PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Will Groves doesn’t just ride a bike, he depends upon it.
For the young Duquesne University graduate and bar manager, it’s his primary mode of transportation over the streets of Pittsburgh.
“It’s been everything,” Goves said. “It’s how I get to work at least three days a week. It’s what I do for fun. I mountain bike and road bike.”
And a new bus shelter and billboard campaign is aimed at showing that Groves is not alone.
BikePGH is featuring a nurse, a carpenter, a student, a priest — even Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Antonio Brown — in a plea to drivers to be cautious and alert cyclists.
“The point is there’s a person riding that bike,” said Scott Bricker with BikePGH, “with a life, with a family with hopes and dreams and cares and we hope that drivers see that when they see a cyclist and not just nuisance.”
The number of bikes on the streets has increased exponentially in recent years — making the city more attractive to younger workers like Groves, who says the city has become a much safer place to ride since he moved here six years ago.
“Since then it’s improved 100-fold,” Goves said.
But a recent spate of fatal and near-fatal accidents speaks to the need for improvement, like motorists giving the cyclists at least four feet of clearance while passing.
BikePGH’s Bricker says motorists must recognize a cyclist’s shared right to the street. Not that Bricker excuses cyclists who fail to stop at traffic lights or who weave in and out of traffic — it’s just that cyclists are the more vulnerable ones.
“Everyone using the streets could use them better,” he says, “cyclists, pedestrians, but drivers are the ones who are altering people’s lives if they’re reckless, they’re drunk or they’re high.”
Whether relations between motorists and cyclist improve as a result of this campaign remains to be seen, but BikePGH says that making the city more bike-friendly will save lives.