Moving Beyond Bike Friendly – #WATWB

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. I learned how to ride a bike in the lower left area of the map below, and I logged hundreds of miles each summer in the area toward the upper right, after we moved when I was about ten years old. If anyone had told me that Pittsburgh would someday be in the top twenty bike friendly cities, I would have laughed myself silly. I saw Pittsburgh as hill after hill after steeper hill and where the roads were not pockmarked with potholes, they were narrow and they twisted in every imaginable direction. If you took your bike into the city, you only had to know that downtown Pittsburgh is a triangle, to imagine the challenge for cyclist.

This was a challenging place to ride a bike, but as children, we rode them every day it was possible.

When my brother sent me this article, I was amazed and happy. While visiting the city over the past ten years, we have noticed bike lanes, signage, and lots of bike trails. The notion that they are going to almost tripped the size of this network just makes me smile.

“The city would add 123 miles of dedicated on-street bike lanes and 27 miles of dedicated bike trails to the existing network for a total of 243 miles of bike infrastructure, according to the master plan. Pittsburgh currently has 93 miles of bike infrastructure; it had 11 miles when the first 10-year bike plan was launched in 1999.”

I was also impressed that the improvements planned are not limited to bikes.

“The goal of the plan is to make streets safe for all types of users, said Eric Boerer, advocacy director for Bike Pittsburgh

I like to think of our streets as complete streets or networks. A bike-friendly network will include a lot of streets, but all kinds of users are accommodated,” Mr. Boerer said. “Streets safe for cars are safe for bikes, for walking, for wheelchairs and so on. You need to think of all these scenarios for people.”

Lot’s of cities have and / or are planning to improve Master Plans that incorporate a wide variety of non-car transit on city streets and in areas expanding out into their suburbs. As a veteran of the bad old days of bike riding in Pittsburgh, I say, if they can make bikes safe in that city, any city can be safe for bikes.


The “We are the World” Blogfest is now in its third year. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Sylvia McGrath, Susan Scott, Shilpa Garg, Damyanti Biswas, and Belinda Witzenhausen, welcome participants. You might want to join us in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month.

If you want to SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD – Click HERE to be part of the Light.

41 thoughts on “Moving Beyond Bike Friendly – #WATWB

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  1. We’ve got a big hill outside our gate that He-Man rides up then more uphill a mile away. I’m thinking I’m gonna need a motorized assisted bike to get me up that hill.

    I like that the city is thinking about all modes of transportation and making it safer and easier for everyone. I hope it works!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We only have one hill around here that rivals the street we lived on when I was growing up. It’s as steep, but only about 1/4 as long. When I took our daughter to Pittsburgh for the first time, and showed her my bike route, she said, “now I understand why you don’t mind riding up South St.”

      Electric bikes are pretty popular here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My next-door got one mid-Spring and keeps asking me if I want to try it. I do, but don’t because I know I’ll really want one! I want all the outdoor toys since moving here! 😀 But without enough money or space what’s a girl to do?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. “without fear…” is so important. I stopped riding on the road around here a couple years ago. I used to love it, but I had too many close calls. I would like to see more trails around here. They are planned, but there are some big missing pieces near where we live.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love riding a bike, Pam, I always have, but I need a better place to ride (and I need a bike that doesn’t hurt my neck). I like this approach, to make the roads safe for all personal transportation.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The area around here is scary. I can get to some nice roads to ride on, but I have to navigate some shopping areas and highway ramps along the way. People get crazy around those things. Do you have paved shoulders on the back roads?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our coastal road A1A is “owned” by bikers. Over the years they have made that road their “trail” and will ride 2,3,4 abreast. It is sometimes impossible to drive down by the beach or along those wealthy home sites.

        Liked by 2 people

            1. I sympathize with cyclists, but many are not good at sharing the road. They are supposed to operate as vehicles, which means in the correct lane, signal your intentions and obey stop signs and traffic lights.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for Pittsburgh for making all these bike and other lanes. Now if they could just figure out how to get rid of all those hills! It always seems there’s a hill between where you are and where you want to be. I guess that makes the hills like Visa: everywhere you want to be. 😂🥳🤭

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the red bike sign! It makes me smile that Pittsburgh and many other cities across the U.S. are intent on making their community bike friendly. I’m very fortunate that the Fox Valley area and Wisconsin in general have created so many bikes lanes and trails for our riding pleasure. It beats walking or going to the gym!

    Thanks for a great #WATWB post, Dan. I hope you have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Dan – how brilliant … at least they’ve got space to make it happen; I hope they do something like that here – but we aren’t that big! We’ll see – they’re definitely thinking about bike lanes and I hope other people will be considered – then we need said people to adhere! Electric bikes, electric scooters, rollerblades etc are in the mix now … but what fun to see and remind you of those days. Take care – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  5. During my years of biking many years ago, there wasn’t any bike lanes or help signs for bikers. Is it possible the need for these things is because drivers have become obvious to anything smaller than their vehicle on the road?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so. Plus, as cars get “smarter” driving requires less attention. I read that ‘distracted driving’ is less of a problem in countries that still have a lot of manual transmission cars on the road.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing. I was in downtown Pittsburgh, once due to a flight delay, it was midnight and quite scary. With that limited exposure to the town, I sure wouldn’t have thought of it as a bike-friendly place. Glad to read my limited perspective is wrong. It is wonderful when people make a town safe for all forms of getting around town.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Dan, I’ve been checking out possible bike rides here in my neck of the woods and there are a few that I can and have managed. Further afield there are great biking trails that people come to, from all over the world to take part in those challenges. I’ll leave that up to them. But biking is such fun! I’m inspired to haul mine out in the next day or so ..

    Liked by 1 person

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