PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Bike lanes in the city of Pittsburgh continue to be a source of controversy. Some loving them and other hating them, but the plan for Mayor Bill Peduto’s latest addition may be in jeopardy.
While bike lanes are the tip of this sword, Mayor Peduto made it clear that his beef with PennDOT District 11 is nothing new.
“There have been things that have occurred where, unilaterally, the local district has been making decisions, and not really working as well with the community as they could be,” the mayor said.
Before calling Gov. Tom Wolf about the issue Wednesday, the mayor pointed to the bike lanes as a point of contention.
“There has been concern over the bike lane and taking it off of First Avenue and putting it onto, potentially, part of it onto the Boulevard of the Allies where there’s more space,” Mayor Peduto said.
PennDOT responded saying in a statement:
“The city applied and was selected for funding through the SPC to place bike lanes on Fort Pitt Boulevard.”
But, then, complaints came in from Fort Pitt Boulevard businesses that it would wipe out their parking. So, the city shifted to the Boulevard of the Allies.
But PennDOT points out:
“At this point, bike lanes have never been studied on the Boulevard of the Allies due to the city’s selection of Fort Pitt Boulevard… as well as, the boulevard’s use as the alternate route for the Parkway East.”
The mayor responded on Friday saying, “Folks at PennDOT locally have said that they don’t want it there because it’s an entrance to a parkway, but so is Fort Pitt Boulevard.”
But the mayor says it goes beyond bike lanes.
“The poles that are being used in Downtown and on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, after two years of community meeting, and highway poles get put into a neighborhood business district, you wouldn’t see that in Mount Lebanon,” Mayor Peduto said.
The mayor talked to Gov. Wolf about the issue and said, “We’ll be going up to Harrisburg to have some meetings to discuss how to better work with the local district here.”
Gov. Wolf’s office released this statement to KDKA on the matter:
“The governor remains committed to our shared goals of improving infrastructure and public spaces in the city.”
PennDOT District 11 released another statement, saying:
“As with other projects in the city of Pittsburgh, PennDOT is certainly willing to work with the mayor and his staff to address transportation issues.”