Dutch Consultants To Help Oakland Become More Bike-Friendly
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Fifth Avenue through Oakland is one of the busiest corridors in town.
“It’s obviously very busy with cars, it’s very busy with cyclists, so we are trying to figure out a design for facility that increases safety,” Stephen Patchan, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, said.
Leaders with the city are joining forces with the Dutch Cycling Embassy to improve this area for people traveling on two wheels.
The Dutch are global leaders when it comes to cycling.
“A lot of our treatments that we’re doing now, they did 15, 20 years ago,” Patchan said. “We’re catching up to them, having them here to tell us what they are doing currently is only going to help us catch them quicker.”
A team from the Netherlands has already checked out the stretch through Oakland and members are hopeful improvements can be made.
“Our first impression is that there is space enough to take some space from the cars and allocate it for cycling and it’s a matter of how do we deal with intersections, but there is space to improve the situation obviously,” said Tom Godefrooji, from the Dutch Cycling Embassy.
The group will work and brainstorm Thursday and Friday. Then, it’s up to leaders in Pittsburgh to make it happen.
They say it’s worth the effort considering all the benefits that go hand in hand with cycling.
“It’s a way to get out and see Pittsburgh, it’s a way to get to work really conveniently, efficiently, you know one car payment can buy you a bicycle,” said Patchan.
“It’s cheap and efficient urban mobility, which brings people to places where they have to be for little money and for little space on the road, secondly it allows us the quality of public space in cities,” said Godefrooji.