Positive progress in a difficult year
Despite the global pandemic, the MoveForwardPGH team has been busy making sure residents can get safely around their City. The pandemic highlighted the need for safe outdoor activities, as well as a reevaluation of how a city, where 25% of households don’t own a car, can still get to the places they need to go.
Over the course of 2020, MoveForwardPGH has made strides in improving Pittsburgh’s bicycling infrastructure and in making it easier for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to get around safely. Already this year, the City has added 12 miles of new bike lanes, trails, and Neighborways.
An initiative of the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, MoveForwardPGH is a collaboration with Bike Pittsburgh and Healthy Ride to implement the City’s new Bike(+) Plan for safer streets and healthier, more sustainable transportation options throughout Pittsburgh.
Let’s go over some of 2020’s accomplishments, innovations, and ways that MoveForwardPGH has moved the needle toward safer streets for all.
This video has been viewed over 305K times!
Marketing Campaign and Education
A big part of the MoveForwardPGH program is showing people, especially drivers, how bike infrastructure also makes their drive safer, less confusing, and less stressful. When people riding bicycles have a place on the road, it’s clearer where everyone should be and makes it easier to pass. Our goal is that everyone, whether you walk, roll, drive or ride a bike, gets where they’re going safely.
A sampling of the MoveForwardPGH web, bus, and billboard ads
Through billboards, bus shelter ads, online ads and videos, and even bus wraps, a lot of eyes were seeing how bike infrastructure can benefit them. The digital advertising has logged 11.5 million impressions, with 305K views on one video alone!
Additionally, the campaign featured a variety of billboards, bus shelters, yard signs, and bus wraps scattered across the city.
The Gap to the Point protected bike lanes are raised to the curb level where they cross an area with a bus stop
GAP to the Point
One of the more visible projects was the on-streetGAP to the Point protected bike lanes. DOMI and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership have been working to make Downtown more bike-friendly, not only to aid residents and workers into one of the top employment centers in the state but also to make sure that tourists and recreational cyclists using the GAP are able to safely access all of the great food and culture that downtown has to offer.
Others are taking notice. In fact, the national advocacy organization, People for Bikes, recently named the project one of America’s 10 Best New Bikeways of 2020.
The pilot traffic calming on Euclid Ave. These will be replaced with a more permanent installation
Introduction of Neighborways and Traffic Calming Techniques
A brand new type of street in Pittsburgh that enhances a series of residential streets with traffic calming and bicycle wayfinding to create a safer experience for people on bikes as well as the people who live there. Neighborways improve connections to existing bike routes, create safer environments for bicyclists and pedestrians, reduce vehicle collisions and speeding, but have minimal impact to parking.
The City installed six Neighborway projects in 2020: Euclid Ave, Reynolds St, Central Lawrenceville, South Side, Bloomfield/Friendship, and Melwood/Gold.
The crossing from the Negley Run bike lanes to the new Washington Blvd Trail
Sometimes a section of trail is the best way to make connections, and the City’s two trail projects will surely make an impact. First, the Washington Blvd Trail makes a seamless connection between the end of Negley Run and the Bud Harris Cycling Track in Highland Park. Next, Squirrel Hill bicyclists rejoiced with the completion of the Dispensary Trail connecting Beechwood Blvd.
Finally, while officially part of the new South Side Neighborway, the City completed a new trail under the Birmingham Bridge. This new connection allows people on bikes and on foot to continue on the South Side Neighborway along Wharton St and avoid the very busy East Carson St.
A sampling of community outreach included online public meetings, temporary signs, and a street team
Due to Covid-19, the MoveForwardPGH team has had to replace our planned in-person community outreach with virtual public meetings, webinars, and other tactics to reach the public. While face to face communication was not allowed, we were still able to reach host about a thousand participants across ten neighborhoods through online public meetings. MoveForwardPgh has also kept neighbors up to date by placing weatherproof informational signs on key locations across the city, and sending more than 15,000 postcards to alert residents about project updates. To top it off, we held a virtual summit explaining this new street type used to help connect and expand the bike network.
Additionally, the Healthy Ride Ambassador program has been another community outreach success. The 2020 Ambassador cohort worked to create awareness about upcoming MoveForwardPGH projects and gathered feedback through survey distribution and community meeting promotion.
Onward to 2021!
2020 was just the start of this ambitious initiative to rapidly implement the new Bike(+) Plan. Projects across the city are in the works, so be sure to stay tuned to find out how to get involved.