Safe Trips in the Strip – History

Every Pittsburgh resident deserves streets that are safe and accessible, no matter how they choose to get around

In 2014, the outbound lane on Penn Avenue was converted to a protected bidirectional bike lane, something that BikePGH wholeheartedly supported. At the time, former Mayor Peduto expressed the need to extend the bike lanes into the surrounding neighborhoods so that they would see their full potential. This gave us hope that the City was working on the vital connection to Lawrenceville and Bloomfield – neighborhoods with some of the highest bike commuter rates in the City.

This should be an easy commute

Despite the clear popularity of the project, there has been little progress on extending the Penn Ave bike lane, nor on any eastward alternative. In 2017, there was a brief hope that a safe connection along Smallman Street would be created after the public process that led to the Stoss plan in early 2017. This plan created a completely new vision for the street and was supported by stakeholders including BikePGH. However, few of the ideas in this plan are being pursued.

New Development, New Jobs, Autonomous Cars

Recently, multiple housing developments, new offices, and autonomous vehicle testing have increased the motorized traffic in this same corridor. While job and residential growth can be positive, there has been no plan to manage this increased traffic demand on our streets.

As the saying goes, if we plan for cars what we get is more cars, if we plan for people we get more people. If we increase the number of people living and working in a neighborhood without providing safe biking and walking facilities, people will drive and park wherever they can. To complicate matters, if we allow companies to test autonomous vehicles without providing bike lanes we are further putting people in harm’s way.

Providing safe and connected bikeways and sidewalks will ensure that jobs and amenities are available to all, regardless of the ability to pay for a car.

We Need Your Help

Extending the Penn Ave bike lanes will serve more residents while helping reduce the traffic burden that the new developments and autonomous vehicles have created. We can solve multiple problems at the same time by making

Thousands of Pittsburghers travel to and through the Strip every day on their commutes and for shopping and visiting. Yet roads in the Strip remain some of the most confusing, aggressive, and dangerous. A project to make the Strip easily and safely accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists began in 2014 but was never completed.

As the Strip and surrounding areas boom, and as we emerge from the pandemic as a city excited to reinvigorate and reconnect, now is the time to finish the job and complete this crucial transportation infrastructure.

Timeline and media

September 2023

  • City proposes to redesign every major street in the Strip District – includes outbound bike lanes on Smallman St and inbound bike lanes on Penn Ave
  • Mayor Gainey’s draft 2024 Capital Budget includes money to build bike lanes on Smallman St and Penn Ave – Stay tuned and be sure to sign up for our Strip District email list for the most up to date information

December 2019

September 2018

November 2018