PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The dangers of riding a bicycle on Penn Avenue have come to the forefront recently.
In the past two weeks, two people have been hit and killed while riding their bikes along that stretch of road.
A third collision involved a Pittsburgh police motorcycle officer who was patrolling the area in the wake of those accidents.
Now, Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto is highlighting a safe bicycling alternative to Penn Avenue.
“I think with other cyclists, they just don’t know that this route is there, that they feel that they have to be able to use Penn, when in fact, they can get from the same point to the same point just by going off Penn Avenue by a few blocks,” Peduto says.
Peduto says he has worked for more than a decade with numerous advocacy organizations, including Bike Pittsburgh and Friends of the Riverfront, to create a safe cycling route throughout the East End.
“The work that was being done 10 years ago, the story wasn’t there, we do have an option,” Peduto said. “It is an option for any cyclist who wants a safe way to travel north and south between the communities, all the way from Wilkinsburg down to Lawrenceville.”
The main route through Point Breeze is Reynolds Street, a section of road that’s already part of the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail that stretches from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.
“As you can see Reynolds Street is very wide,” said Peduto. “This neighborhood was the first neighborhood to create the first bike lane under the Caliguiri administration along Beechwood Boulevard that connected neighborhoods by connecting Point Breeze all the way through Squirrel Hill. It’s very bicycle friendly.
All it takes is riding a slightly different route through Point Breeze.
“The neighborhood of Point Breeze has been aware of the density, the compactness and the narrowness of Penn Avenue, and it’s a challenge to try and create a complete street where everyone would have the opportunity to use it,” added Peduto.