Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bicyclists Welcome Mon Valley Boroughs Add Racks along 'The Avenues'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bicyclists Welcome Mon Valley Boroughs Add Racks along 'The Avenues'

Article excerpt

After the newest segment of the Great Allegheny Passage opened nearby in summer 2013, Joe Ducar noticed some trail users were making their way to explore the heart of Homestead.

"Their bikes were chained to the parking meters," said Mr. Ducar, who owns a business on Eighth Avenue in the borough. "I thought, 'I have to find some stuff to do to get them up here and be more biker- friendly.'"

A few weeks ago, he helped install 25 bicycle racks along the street, each with cutout letters announcing "The Avenues," the name for the business district spanning Munhall, Homestead and West Homestead boroughs.

The racks, which the Campbell Family Foundation paid for, are among several local initiatives to welcome bicyclists. Mr. Ducar is president of the foundation's board.

Homestead's municipal parking lot at Eighth Avenue and Amity Street now sports a multi-space bike "corral," through a grant from Sustainable Pittsburgh, and closer to the Great Allegheny Passage, the Waterfront retail complex offers numerous places where cyclists are encouraged to secure their bikes.

"When we purchased the Waterfront two years ago, one of the things we noticed was that there was a bike trail there, but the property didn't do a very good job of integrating itself with the trail," said Marty Sweeney, vice president of asset management for M & J Wilkow Ltd., the Chicago real estate firm that owns a majority of the retail space at the complex.

Besides installing 50 racks, the company has taken measures such as having a trail marker placed for users' reference and had its landscaping company cut back brush along the trail.

"Trying to make the property as bike-friendly as possible is one of our main priorities," said Mr. Sweeney.

Ian McMeans, borough manager in Homestead, said the same objective applies to the local area in general.

"We feel that a lot of our businesses are not only biker- friendly, but they're the kinds of businesses that bikers tend to frequent," he said, referring to the independently owned shops and restaurants. …

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