PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There was plenty of confusion along Penn Avenue Thursday morning as drivers continued to use the newly designated bike lanes for vehicular traffic.
Police officers stopped drivers to let them know they were going the wrong way as crews continued to install signs and barriers for bikers.
“It will take time. I am not going to be mad at anybody for maybe making a mistake, but it’s up to all of us to pay closer attention because the last thing anybody wants is anyone to get hurt,” Aja Jones said.
“They turned it into a one way and now it’s just chaotic and it’s just not working out with the traffic flow in the morning. So, it makes it really difficult for people to get to work. No warning signs for us to know this was happening at all either,” Sara Yates said.
Greg Eide, who owns an entertainment shop on Penn Avenue, is concerned business will be detracted.
“A two-lane bike lane?” said Eide. “This has totally snarled traffic up. It makes it hard for the people that come into Pittsburgh to go shopping.”
But easier for those who commute and cycle for work.
Brad Moore, who uses his bicycle for commuting and work, said, “Were all really excited about it because of the safety, but this enables the city to have more active people, more active cyclists, and honesty, it’s going to bring the scene together.”
That’s exactly what Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is looking for.
The mayor says a grant-funded study showed adding the lanes will improve safety for drivers and cyclists. He says that the safer routes will attract more cyclists to come into the city as a commuter and for exercise.
When the switch is finished, Penn Avenue will be one way inbound between Sixth and 16th Streets from Downtown to the Strip District.
That means traffic heading out of Downtown toward the Strip will now have to use Fort Duquesne Boulevard or Liberty Avenue.
Crews also began installing temporary bike lanes this morning on the Andy Warhol Bridge.
The bridge will be reduced to one inbound and one outbound lane of vehicular traffic to accommodate the new bike lines.
The bike lanes are being installed in advance of the Pro-Walk, Pro-Bike Conference that begins Monday.
They will remain in place through Saturday, Sept. 13.
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