IIt’s official: Pittsburghers can no longer park on bike paths.
Alderman Bobby Wilson proposed the law At the end of November, in the hope of being able to address the concerns of BikePGH and other cyclists in his district. The idea was to add cycle paths to the list of places that are prohibited for cars under the city regulations.
There is currently no language that specifically prohibits parking on bike lanes, and without a change in the books, the city would first have to put hundreds of no-parking signs around each bike lane before the parking authorities could ticket delinquent vehicles.
But on Tuesday the city council announced that the ordinance was unanimously adopted; Cycle paths will connect tunnels, bridges, train tracks, crosswalks and sidewalks on the list of no-parking zones.
Parking on bike lanes is a danger to cyclists. BikePGH advocacy director Eric Boerer told Pittsburgh Magazine last week that when cyclists have to leave the bike lane to avoid parked cars, they often turn into oncoming traffic have to.
“Parking on bike paths is primarily a problem,” said Boerer. “It just creates a really dangerous situation.”
When the law was introduced a few weeks ago, other council members voiced their concerns about people with disabilities and places where parking is incredibly limited. Some places, they argued, rely on bike lanes for parking at special events like Sunday mass.
Councilor Ricky Burgess quotes a church on East Liberty Boulevard, which he believed relied on bike lanes for parking while on duty. Boerer added that this was also the case with a church on East Street on the North Side.
However, legislative changes made several exceptions, including waiving the parking ban for people with disabilities who may have to park closer to their destination than the city’s parking infrastructure would otherwise allow.
The change also provides that the director of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure can make additional exceptions and clarifies that signs with the applicable exceptions will be placed in these places. Officials added that the director could also grant exemptions for district churches such as those in East Liberty and the North Side if the parking ban proves problematic for the parish.