By: Alyssa Marsico

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – Pittsburgh has been selected as one of six cities for the PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project. The Green Lane Project will be a two-year program helping the city to build better bike lines.

Pittsburgh along with Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis and Seattle will receive financial, strategic and technical assistance to help install protected bike lanes.

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What made Pittsburgh so appealing for PeopleForBikes?

“Pittsburgh is a great story of a city that has not been very bike friendly in the past. They have been listed as one of the worst places for bicycling in the country in previous years and we have seen that really changing around.” Martha Roskowski, the vice president of Local Innovation at PeopleForBikes, said.

The Green Lane Project works with the cities to help speed up the processes of the protection bike lanes. The lanes are on-street and separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts, which makes the bikers more visible and cars more aware of their location. Pittsburgh’s narrow streets and hill could present a problem but the organization has worked around those issues before and can do it again.

“Pittsburgh is somewhat similar to San Fransisco in terms of typography and, what the city planners end up doing is looking at what are the routes that have the least elevation change. You know what are the places where bicycling is most foreseeable for a lot of people, which adds even more challenges when you think about what streets can you really turn into bicycle corridors,” Roskowski said.

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Past cities that were a part of the Green Lane Project have seen their bike lanes in the city streets nearly double. The lanes also make roads safer for everyone, reducing bike, auto and pedestrian injuries by up to 50 percent.

PeopleForBikes has a big project ahead of them in Pittsburgh, but they say all the willingness and cooperation they have seen from our city already will make it easy.

“Our program is very much about helping the city. You have a mayor that’s on board, you have smart transportation staff, a lot of support from folks who ride bikes, from the business community. So our program just brings in some additional resources to good cities and says, ‘What do you need? What are your challenges? How can we help?’ Is it with research, is it with technical assistance, is it taking some of your leaders to other cities and see how these projects really unfold and the benefits of them,” Roskowski said.

You can hear the whole interview below:

You can listen to the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf weekdays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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