Copenhagen gives Pittsburgh mayor a slice of “wedding cake of transportation”
An initiative already introduced in Pittsburgh has seen the introduction of the first cycle-only lanes in the city, along with an effort to connect all of the neighbourhoods in Pennsylvania's second biggest city with safe bike paths.
But when the mayor and three other city officials visited Copenhagen in the spring, he was inspired to do more.
"I wanted to see first-hand the Copenhagen story,” Peduto said in a press release. The team also visited Malmö and Ødense.
Peduto was particularly impressed by what he describes ”the wedding cake of transportation” – the way the pavement, cycle path and road are tiered so that the pedestrians are highest and cars lowest.
The team spent a while cycling around Copenhagen to get a feel for the city, as well as speaking to the town planners who have made Copenhagen's cycling infrastructure so successful.
Peduto is aware the US has fallen behind Europe in terms of energy-efficient travel, and that Pittsburgh has fallen behind other cities in the US.
He explains that his goal is for Pittsburgh to "leapfrog” its rivals. "We wanna catch up, and then get ahead!” he said.
The goal is not only to make Pittsburgh greener, but to find transport solutions for people with different needs, including those who cannot cycle.
”It's not about car vs bike, it's about the best mode of transportation,” Peduto continued.
Whether Pittsburgh will ever "leapfrog” Copenhagen remains to be seen, but the mayor has received a lot of support for his initiative, including glowing praise from the president of the project for public spaces in Pittsburgh who called him a ”mayor of the future”.