Cycling in the Burgh

If you are cycling advocate in Pittsburgh, or know a cycling advocate in Pittsburgh, or have even a passing interest in cycling in Pittsburgh, then you may appreciate this tale of cycling in Washington DC -- an assault on a cyclist, by a motor vehicle driver, and its aftermath.

Reading that story reminded me of the horrific incident recently involving two Pittsburgh cyclists, Bob Noll and Jonathan Finder.  The PG hasn't updated its coverage to indicate either the condition of Dr. Noll, who was terribly injured, or the status of the police investigation.  Does anyone have news to share?  [Updated:  They do, here in the Post-Gazette.]

Despite how dangerous cycling in Pittsburgh can be (narrow, poorly maintained roads not designed to accommodate both cyclists and drivers; lots of angry drivers who do not understand and resent sharing roads with cyclists; and some reckless cyclists, ignoring stop signs and using cell phones will riding), the emergence of a visible and viable cycling movement over the last decade is nothing but a great thing for the city, its people, and its reputation.

I don't cycle on city streets myself.  I grew up riding in the San Francisco Bay Area, on suburban streets, on busy thoroughfares, on bridges, over mountain passes.  Cycling isn't risk-free out there, but I never felt the hostility towards cyclists that sometimes gets expressed in local media in Pittsburgh.  So here, I keep my wheels on the trails.  Many thanks to the many courageous ones -- and the many responsible ones -- who don't.

Bike Pittsburgh, everyone.

Comments

3 Responses to "Cycling in the Burgh"

LBJ said... 6/17/2011 1:01 PM

I do a car/bike commute most days (I have a Montague folding bike that I keep in my car) so I am very aware of the cycling side of things even when I'm driving...I wish more people were!

MH said... 6/21/2011 11:48 AM

For people who don't cycle on the streets because they are cycling on the sidewalks, can I suggest that maybe a bell is a nice thing to have. The same traffic that drove you to the sidewalk makes it impossible for me to hear you coming from behind. This is especially true for the bridges into Schenley Park at rush hour. If a bell is too stupid, maybe shouting "On your right!" or something. The first time somebody actually hits me, I'm tossing the bike into Junction Hollow if I have enough unbroken bones to do so.

Dean said... 6/22/2011 11:47 PM

I think the local media tends to negatively exaggerate many, many things. It's not entirely cycling friendly here, but it's pretty damn good, honestly. I feel much, much safer riding here than I did in DC, after living there for the better part of a decade.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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