By Eric Boerer, BikePGH Advocacy Director
I do most of my thinking while riding my bike, as the pace allows me to better take in my surroundings. My typical four-mile ride from Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood to its Downtown, takes me through a snapshot of this rapidly-changing city and the challenges we face as we attempt to balance our population and tech sector growth while maintaining our affordability and identity. Affordable transportation combined with affordable housing will no doubt determine what Pittsburgh will look like in five to 10 years.
Immediately after leaving my office at Bike Pittsburgh, the region’s bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization, I see a former industrial site that is nearing the completion of luxury apartments.
Much of the new housing in Pittsburgh is high-end, located in areas with great transit, biking and walking options. However, housing costs in these neighborhoods have skyrocketed, leaving many long-term residents with little choice but to move on, often to places with higher transportation costs and fewer amenities. In a city where 25 percent of households have no access to a vehicle, people are being pushed to areas without quality transit or safe biking and walking options, decimating their quality of life.
In a city where 25 percent of households have no access to a vehicle, people are being pushed to areas without quality transit, biking or walking options.
While Pittsburgh is still one of the most affordable cities across the country, there is an intense push to bring high-paying tech jobs to town. As we’ve seen in other US cities where tech reigns supreme, the realities of displacement are already shattering Pittsburgh’s community strongholds.
HuffPost is hitting the road this fall to interview people about their hopes, dreams, fears ― and what it means to be American today.