Polish Hill to get bike lanes, shared lanes

Bicycle lanes will be coming soon to Polish Hill. The marked bike route, including bike lanes and shared roads, will start on Liberty Avenue, across the 28th Street Bridge, up Brereton Street, down Dobson Street and down Herron Avenue.

The City of Pittsburgh is in the midst of installing bike lanes and shared bike lane markings in selected neighborhoods throughout the City, including Polish Hill.  The bike route through Polish Hill will be a “preferred” bike route, as identified by Bike Pittsburgh and officially recognized by the City.

Bike lanes will be installed on a two-block stretch of Brereton Street, between the 28th Street Bridge and 30th Street.  When the bike lanes are installed, there will still be two lanes for cars and those two blocks will become a no parking zone.  This should have little impact on Polish Hill residents, as vehicles rarely park there. When there are special events in Polish Hill, there will be parking exceptions to allow parking.  The PHCA will work with West Penn Rec Center, Pittsburgh Sports League and other teams to help direct people to park in the designated lots in West Penn Park when there are games on West Penn field.

The rest of the route through Polish Hill, including Brereton Street above 30th Street, Dobson Street and Herron Avenue will have shared bicycle/car road markings, known as sharrows. These markings show an image of a bicycle and two chevrons.

There are many benefits to bike lanes. Eric Boerer, from Bike Pittsburgh, spoke at the June community meeting to inform residents about the bike lanes, answer questions and to speak about their benefits.

Where the road is wide enough, such as part of Brereton Street, bike lanes are safer for cyclists and drivers. Bike lanes also help to reduce speeding because the bike lanes narrow the lane for cars, thus slowing drivers down.  Even a short stretch of bike lane helps to create awareness of cyclists, preparing drivers for the shared lanes ahead.  The shared lane markings (sharrows) indicate to drivers that they are driving on a designated bicycle route and should be aware of cyclists. The sharrow markings also tell cyclists the safest place to ride, out of the door zone of parked cars.

Bike lanes and sharrows have already been put into place in other neighborhoods.  Creating bike lanes and encouraging more residents to use bikes in part of the long-term plan for the City of Pittsburgh.  Bike infrastructure is also part of the Polish Hill Community Plan, due to the input of Polish Hill residents.

Here’s more information about bike share lanes, from Bike Pittsburgh.