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Strassburger, advocates call for bike-infrastructure improvements to Ellsworth Avenue following cyclist hit by driver | News | Pittsburgh

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Strassburger, advocates name for bike-infrastructure enhancements to Ellsworth Avenue following bicycle owner hit by driver | Information | Pittsburgh

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CP picture: Ryan Deto

A bicycle owner rides on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside

Two years after some residents voiced opposition to a bike-infrastructure proposal to Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside, and the proposal was finally dropped, a bicycle owner was significantly injured on the nook of Ellsworth and Morewood avenues when a driver hit her on her bicycle.

The crash occurred on Sept. 2, and it led to the bicycle owner being hospitalized for greater than a day. The incident has sparked the ire of motorbike advocates, who’re calling for motion, and the realm’s metropolis councilor is becoming a member of them in saying that it’s time for some adjustments to how Ellsworth is designed.


“My place proper now after a public course of that didn’t go properly is I discovered I must hearken to site visitors engineers,” stated Pittsburgh Metropolis Councilor Erika Strassburger (D-Shadyside). “There’s at all times gonna be a number of sides and a number of positions, and persons are going to be strongly opinionated. However let’s let site visitors engineers make the selections to profit individuals biking, strolling, and even the drivers.”

Eric Boerer of Bike Pittsburgh, an area bike- and pedestrian-advocacy group, stated the crash signifies the necessity for higher bike-infrastructure on Ellsworth. He notes that, anecdotally, it’s a high-use path for cyclists and the town’s new Bike+Master Plan already designates the road a high-need hall. It is one of many solely routes for cyclists to journey comparatively rapidly between Shadyside and Oakland.


“I do suppose bike lanes could be a really perfect match. Within the slender sections, parking removing would occur. However we’re cheap individuals, we need to work out an answer,” stated Boerer, indicating that bike lanes aren’t the one resolution to make the road safer. “There isn’t a doubt that we need to see some bike infrastructure there.”

Courtney Ehrlichman works within the native tech business on mobility points, and the bicycle owner hit is her pal and former roommate. In a Fb publish that Ehrlichman shared with Pittsburgh Metropolis Paper, she mentioned how some Shadyside neighbors and other people representing an area church have been against bike instructure as a technique to protect any parking spots that may be eliminated.

“I don’t want my tax {dollars} to pay for church parking or for landscapers to park or for any personal automobile storage on public streets. Do you?” wrote Ehrlichman on Fb. “I need my tax {dollars} — that fund OUR public roads — to create secure passage FOR EVERYONE. I don’t want my associates or yours to proceed to be hit by vehicles.”


Strassburger agreed with the sentiment for motion and stated that “clearly, one thing must be achieved” when requested concerning the name for bike-infrastructure plans coming from advocates. She stated there’ll nonetheless be a course of to make sure any change on Ellsworth is equitable, however hinted no change to the road design is not an possibility.

“There must be an answer that works for everybody,” stated Strassburger. “Change is at all times gonna be arduous, like adjustments to parking, larger density, or bus stops. Issues that really feel like a giant deal proper now, however in six months, they won’t really be a giant deal.”


Borer stated that two years in the past, when the town was proposing including bike-infrastructure to Ellsworth Avenue, the preliminary public assembly didn’t go properly. He stated there was plenty of opposition to the proposals, and finally plenty of misinformation unfold about.

A poster from two years was positioned within the neighborhood claiming that the town is finding out a plan to eradicate all parking on Ellsworth from Craig Road to Highland Avenue. “Bikes are nice, however that might eradicate 300 parking spots on Ellsworth,” learn the letter, additionally claiming that no security information was offered by the town.

In actuality, bike lanes would solely eradicate parking on one facet of the road, and Boerer says there have been plans that wouldn’t embody bike lanes on some sections of Ellsworth. He added that the bicycle owner hit appears to have recovered however spent greater than a day within the hospital. Ehrlichman tweeted final week that the bicycle owner had “blood on the mind,” due to the crash.


Bike ridership in Pittsburgh has additionally increased during the coronavirus pandemic, whilst driving has decreased.

The bicycle owner can also be a contractor with Pittsburgh’s Division of Mobility and Infrastructure, based on a tweet from the DOMI director Karina Ricks. DOMI is answerable for planning and presenting bike-infrastructure proposals, in addition to different mobility fixes. Ricks additionally famous in her tweet that 4 DOMI employees have been hit by drivers within the final two years.

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