2014
09.24

I don’t know if yinz guys read the newspaper at all, but there was a lovely article written by a funny man. He vented about his dislike for bikes. If you haven’t read it, here’s the link.

I wrote a nice little rebuttal to his argument. It is as follows…

WTF?

Enough with arguing about the bike lanes!

Mr. Wos’s article, “Enough about the bikes, bikes, bikes,”, voiced the complaints of drivers getting used to the new bike lanes in the city. It takes time for people to adjust and Mr. Wos is going to need some time. Pittsburgh has a mass transit problem and bike lanes are just one easy, cheap, and beneficial way to help the problem.

There was some comments thrown in about hipsters from Lawrenceville and that bike lanes are a sign of “white privilege.”. I’ll admit that bike lanes have become a part of the gentrification playbook, but I don’t see Mr. Wos’ point about how it’s ignoring a larger problem of race? (give @blackgrlsdobike a follow). Was this an opinion on transportation or the problems with gentrification? Did you offer any solutions? Are you just inconvenienced from driving in from the suburbs rather than seeing a benefit from people who live in the city limits, Mr. Wos of Penn Hills? If you’re going to rail against city improvements, live in the city limits first.

Bike lanes are a cheaper alternative than adding light rail or reconstructing streets. The cost for adding 1.5 miles of protected bike lanes in this city added up to $188,000, while revamping Penn Avenue in Garfield has cost the city $4.7 million, and is going to be a great improvement to a neighborhood that has been often neglected until now. The cost of the North Shore connector cost was $523.4 million dollars. Bike lanes are a logical upgrade for most cash-strapped cities take to make improvements to infrastructure.

Pittsburgh only has 1.4% of it’s population bike to work (up to 2.2% in the latest U.S. census). The bike lanes are not for the existing bike population who are going to ride a bike whether there is a bike lane or not. It’s for the 5% to 10% percent who would choose to bike if it were a safer form of transportation. And maybe they are hip and healthier, but aren’t those the kind of residents we want to attract?

For years, articles showcased our population decline and the problem of retaining the talented graduates from our local universities. And now you say that all of this good press we have is a problem? Those “hipsters” you speak of, were part of the catalyst that revitalized the once drug-infested, impoverish neighborhood of Lawrenceville. From my perspective, they are more than welcome to have the ear of our politicians. They seek to improve the quality of life for all of Pittsburgh, not just helping the niche communities of left -handed cartoonists. But what do “hipsters” know? They are those kids that just left “that college” you are trying to send your kids to.

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