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Postcard #1 from Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place
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Pittsburgh is the end of the Rainbow this week!
Sunday along Three Rivers Heritage Trail
It’s great to finally be in Pittsburgh! Too much to do even before Monday night's opening reception. Here’s a just a taste…  

Rousing Welcome from Pittsburgh Mayor
Mayor Bill Peduto passionately welcomed all to his beloved city while putting all on notice that bicycling in Pittsburgh will soon leap frog far ahead of other cities. He noted the value of partnerships between the Mayor, County Executive and Bike Pittsburgh to get the job done, and advised all to put people in office who “get it.” He clearly does!
 
Conference Director Mark Plotz announced, thanks to several sponsors and committed leaders, local city and county employees can drop into the conference whenever they want. 
 
Local Coordinators’ Meet
Local Bike-Ped agency staff build relationships on the job and at #walkbikeplaces. One great idea: engage public health to set and measure government mode share goals.
 
State Coordinators Meet
Many state Bike-Ped Coordinators wear more than one hat, some wear several: SRTS, TAP, Recreation Trails, Byways. FHWA shares research, design guidance and data to support and mainstream bike and ped.—Jon Kaplan, VT Agency of Transportation
 
Take home messages: Leverage FHWA design flexibility memo by incorporating it into state policies and standards, and consider strategies in four FHWA focus areas: Equity & Ladders to Opportunity, Safety, Connected Networks, and Data & Performance Measures.—Joshua DeBruyn, MI DOT

John Kaplan, VT Agency of Transportation
Joshua DeBruyn, MI DOT
Local Color
 
Sunday, Pittsburgh: lots of things here are, well, yellow. Lots of Big Things—specifically, many of the bridges spanning the rivers that influenced the city’s history and give it so much character. And before a native jumps in with a correction, I will add that it’s technically not yellow but Aztec Gold.

APBP staff arrived in Pittsburgh early to scout the terrain before the Pro Walk / Pro Bike / Pro Place conference officially launched on Monday. Organizers expect more than 1,000 attendees. There was a pleasant air of anticipation—the late summer weather could hardly be better and the city offers many attractions and lots of great food. Even the natives seemed happy to see us (or maybe they’re happy because the Steelers won on Sunday.)

Yet with all the great stuff to do, see and eat, the first thing I noticed about Pittsburg is its natural setting. Trees, hills, rivers—man, do they have the rivers. What’s striking is how the city has reconnected to its industrial waterfront, building stadiums, museums, a conference center—any number of attractions—and reclaiming the riverbanks for pedestrians and cyclists. Several bridges between downtown and the North Side (of the Allegheny River, where the Steelers and the Pirates perform) have pedestrian walkways. On Sunday afternoon, downtown teemed with pedestrians—fans heading to a favorite watering hole to celebrate, tourists, cyclists, others—like me—out for sunshine and fresh air. On and off the river, people thronged and mingled, in and out of boats and on the shared use paths on both sides. It felt vital, and real. –Deb Goeks, APBP
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