Filling a gap between two popular bike lanes
Building a safe bike route through the Strip District is a high priority for the City of Pittsburgh. The Strip District Connection seeks to improve cycling by connecting the gap within the Strip District between the existing Penn Ave Bike Lanes (which currently end at 16th St), the Smallman St bike lanes (16th to 21st Sts) and the Liberty Ave bike lanes in Lawrenceville, which start/end at Herron Ave.
The existing conditions are chaotic and dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists alike. The project aims to improve the overall connectivity and clarity in the Strip District, Downtown, and Lawrenceville transportation network, and make it easier for people riding bikes, driving, or walking to navigate the streets and around each other.
The route will improve access for residents to fresh food and shopping in the Strip District as well as employment destinations and other amenities in the neighborhood and Downtown. One of DOMI’s goals is that every household in Pittsburgh can access fresh fruits and vegetables within 20 minutes of travel from home, without the requirement of a private vehicle.
Through key improvements, based on engineering best practices and community feedback, DOMI hopes to achieve safer, more comfortable streets for all users.
The Strip District Mobility Plan, created between 2019 and 2020 with a planned adoption in 2021, identifies Smallman Street as the preferred bike route through the Strip District from 17th Street to 34th Street. While no design has been solidified, the plan identifies a desire to reduce the amount of traffic on Smallman St, which would have the effect of making it safer for people walking, driving and biking. Tactics may be used to create a Neighborway, the City’s new street type that aims to create a traffic-calmed shared road.
The improvements have been identified in the City’s 2020 Bike(+) Plan.
What is MoveForwardPGH?
MoveForwardPGH is a collaborative program between the City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI), Bike Pittsburgh, and Healthy Ride to help rapidly implement the new Bike(+) Plan, as well as market how less stressful roadways are beneficial for everyone, regardless of how they use our streets. See the moveforwardpgh.org website for more information.
Why the Strip District?
The recently adopted Bike(+) Plan calls to improve walking and cycling throughout the area and has identified a need through the Strip District, as there is a key missing gap in the bicycling network connecting the Strip District to Downtown, Polish Hill, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield and points east. The use of the Strip District has changed rapidly, and it’s important to update the streets to reflect the change in use. Additionally, the project will help achieve DOMI’s goal that every household in Pittsburgh can access fresh fruits and vegetables within 20 minutes of travel from home, without the requirement of a private vehicle.