PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — He’s heard the complaints.
“Just came into work and the bike lane was here. No notice. No meeting,” said Pete Provenzano, of Zano’s Bar.
Folks — in one case even a parish priest — are complaining that bike lanes have been planned without public input.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “Shouldn’t the churches have been involved from the beginning?”
Fr. Harry Nichols: “Obviously we think so.”
Now, Mayor Bill Peduto acknowledge the city’s efforts to involve the public have fallen short.
“There’s no doubt that we can do a better job,” he said. “We’ve had initial discussions with the planning department to say how we need to step it up.”
In what source call a head-knocking meeting with staff last week, the mayor demanded more transparency and more public involvement in deciding where he bike lane are sited.
The city now plans to make public its year-to-year plans and two community meetings on each bike lane: one to get input from the community and a second one to review how acceptable changes can be made. The city will also send resident direct-mail flyers to inform residents of each meeting. That way, the mayor says, no one can say the bike lane caught them unawares.
“People sometimes choose not to go to their community meetings,” said Peduto. “People choose not to read what’s reported in the papers and then they see it happen and say why didn’t anyone call me.”
Still, the mayor says make no mistake, more bike lanes are in the pipeline and he’s determined to make the entire city bike friendly.
“Our goal is by 2020 to have bikeways that make it possible to connect from any neighborhood to any neighborhood,” he said.