Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Pittsburgh City Council debated a bill today that would require nearly all new commercial development in the city to include bike racks and allow established businesses to replace some automobile parking spaces with bike parking. No vote was taken and the bill was held for two weeks to allow some additional information to come to the city council from the planning department. The goal is to have the bike racks placed on private property, but the developer can get a variance to put it on nearby land, including a sidewalk. Up to 30% of the parking spots required by the original ordinance for a given development can be replaced with bike parking spaces. However, Planning Commission Senior Planer Corey Layman says the bill will not apply to parking intensive development where biking is less of an option. He used a hotel as an example. Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak noted that the topography in each district is different and that could impact the use of bicycles as well. She also says the city has taken steps to make some communities more bike friendly than others. The city is in the process of drawing up a master biking plan that will look at, among other things, creating more bike lanes and paths.