Pittsburgh just released its blueprint for the future of two-wheeled transportation over the next decade, which would triple the 70 miles of bike lanes and trails the city currently has.
The Bike (+) Master Plan calls for adding 120 miles of bike lanes and another 32 miles bike trails, along with other improvements to increase safety. In 10 years, the city would have about 226 miles of lanes, trails and road markings for bicyclists.
The plan is designed to address the growing biking community in Pittsburgh, where those who bike to work is one of the fastest-growing segments among U.S. cities. It also seeks to encourage more people to use bikes and reduce air pollution by getting more cars off the streets.
Adding more bike lanes and making them safer will also help people who want to use other modes of transportation, such as Segways or electric scooters.
“It’s about providing safe, affordable, sustainable and joyful travel options for people of all ages and all abilities in our city,” Karina Ricks, director of the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, says in the document.
Pittsburgh first introduced a bike action plan in 1999, when the city’s bike network had just a combined 11 miles.
A lot has changed in 20 years.
According to the report, 2.1 percent of city commuters now bike to work. It also says Pittsburgh has the 12th-highest share in the U.S. of people who bike to work.
In 2015, the city instituted its Healthy Ride bike-share program. More than 66,000 active riders use more than 500 bikes located at 113 stations, the master plan says.
The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure will explore using state and federal funds to support a full or partial conversion of the fleet to electric pedal-assist devices. These bikes are equipped with an on-board battery and electric motor that help riders climb Pittsburgh’s hills and go for greater distances.
“This ten-year plan lays out a vision for a safe and connected network with a goal of making our streets easier, less stressful and less chaotic for all users of the roadway,” says Scott Bricker, executive director of BikePGH.
The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure says it will update Mayor Bill Peduto’s office on the project at least once a year. The plan will be formally reviewed by different agencies, advocates and public representatives every two years with a significant update anticipated after five years.
Citizens can email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The plan did not include cost estimates but noted that officials would seek to pay for it with a combination of local and federal funds and possibly from private or philanthropic funding.