Very soon, bikers and pedestrians will be able to enjoy a car-free ride or walk from the point all the way into the heart of the Strip District.
As announced by Bike Pittsburgh last week, the section of the riverfront trail from 11th Street to 21st Street will reopen some time before the end of October after being closed for more than two years.
Photo courtesy of bikepgh.org
Fence blocking the entrance to the trail along the Allegheny River at 11th Street.
“The big deal is that it has been closed for over two years, and the completion date kept getting pushed back,” says Eric Boerer of Bike Pittsburgh. “This time it seems legit.”
There is currently a route for cars for riders to pedal from Downtown and all the way to the shops and restaurants in the Strip District: Riders can take the Penn Avenue protected bike lane to 16th street, but then have to dismount and walk on the sidewalk to reach all the action a few blocks down.
Because of the termination of the Penn Avenue bike lane at 16th Street, Boerer and several riders have told CP
they turn down 15th Street before the protected lanes ends, and traverse down Smallman Street, which is full of cars backing out of parking spaces in the section from 16th street to 21st street.
“It gives them another option,” says Boerer of the trail reopening. “There are a lot of people who just want to stay along the riverfront and not ride with cars. This provides a better and safer connection for them.”
Boerer adds that this announcement also creates a bettter transition for those wishing to continue up the Allegheny River to Lawrenceville. Since trail ends at 21st Street and exits directly onto the Railroad Street, which has little action from automobiles, a more efficient corridor for bikers through the Strip is now available.
According to Boerer, concerned citizens started to light a fire under city officials after they grew frustrated with repeatedly being told that the trail would reopen month after month.
Numerous tweets were directed at Mayor Bill Peduto, Council Member Deb Gross and other city officials over the last few months asking when the trail will be reopened.
Spokesperson for the Mayor’s office Tim McNulty wrote in an email to CP
that the Department of Public Works confirmed that the trail should be reopened by the end of October, if not sooner.