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Pittsburgh Unveils Draft Of City's Master Bike Plan For Public Comment

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - After five years of planning, a draft of Pittsburgh's Bike(+) Master Plan has been released for public comment.

The plan, unveiled by the City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure Thursday, lays out a "safe and connected network" of facilities both on-street and off-street to help people travel by bike.

And not just bikes -- the plan also focuses on other forms of small mobility modes like pedal-assist electric bicycles, motorized scooters and skateboards.

"We want to give people more choices, more ways to travel -- a high level of comfort when they do -- and really rationalize the streets," said Karina Ricks with the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure or DOMI.

A press release calls the plan a "critical step" in meeting the city's climate goals of reducing transportation-related emissions by half in the next 10 years.

"The Bike(+) Plan is safety, plus access, plus sustainability, plus joyful travel," said Mayor Bill Peduto in the same press release.

"It is another building block in strengthening an inclusive, vibrant, resilient city providing travel options that accommodate and respect the great diversity and needs of our people."

The plan also aims to not only make the city more accessible for drivers, but for everyone.

"About 25 percent, or a full one-quarter, of the driving trips in our city are less than a mile so imagine if we could remove 25 percent of the vehicles from our traffic congested streets," Ricks said.

The maps show the bike plus lanes pushing farther into the North Side neighborhoods and South Side of the city. These connections to more neighborhoods was a main goal for the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.

"The plan is that it is going to close gaps in the network and create a full network for everybody and it's also going to eliminate some of the stress and confusion everyone feels on our streets," said Scott Bricker with Bike PGH.

The plans also show future corridors. For example, the connection between the Strip District and Lawerenceville is not on the current plans.

"Where those blue arrows are, those are places where there are parallel streets that could be assigned as being the one that is most inviting for bicycle travel. Those arrows simply indicate that those are places where we will go into consultation with the community," Ricks said.

City officials tell KDKA the final plan should be complete in March and you will see the changes before the end of the year.

Ricks said they will likely start with the residential areas since those are active projects with neighborhood groups.

City officials will review the 10 year plan every two years and update after five years.

Drivers could see some changes as roads are narrowed and parking eliminated.

The city is now seeking broad public comment until the end of March. There will be open houses, with the current locations and soon-to-be added locations available online.

The public can also comment by emailing or calling the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.

The full plan can be read here.

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