Pitt Mobility welcomes fall with bike events, new racks, POGOH stations

Bike rack with Cathedral in background


With the traffic congestion in and around Oakland and constant clamor for more vehicle parking options around campus, it’s easy to forget that dozens of students, staff and faculty typically bypass such concerns by taking two wheels to classes and work.

Highlighted by Pitt’s Bike to Campus Week beginning Sept. 12, the fall semester brings a bevy of options for both experienced bicyclists and those who may have let their equipment and skills get a bit rusty. In addition to cycle-related events, bike racks are being added around campus as well as POGOH bike-share rental stations.

Corey Robinson, mobility specialist with Pitt’s Parking and Transportation Department and Mobility team, said there are more motivations than ever this fall to consider biking to campus at some days of the week.

“We do have a lot of people on campus that commute by bike,” she said. “And there are so many opportunities for folks to kind of incorporate active transportation into their lifestyles. I like to see commuting to campus, of course, but it could also be commuting to the grocery store on the weekend, or maybe as a recreational activity or just getting around campus.”

Bike to Campus Week 2022 kicks off with the Pitt Bike Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 12 at the William Pitt Union plaza. Participants can bring their own bike or rent one through the POGOH bike share program app, chat with the Pitt Mobility team about bike commuting, visit the student-run Pitt Bike Cave‘s pop-up repair shop, pick up used bike gear at Thirftsburgh‘s gear swap and learn about Pitt Mobility’s connection to Friends of the Riverfront.

“The Bike Cave is a really great resource for the students, faculty, staff and the public,” Robinson said, noting services like bike repair, teaching self bike repair, selling used bikes and leading Friday group rides. “Mobility has partnered with them for a long time, and we look forward to working with them on a variety of projects.”

The rest of the week is filled with offerings including:

  • BikePGH Confident City Cycling and other bike-related classes

  • Bicycle career panel

  • How to Choose a Bicycle forum

  • Bike PGH “Operation Illumination” initiative to install front and rear bicycle lights

  • Free tune ups and repairs at Pitt Farmers Market

  • Virtual bike webinars

  • Friday group ride

  • Info session on riding the Great Allegheny Passage Bike Trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md.

“Bike to Campus week is for the folks who already commute to campus, but also people who are interested in it, who maybe haven’t done it yet,” Robinson said. “And coming to the bike fair on Sept.12 will be a really great opportunity for those folks to learn about the different ways they can bike in Pittsburgh, the different organizations, learn about the POGOH benefit that they have access to — all sorts of things.”

BikePGH’s Confident City Cycling class (4- 7 p.m. Sept 14, at Pitt Bike Cave on Posvar Plaza) provides skills and knowledge on how to safely ride on Pittsburgh streets. This on-bike class will cover basic and advanced cycling skills, best practices for solo and group riding and includes a culminating group ride around Oakland that utilizes campus bicycle infrastructure. Instructors will also be on hand to answer questions about biking to campus or anywhere else in Pittsburgh. Register for the class here.

“It really focuses on the basics and the foundation of what folks should know and learn and practice to be safe riding on the road, (or) really, anywhere,” Robinson said. “We’ve been offering those over the summer in partnership with Carnegie Mellon and with Bike Pittsburgh, and we will have two of those classes during Bike to Campus week.”

POGOH, the city of Pittsburgh’s recently rebranded bike-share program, is adding to its current 38 stations around the city, including the Pitt campus.

“One of their primary objectives is to increase that number over the next year,” Robinson noted. “So those will be popping up more and more. And then the same goes for our bike parking infrastructure on campus. I’m really focused on making it accessible, visible and secure for all the buildings on campus.”

Pitt has expanded its partnership with POGOH to offer free rides to students. All faculty, staff and students are now eligible for unlimited 30-minute rides on POGOH pedal bikes. Codes were sent via email to the Pitt community in early August.

“So those students are already signing up, and faculty and staff are signing up,” Robinson said. “It’s very exciting.”

To cyclists new to campus or the city, Pittsburgh’s dynamic topography and intermittent traffic snarls may seem daunting, but Robinson said the appeal increases considerably once one learns the local bike infrastructure and designated routes.

“I absolutely think it’s a great place to bike. Not only do we have this amazing biking community throughout Pittsburgh, but there’s more and more bike infrastructure happening throughout the city,” she said. “You can get from one end of the city to the other and not really have to climb any huge hills. Bike Pittsburgh has a really great bike map that shows you some of those routes.”

Shannon O. Wells is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at shannonw@pitt.edu.


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