PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The bike lanes were around last winter, but this is the first year for Pittsburgh Bike Share and there have already been talks about how to keep them up and running through the winter.
Pittsburgh Bike Share survived a rainy June, a hot July and humid August.
“We’re already seeing climate and weather effects on the bikes now,” said David White with Pittsburgh Bike Share.
But those negative wind child days aren’t far off.
“I think in the winter, we’re anticipating just slightly more maintenance that’s required for the bikes,” White said.
It was hard to take our minds off summer, but White says they know they’ll have work to do this winter to keep their 500 bikes in operation.
“Snow shoveling, wiping bikes off, de-icing, making sure all electronic components are working,” said White.
They plan to keep as many bikes available as possible, but that also means making sure the bike lanes are accessible.
“In Minneapolis, they plow the bike lanes first. They’ve made a commitment there to say we’re encouraging people to get around on foot or by bike even in the harshest conditions of winter,” said White.
The mayor’s office says primary and secondary roads will still be a priority to clear, but Pittsburgh Public Works Director Mike Gable says they have adequate staff to handle general areas at the same time.
“We purchased some smaller equipment that we’re going to be able to go in and do the bike lanes,” said Gable.
Given that some bike share racks are in the street, we asked Gable if there was any concern that plows could cause damage by pushing too much snow onto the bike racks.
“We have our drivers riding the courses, so they know where they know the different obstacles they’re going to encounter,” said Gable.
That doesn’t mean that those bike stations aren’t going to be covered in snow but that’s going to be the responsibility of the company moving the bikes around.
Gable also wants to see markers, like a tall pole, at the end of the bike rack in the case of deep snow, to help public works crews.