ThinkBike Workshops Bring a Touch of Dutch Cycling to Pittsburgh Streets
(Washington, D.C.) — Bicycle transportation experts from the Netherlands will observe, provide best practices for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that Dutch mobility experts from the Netherlands will meet with City officials during the ThinkBike workshops at Carnegie Mellon University on June 21 and 22. The workshops, organized by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s Office in partnership with the Royal Netherlands Embassy, will bring together Dutch bicycle transportation experts, Pittsburgh transportation planners, engineers, advocates and cyclists to plan and discuss how Oakland’s Fifth Avenue corridor can become more bicycle-friendly. Teams of experts will survey the corridor and provide constructive recommendations.
“As our bicycle community grows, we want to make sure that both cyclists and drivers are safe and encourage even more people to bike,” Ravenstahl said. “Oakland is both a destination and a pass-through for daily commuters and recreational cyclists. ThinkBike will help us identify infrastructure needs to increase safety, and generate other ideas to improve the City’s bicycle friendliness.”
Surveying the Fifth/Forbes corridor
During the two-day ThinkBike workshops, two teams of experts will survey the Fifth/Forbes corridor and discuss and recommend solutions on how to make the bustling corridor more bike friendly. Their outcome will be presented to the public, decision makers, cyclists and other interested parties at the closing session. The opening session, with opening remarks from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, is open to the public and will be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 21 in Room 1000 in Hamburg Hall at Carnegie Mellon University. The closing session and reception, also open to the public, will be held in the same location from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 22.
Mayor Ravenstahl and community leaders understand the benefits of cycling and have undertaken major efforts to make Pittsburgh a world-class, bike-friendly city. Currently, the City boasts 500 bike racks and 20 miles of bike lanes, with another 40 planned by the end of the year. Last month, the Mayor unveiled the City’s first on-street bike corral at OTB Bicycle Café in the South Side and encouraged business owners to apply for a corral in their business district. Since 2007, Pittsburgh has been named a bronze-level, bike-friendly community and one of the top 30 most bike-friendly cities by Bicycling Magazine.
“The ThinkBike workshop will generate ideas for better integration of the bicycle in urban transportation systems,” said Scott Bricker, executive director of BikePGH. “Pittsburgh is experiencing a significant increase in cycling. As the City’s cycling infrastructure expands, additional pressure for a major facility in Oakland increases.”
Most Dutch people prefer bikes
Thousands of students, staff and employees live in neighborhoods just a short bike ride away from the Fifth/Forbes corridor. Constructing a facility that offers a heightened level of safety and efficiency for cyclists could trigger a major transportation mode shift and improve Oakland’s transportation environment. A major increase in cycling would not only greatly increase the traffic volume capacity, but it would improve corridor safety for all users.
“In the Netherlands, more than 60 percent of Dutch people prefer to ride a bike over driving a car or taking the train, and nearly 30 percent of all trips up to five miles in distance are made on bike,” said Dutch Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos. “Biking is second nature to the Dutch and we are pleased to partner with Pittsburgh to help make the city more bicycle-friendly,” added the Ambassador.
Through a multi-city initiative, Dutch experts and companies are increasing bicycle use in the U.S. and Canada. Toronto was the first Canadian city to host such an event, while Chicago was the first U.S. city to host a bike workshop, followed by Washington, D.C., Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles. You can find ThinkBike on Facebook. You can also learn more at www.dutchcycling.nl.
Follow the ThinkBike discussion on Twitter with #ThinkBike.