Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today introduced legislation to City Council that makes it easier for property and business owners to install bicycle racks in the public right-of-way by simplifying the application process.
"We're seeing more and more people riding bikes in Pittsburgh than ever before," said Ravenstahl. "It's important that we show residents and our bicycle community that we are serious about Pittsburgh's role as a bike-friendly and green City."
Based on the legislation, the City of Pittsburgh's Encroachment Ordinance shall be amended to include bicycle rack installation. The amendment will allow for bicycle racks to be installed in the public right-of-way by property and business owners through a simple and expedited process. As part of the Ordinance, applicants are required to submit a detailed illustration of the exact location of the rack(s) which demonstrates the rack's conformance to the City of Pittsburgh Bicycle Parking Standards. The permit fee, regardless of the number of proposed racks, shall be $25.
According to the City's Bicycle Plan "the City shall increase the quantity and quality of end-of-trip bicycle facilities, such as parking and commuter facilities." The introduced legislation is a continuation of the City's pursuit to provide parking for its bicycle community.
"Bike racks are one of the most important symbols of a bike-friendly city," said Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh. "They are a visual cue that bicycles are a welcome mode of transportation. This ordinance exemplifies the type of legislation that needs to be passed if Pittsburgh is serious about becoming a bike-friendly, sustainable community."
In 2004, the City increased the rate of installing bicycle racks as part of a partnership with Bike Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. The grant funded program installed bicycles racks throughout the City as identified based upon need and bicycle traffic volume. Upon completion of the program, the City-wide benefits of increased bicycle parking were evident and demand for racks continued. The introduced legislation today provides for an applicant friendly permitting process intended to encourage bicycle rack installation.
Under Mayor Ravenstahl, new bike lanes - the first two sets in the City of Pittsburgh - were striped on East Liberty Boulevard and Liberty Avenue. The City's first-ever bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Stephen Patchan, was hired and is working hard to make City neighborhoods safer for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. The Mayor and Councilman Patrick Dowd announced several bike/ped initiatives last August which addressed a spectrum of traffic, engineering and infrastructure improvements designed to protect cyclists and and pedestrians. The Mayor hopes to swiftly improve bicycle and pedestrian conditions in the City and plans on applying for "bicycle friendly status" in 2010.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687