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Friday, December 5, 2014

Who is Pat Hassett?

12.4.2014 7 + 20=27m
A back-dated entry: Tuesday I drove to a garage, dropped off a car and biked to work in the morning, reversed in the evening: 7 miles.

Thursday I got into town around 4pm. Rode down to Sandcastle and back. Stopped at PPG Plaza to see what's up.

Rode to Penn Ave and went outbound on the Penn Ave Bikeway, which seems like a civic obligation. Continued into the Strip District looking for coffee, but 21st Street had closed just a few minutes before I arrived. Continued out to Klavon's, which has coffee from Commonplace. Most excellent.

Inbound I was fortunate to encounter Marko. We rode the Penn Ave bike lane back and forth, then I took this picture at Stanwix Street:

We rode together over to the Carnegie Science Center for a North Shore Bike & Ped confab. It was a very well run event, it seemed like most of the attendees got there via two-wheels. Except for Stu on the unicycle. The topic was "NorthShore and the Riverfront: History and Vision".

Pictured are Mayor Tom Murphy, Addy Smith-Reiman of Riverlife, Scott Bricker from BikePgh, our host from Carnegie Science Center, Kristen Saunders the City Bike-Ped coordinator, and Tom Baxter from Friends of the Riverfront.

It was very cool to hear Tom Murphy talk about the backstory and what's been accomplished, and to hear him identify things that weren't accomplished that seem like practical, possible next steps. I noticed that several people mentioned Pat Hassett as an effective builder of bike infra, and Addy S-R said that the ramp between Grant St and the Smithfield Street Bridge is considered The Pat Hassett Flyway by Hashtag-ThoseInTheKnow. Seemed like everybody there had a "Pat Hassett told me, and he was right!" story.

Mayor Murphy talked about how Back in The Day, corporations didn't want trails near their buildings because they'd be highways for drugs and crime. Now, Carnegie Science Center is building ramps to connect the trail all the way up to their cafe and plaza. A complete reversal.

The other speakers talked about what they're doing in 2015, the notions of building-new and maintaining-present, and the city-county-state layers of coordination and persuasion. It was a very interesting group of people who have the right things in mind.

Some details that weren't mentioned in hushed tones included: three OpenStreets / Cyclovia's in Pittsburgh in 2015, bike share rollout, Smithfield Street switchback ramp.

Mayor Murphy encouraged the "next gen" to consider the West End Bridge as a gateway to the North Side trail system - instead of sidewalks on both sides, why not one sidewalk and one bikelane, with ramps on both sides leading down to the river instead of stairs?

The vocabulary was interesting; the second time I heard the word "riparian" I was glad I looked it up the first time it was used. (littorally). Also heard "charrette" and "plinth", but I'd heard those before. I wonder if Pliny has a Plinth?

It was also very cool to be at a meeting after which pretty much everybody got on bikes and rode away.

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