by Kelsey Shea

The Northside Bike/Ped committee wants Northsiders to consider switching up their usual commute tomorrow with a Car Free Friday.

The committee will host a Car Free Friday to encourage commuters to bike or walk to work instead of driving.

Representatives from the Northside Bike/Ped committee and Bike Pittsburgh will have a table and bike tune up station set up at the East Park farmers market on Cedar Avenue to answer questions, pass out information and give away free equipment.

“It’s really impressive how many people are already doing this,” said Jerry Green,  chair of the Northside Bike/Ped. Committee, about Northsiders commuting on foot or by bike. “We want to encourage it more.”

Tomorrow’s forecast calls for a high of 80 degrees and partly cloudy skies, which are ideal biking and walking conditions.

The Northside Bike/Ped. Committee, a program of the Northside Leadership Conference, works to encourage and inform Northside residents about alternate transportation options.

“Our mission is to promote safe walking and bike routes on the Northside by determining needs and taking corrective action by working with elected officials,” said Green.

The committee has helped organize group rides, install three-river bike racks in front of local businesses, add bike lanes to Northside roads and introduce symbols called sharrows that are painted on Brighton Road to remind motorists to share the road with cyclists.

Green said that the Northside’s proximity to Downtown makes bikes a great communing option for many Northsiders, and already many are taking advantage of it.

A survey conducted by the pedestrian-bicycle committee of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, counted 882 bikers coming into downtown Pittsburgh between 7-9 a.m. Of those 882 bikers, 223 entered the city on the three sister bridges – the Andy Warhol, the Roberto Clemente and the Rachel Carson bridges.

“It was pretty impressive how well the Northside did,” said Green. “Those numbers aren’t even including the 31rst and 16th street bridges.”

If you have questions or concerns about biking issues or would like to get involved in the Bike/Ped. Committee, e-mail Emily Leone Honhart at emily@pittsburghnorthside.com.