(PITTSBURGH) Aug. 1, 2012 In light of the recent bicycle tragedies in the City of Pittsburgh and the forthcoming two-week long bicycle celebration, BikeFest, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and BikePGH today reminded drivers and bicyclists to be lawful, cautious and respectful of one another.
“Pittsburgh has come a long way in the last five years in improving bicycle safety and infrastructure to create a more flourishing urban environment,” Ravenstahl said. “Our City’s pedestrian and bicycle friendliness are key components to residents’ quality of life and help us grow our City’s population. More than ever, residents and visitors seek walkable neighborhoods and bicycle access to enjoy the City’s cultural opportunities, recreation amenities or merely to get to work, school or the grocery store. As the City encourages walking and biking, we remind everyone that when driving, biking or walking, safety not only for yourself, but for your fellow street users, is paramount.”
In recent months there have been several serious crashes involving drivers hitting bicyclists and pedestrians resulting in severe injuries and even death after James Price was killed in a hit and run.
“My thoughts and deepest sympathies go to the victims, families and friends affected by these recent incidents,” Ravenstahl said. “Hit and runs will not be tolerated on Pittsburgh’s streets. Our neighborhood camera system is up and running throughout our City and our police officers are ever more on the lookout for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. As a driver, you never want to be put in a position where you have tragically injured a bicyclist or pedestrian, so drive safe and be cautious.”
State law declares that bicyclists have equal access to our streets unless otherwise signed and that motorists must pass bicyclists with at least 4 feet. Due to population density, the City of Pittsburgh, unlike its adjacent suburban and rural areas, experiences a high percentage of cyclists and pedestrians. As a result, motorists must be extra vigilant and careful. Staying alert and driving safely is vital to saving lives.
“Although everyone must share space on our streets, much more responsibility rests on the shoulders of people driving cars, which have far greater ability to hurt and kill. Slow down, and treat bicyclists and pedestrians with care and respect,” says Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh. They could be your friend, family member, doctor, minister or anyone.”
Starting August 5th drivers will be seeing even more bicyclists on the streets due to PedalPGH and over 80 bicycling events during BikePGH’s annual BikeFest celebration. The events are "shared road" type of events, which means that motorists should be hyper-aware of many more bicyclists on the streets. Drivers should also be aware that they will encounter more group rides than usual. Please be patient and pass only when it is safe to do so.
Safety tips for cyclists and motorists can be found at bike-pgh.org/resources/share-the-road/.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687