FOR RELEASE: Pittsburgh Announced as the Host City for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference in 2014
Pittsburgh, PA—Mayor Ravenstahl and the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (a program of Project for Public Spaces) are proud to announce the City of Pittsburgh will host the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2014 conference. Pro Walk/Pro Bike, convened every two years, is the premiere active transportation conference in North America, hosting nearly 1,000 advocates, planners, engineers, architects, and health professionals. The conference will take place in early September 2014.
“Hosting a major conference like Pro Walk/Pro Bike clearly reflects the great work done by our City staff and community advocates,” says Mayor Ravenstahl. “It also illustrates the City’s commitment to encouraging our residents and visitors to bike and walk to work, school, and play. Since I released my bicycle and pedestrian initiatives in 2008, we have made great strides in expanding our infrastructure and improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety. On behalf of all Pittsburgh residents, City staff, and myself, we are extremely excited to show off our city to America’s active transportation professionals.”
“We are excited to bring Pro Walk/Pro Bike to Pittsburgh in 2014,” says Conference Director, Mark Plotz, National Center for Bicycling & Walking. “Walking and bicycling clearly enjoy strong support from political leadership and city staff, and who are guided in the right direction by strong advocacy, and community support for active transportation. We have great expectations for Pittsburgh.”
Since 2008, the City has installed nearly 30 miles of on-street bicycle infrastructure, 500 bicycle racks and its first on-street bicycle corral. The on-street infrastructure includes shared lane markings and bicycle lanes. The shared lane markings are bicycle/chevron symbols that indicate where bicyclists will be located on the street in a share-the-road situation. Bike lanes are bike-only lanes that provide a dedicated space for bicyclists. As part the Mayor’s Taking Care of Business program, the City installed nearly 500 bicycle racks at small/local businesses across the Pittsburgh’s many business districts.
Before the end of the year, the City will be installing additional on-street bicycle corrals, as well as Pittsburgh’s first green bicycle lane. Corrals will be installed in the Shadyside, Southside, and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods. On-street corrals swap one automobile parking spot for eight bicycle spots, significantly increasing parking capacity. Green bike lanes serve to substantially increase the visibility of the facility and the bicyclist, thus improving safety.
“There’s been a buzz about Pittsburgh for years in the biking and walking world,” notes Bike Pittsburgh Executive Director Scott Bricker, “but it remains a hidden gem. Pro Walk/Pro Bike will be the great unveiling of Pittsburgh to all the leading advocates, planners, urban designers, and engineers who are transforming cities throughout the world into world class places for biking and walking. It will be our time to shine, to show off our wonderful neighborhoods, river fronts, bridges, public spaces, bikeways and steps, but also to learn from the best and brightest about how to make Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods and streets safer and more livable.”
In its pursuit for silver Bicycle Friendly Community status, the City will be evaluating installing facilities including buffered bike lanes, bicycle boulevards, cycle tracks and bicycle traffic signals, as well as conducting public meetings over the winter to commence public comments and feedback. Pittsburgh has received federal funding for a bicycle wayfinding sign system and a bike share program. Both projects will be under implementation in the next few years.
Bringing professionals and advocates together at Pro Walk/Pro Bike is one of the principal purposes of The National Center for Bicycling and Walking, established in 1977, and now a program of Project for Public Spaces.
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization, founded in 1975, that is dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Our pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.