Sunday, November 11 2007 @ 05:41 PM EST
Contributed by: B' Spokes
By Larry Walsh
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Riding from one Pittsburgh neighborhood to another can be challenging, even to those that are contiguous.
To make it easier -- and a bit safer -- Bike Pittsburgh, the Heinz Endowments and DeepLocal have teamed up to produce a new bike map of the city, the first in 15 years.
As a result, cyclists tend to ride the larger, arterial roads where they have to share the road with speeding motorists.
The new map, as much as possible, takes them away from all that by introducing them to alternative routes via back streets that "are quite pleasant," said Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh.
"Our goal is to make it simple for people to choose a bicycle to transport themselves," Bricker said.
But not all low-traffic routes are ideal alternatives for bicyclists, said Eric Boerer, Bike Pittsburgh's membership director. Some low-traffic routes are quite steep and others don't always connect neighborhoods.
"Our hills and bridges give Pittsburgh its unique identity and beautiful views, but it also makes bike travel between neighborhoods intimidating, especially if you don't know the milder side streets and how they connect to one another," Boerer said.
Bricker and Boerer said the new map contains graphic-style illustrations depicting safe commuting techniques, as well as the locations of major hills, landmarks and trails.
They said it also identifies and marks unavoidable stretches of road that are hazardous.
In conjunction with Bike Pittsburgh's mission to establish Pittsburgh "as a city that is increasingly safe, accessible and friendly to bicycle transportation," the map also provides information on who to contact to lobby for safer streets.
The new map was created by Bike Pittsburgh and funded by the Heinz Endowments.