PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As more people are taking to their bicycles as a primary mode of transportation, the city of Pittsburgh is trying to become more bike-friendly.
The Mayor Bill Peduto administration is creating new designated bike lanes, but the first has hit a bump in the road.
Cyclists say they love the new dedicated bike lanes along Saline Street — which link the Eliza furnace trail, commonly known as the jail trial, with panther hollow.
“It’s a great addition. I like to see bike lanes whenever they come in the city. This is a great,” one rider told KDKA’s Andy Sheehan.
But that sentiment isn’t shared by most people who live in the neighborhood called the run. Saline Street is their only way in and out and folks say it’s become dangerously narrow.
“It’s way too narrow. Absolutely too narrow, somebody’s going to get hurt.”
Saline Street is the first of the city’s new bike lanes and may be a preview of battles to come. Parking along this stretch has been eliminated and now commuters who used to park there now leave their cars in front of houses or Pete Provenzano’s bar.
Provenzano said, “But when you come here and park and you take up the street for all day and me as a person who has a business here pays taxes to the city. Sometime I have to park down the street or in the back.”
The Peduto administration has heard the complaints and says it’s trying to address them with better signage and cutting underbrush to improve visibility.
They’re also planning a public meeting to air the concern.
“It’s after the fact though.”
Gary Kuntz says the city should have communicated with the neighborhood before putting in the lane.
“How much money did the city spend to put into those lines and if they don’t use it how much money is it going to take to take those lines out.”
Cyclists say they expected that bike lanes would hit some bump in the road.
“There’s always some growing pain, I think ultimately it’s a good thing for the city as a whole.”
Call it growing pains or working out the bugs, but as the city tries to become more bike-friendly it will also try not to make new enemies.