Bike Report from Pittsburgh: Cool Bicycling Bridges & ProWalk/ProBike/ProPlace Coming in 2014!
Last week I was in Pittsburgh on a panel for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place 2013: Moving People Forward Summit. It's a warmup for the much larger 2014 conference which will be also held there. Put it on your calendar.
It's no secret that Pittsburgh is a great city of bridges. And while they may currently lack a comprehensive on-road network for bikes, pedestrians and bicyclists do have ample space and comfortable access to just about all their bridges.
Last time I visited in 2010, I fell in love with the elegance of the Hot Metal Bridge, which crosses the Monongahela River and provides an intergral link in the Great Allegheny Passage which connects all the way to D.C. One evening, I spent over an hour soaking in the atmosphere and the observing the people using it. It's peaceful, clean, and has great views. I'd put it amongst my Top Five U.S. bike bridges. I knew this time back I had to put together a montage, I hope it conveys my experience.
The conference ended with a group bike ride which showcased some of Pittsburgh's new bicycle amenities. One relatviely new facility really shows why we need to make top notch connections for bikes and peds that are not only functional, but incorporate art wherever possible. Check out some footage of the Shady Liberty Pedestrian Bridge.
Okay, let's get back to the conference, Pittsburgh City Council Member Bill Peduto delivered a great speech to help kickoff the event and charge residents for 2014. He's won the Democratic Primary for Mayor and now is the overwhelming favorite to win the post in less than 2 months. As I found out later when I met him for dinner, he has a very impressive grasp of transportation issues from Bus Rapid Transit to PARKing Day, and has been a huge fan of Streetfilms for years. Understanding just how important livability is to a city in the bike/ped/transit realm he can hit the ground running on transportation and I think the next four years in Pittsburgh has a chance to be groundbreaking. Here's a few minutes of his remarks I grabbed.
And finally just in case you missed it on the published on the Streetfilms main site, I've embedded a few unique bike parking amenities I saw in a few hours riding around Pittsburgh.