In 1990 the League of American Bicyclists rated Pittsburgh one of the three worst cities in America for riding a bike. Well, we’ve come a long way since then. In 2010 the same organization recognized Pittsburgh as a “Bronze Level” bike-friendly community. This summer it feels like something great and bike-related is happening every week. In the past month, the bike sharing company B-cycle demonstrated their equipment in Market Square and met with key stakeholders and downtown advocates to discuss the possibility of bringing bike sharing to downtown Pittsburgh. Gil Peñalosa of 8-80 Cities spoke to a packed house at the New Hazlett Theater about the positive impacts that bike infrastructure and biking can have on a city, and the gorgeous new Steel Valley Trail section of the Great Allegheny Passage officially opened. Combine that with the opening in May of the new trail connecting the Strip District to Point State Park, as well as the continually increasing number of bike lanes and sharrows, and Pittsburgh is becoming a great place for bikes.
So now that it has finally stopped raining everyday, it’s time to get on your bike. If you’ve been thinking about it, but aren’t sure where or when to ride, here are some good resources:
Commuting – with bike lanes and sharrows on many of Pittsburgh’s key roads, and bike racks in more places than ever, commuting by bike is a great way to get exercise and save money (and maybe even time). Bike Pittsburgh’s Bike to Work Guide has everything you need to know about bike commuting.
Riding the trails – Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas have an amazing network of bike trails, that are easily accessible, scenic and fun to ride. The Montour Trail and Three Rivers Heritage Trail are two good options, and if you don’t have a bike, Golden Triangle Bike Rental can help you out.
Avid cyclist Will Bernstein is a policy analyst at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.