Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bike Ranking to be Rocky Road for Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s bicycle-pedestrian coordinator Stephen Patchan says the city will apply next February for a “bike-friendly” ranking from the League of American Bicyclists.

If Pittsburgh wants the highest ranking, it will be a tough trail to the top: only three U.S. communities are on the League’s platinum list. Denver CO, Davis CA, and Portland OR. The gold, silver, and bronze levels are more feasible to start, but still difficult to attain.

But League spokeswoman Meghan Cahill says that doesn’t mean the city would be without help.

“Even if a community doesn’t even make the bronze level, we still give them a bicycle road map, because we’re aiming to have a bicycle-friendly America,” says Cahill.

The road map would address the city’s problem areas in terms of bikeway structure, local laws, encouragement of bicycling, and more. After fixing these issues, the city could reapply for a higher rating.

Cahill says special legislation for bike-related offenses is a good example of bicycle-friendly policy.

“Maybe not just having just a ticket but also, say, having to take a training course or something after an infringement on the rules-of-the-road type of laws that are in place in that community,” says Cahill.

If Patchan submits Pittsburgh’s application in February, Cahill says it should be done within a few months.

Download a full list of rated cities here.

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