I can't imagine they're closed. If nothing else, they certainly don't seem to be closed to the pedicabs that operate on the bridge during the games...
How can someone safely ride when there are 500+ people walking about. I don't think your bell or your light would make a difference. Yes there are bike lanes on the bridge. When they close the bridge to "vehicle" traffic it applies to "all" vehicles. Also I'm not a trolling kinda guy. I prefer to fly cast.
If it truly is closed — there's 2 more identical bridges right next door you can use. Are people really that adverse to riding across a bridge sharing it with some cars? If speed is truly a concern, I'd choose the "car bridges" over a congested bridge full of pedestrians.
Just got the "we are investigating" response from the 311 twitter account. I'll pass along if I hear anything more definitive back.
Maybe I'm biased, but I'd think an official response of "no you can't bike in the clemente bridge bike lanes after games" might lead to some subsequent conversations between the mayor's office and bikepgh given the irony of having a pirate logoed bike lane that can't be accessed before/during/after pirate games.
If safety and pedestrian education is a concern, I suspect there are some signage based solutions (e.g. 10mph bicycle speed limit pre/during/post games, more bike lane logos, restrictions limiting bikes to the left side lane, bicycle only entry gates put on the lanes alongside the barriers).
I don't see how biking in a well-marked lane made for bicycle traffic only is any more dangerous than trying to bike on any other bridge sidewalk when there is foot traffic that is shared (no bike lane).
...Or any other trail system where there are users who wear headphones and can't always hear you when you tell them you're passing.
Or any city park single track.
And so on.
After all, they are going to let people walk and bike on the same open streets that are closed to motorized traffic this weekend.
I can understand not allowing bikes at speed on the bridge when there are 500 people walking around. I cannot understand banning bikes altogether.
This is the same convoluted philosophy that kept bikes out of Point State Park forever.
It's much the same as biking through Market Square when it's busy. You cannot move much faster than a walking pace -- it's just not possible, let alone pleasant for anyone else -- but it really is possible to ride slowly. That's all that's called for here, too.
Can you jog or run across the bridge when there are 500 people on it? Would you? Should you? How about skateboards?
A more sensible rule is "walking speed, regardless of mode of travel".
As a society we are trying to codify, legislate, and police every human activity that should really rightfully be determined by common sense. It's really bloody pathetic.
Couldn't they designate one of the sidewalks for cyclists during games? Then the street and the other sidewalk could be for pedestrians only. I would think the upstream sidewalk would be ideal for this.
How can someone safely ride when there are 500+ people walking about.
It's not very hard. really. I've done it probably close to 100 times?
Hell, I've done it on the unicycle 100 times. 1,000 times. Ywanna talk crowded? I unicycled next to the Point fountain during Fourth of July fireworks one time.
" Are people really that adverse to riding across a bridge sharing it with some cars? "
After a ball game when people are in a rush to get home, and possibly had been drinking at the game, or maybe just distracted by cranky children... ?
During normal traffic, no.
I don't have a problem with no riding bikes across the bridge after a baseball game. Even in places like Boulder, CO, which is light years ahead of us you can't ride a bike in the closed street shopping area. There are plenty of options for cyclists to ride elsewhere after a game. Several other bridges with sidewalks are around and out of the way enough that it would be better for all. No big deal really.
Some cyclists (none of us, of course!) are not really respectful when sharing the road with pedestrians - I think this is why bikes have been disallowed in those situations. If there's a lot of foot traffic on the bridge, you can't really use the bike lane anyway (you ride at a walking pace wherever there's room); if there's not much traffic it seems silly to even worry about having bikes there.
So please make sure that beyond safely sharing the road, you are _polite_ when in crowded areas. A frightened person, even if they were perfectly safe, is also going to make us look bad.