Pittsburgh now has its first bicycle boulevard — a street on which bicycles have priority over other vehicular traffic — and it is ... (drum roll) ... Gold Way in Polish Hill.
Gold Way is an obscure little road unless you’re one of the hundreds of drivers and cyclists who use it to get stealthily from Polish Hill to Oakland.
Melwood Avenue in Polish Hill turns into Gold Way after leaving houses and sidewalks behind and entering what feels like a rural netherworld before rejoining Melwood via Denver Street, a teensy spur that has no other purpose in life but to dump cars back to civilization near Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
Gold is narrow and curvy and some drivers take it too fast, so the city acted on a request from residents and the Polish Hill Civic Association. With support of city Councilman Patrick Dowd, city planning and public works, a traffic-calming solution was reached — to install speed humps and designated bicycle lanes.
The work was completed this week.
Drivers will have to slow down for the speed humps but bicyclists can elude them.
The news comes via BikePGH. Read more here.
There was no public roll-out, no ribbon-cutting ceremony, no politicians at podiums but this is no small thing and should be celebrated — a good, site-specific solution that could be replicated on any number of quirky little roads and ways in this quirky ‘burgh.
A cheaper alternative, though, would be to freshly pave strips for bikes, isolate them from other traffic and let the rest of the streets fall further into the disrepair they're in. Pot holes, patches, ruts and and rubble are traffic-calming in their own right.
Photo by Kalie Pierce