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Posts tagged "Pittsburgh"

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Mayor Bill Peduto Wants to “Leapfrog” Your City on Bicycling and Livability

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is putting the rest of the United States on notice. His city is on the rise, and he fully intends to keep it that way.

For the first time in over half a century, Pittsburgh is expecting an increase in residents as the number of people moving back to the city grows. Complete streets policies are high on Peduto's agenda for managing this growth and making the city more attractive. Earlier this month, the ProWalk ProBike ProPlace conference took place in Pittsburgh, and the energy of the city was on full display. So was Peduto, who was very active at the event.

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Mayor Bill Peduto soaks up some rays at Park(ing) Day 2014. Photo: City of Pittsburgh

Peduto is now at the forefront of a new wave of American mayors who understand how reforming the design and function of urban streets is key to growing a city. When talking to him, it's clear right off the bat that he's well-versed in urbanism and the history of cities. Even so, he wants to learn more. This summer, he went on a study tour with The Green Lane Project to check out the best bike infrastructure Copenhagen has to offer.

Local advocates have high hopes for Peduto's administration, which has already delivered some high-profile improvements. According to the latest stats, Pittsburgh has the 11th highest bike mode share in the country, and there is solid momentum to build on that. Pittsburgh recently implemented its first true protected bike lanes downtown, part of Peduto's push to create a more multi-modal city.

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Need to Add a Bike Lane to a Bridge? Experiment Like Pittsburgh Did

The Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place 2014 conference took place this week in Pittsburgh. Even though the Andy Warhol Bridge already has a nice shared bike-ped path on it, for one week the city decided to put bike lanes on its roadway. It's the simplest design you can imagine, just two rows of small traffic barriers and a little bit of signage. I compiled a few moments of footage while walking to an event one night.

In New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge is just packed with pedestrians and cyclists. For about the last ten years or so, the crowding gets so intense at peak hours that it can be perilous. There have been many solutions suggested over the years, including converting one of the roadway's car lanes to a two-way protected bike lane so cyclists and pedestrians don't have to jostle for space on the narrow promenade they currently share.

Of course the Brooklyn Bridge has more traffic of all types than the Andy Warhol Bridge. But keep this Pittsburgh experiment in mind for the future. Something has to be done on the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe a trial bike lane during the summer would be a good place to start.

It wouldn't be an unprecedented decision. There are many other examples throughout the world -- here's our video of  Vancouver giving road space to bikes on the Burrard Bridge:

 

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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.

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A Look at Pittsburgh’s Bike Parking: Shipping Containers, Space Invaders and Bike-Friendly Restaurants

The future looks bright for Pittsburgh for 2014. As they prepare to host the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Placeconference next September, last week Project for Public Spaces held a one-day summit in advance of next year’s big event.

One thing Pittsburgh is doing is creating some innovative and fun bike parking facilities. As you’ll see from the video, we present three types, including a converted space in a parking garage decorated in a “Space Invaders” theme, an extremely unique and secure bike parking facility that repurposes shipping containers, and bike parking corrals outside some very busy restaurants.

Pittsburgh City Council Member Bill Peduto delivered a great speech to help kickoff last week’s conference. He won the Democratic primary for mayor and is the overwhelming favorite to win the post in less than two months. He has a very impressive grasp of transportation issues and has been a huge fan of Streetfilms for years. Understanding just how important livability is to a city, he can hit the ground running on transportation. I think the next four years in Pittsburgh could be groundbreaking.

I caught a few minutes of Peduto’s remarks, in the video after the jump. And check out short films of two Pittsburgh bike and pedestrian bridges here.

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Journey to Pittsburgh to Walk & Bike

During a recent 48 hour Streetfilms swing thru Steel City, we learned that like many other metro areas across the country, Pittsburgh has a growing movement for better bicycling and more livable streets. Among the coolest things you'll see in this seven minute Streetfilm travelogue...

- A newly renovated, pedestrianized Market Square, where two cross streets were eliminated to create a better people place.  New York's Project for Public Spaces helped consult on the project.

- We got to hang at an am commuter breakfast with the advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh, and talk to cyclists about what they like about their city, and what could use some improvement.

- Adjacent to the Century Building is a unique private-public partnership using retro-fitted shipping containers for a secure bicycle parking project.  For just $100/year you can safely park your bike indoors.  A recent citywide law made it mandatory to provide bike parking in new buildings (or those being renovated.)

- The Over the Bar Cafe, a unique bicycle-themed restaurant serving great food and drink, and a frequent meeting place for rides and advocacy events. The walls are filled with cycling memorabilia and murals adorn the walls and is usually packed with riders and non-riders alike.