Thursday, July 15, 2010

Long Way Baby

Photo Credit: Paul Heckbert

So after years, (YEARS) of talking, planning, and fuming the bike trail from Pittsburgh to Washington DC is finally going to be finished. (click here to read Post Gazette Article) Notice I said “Going to be finished” and not “Is finished” since it will still be some time before the trail will actually be complete.  Still we have come a long way.

Here in Pittsburgh at least I don’t know if biking has ever been as popular as it is right now. Something happened last week that illustrates for me not only how far we have come, but sadly also how far we still have to go. Last week I took a cruise that sailed out of New York. Since this was my first time in the Big Apple I made sure that I got to go to Times Square and do my share of Gawking. I expected the people, all different kinds of people. I expected  the Pretty Girls and the overpriced everything. I expected the hawkers and the people trying to sell me everything.

I did not expect the bikes.

I was struck speechless at the sheer number and variety of bikes I saw. expensive bikes, cheap bikes, Expensive bikes made to look like cheap bikes. I even saw a guy delivering Pizza on an electric bike. I can’t even begin to estimate just how many bikes I saw both locked up and on the street.  This was the first thing I noticed and I can’t help but wonder if Pittsburgh will ever have the same percentage of people on bikes?

The next thing I noticed and the thing that I think really shows me just how far we still have to go was the bike trails. You see i noticed that there was a bike trail right by the hotel we were staying at in Jersey just across the Hudson and another Bike Trail in front of the Dock where we boarded the ship in NYC. I didn’t really think to much about it until I brought the area up in Google Maps with Biking option turned on

(Click here to see the map)

When I saw the amount of bike only trails that were available in Manhattan alone I have to admit I was kind of ashamed to compare them to the few that we have in Pittsburgh.

So while I Know that we have come a Long way, and should be proud of everything that has been done to promote biking here in Pittsburgh we need to remember that while we are holding our collective heads high we need to use that height to see down the line at what more can be done.

Personally I want to see that trail continue westward Detroit, Chicago anyone?

1 comment:

  1. Here is a start westbound.