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Springboard Awarded Sprout Fund Grant for Bike Steps/Light Rail Proposal

We are delighted to announce that our application for a Sprout Fund Grant for our Bike Steps/Light Rail Proposal was accepted. Kudos to Springboard Associate Bill Szustak for spearheading this process.

In the last ten years, Pittsburgh has developed a system of pedestrian and bike routes encouraging alternative means of transportation throughout the city. The bike trail system continues to grow, but there are still some missing or circuitous links. Some potential bike connections would be enhanced by modifying existing public steps to accomodate the transport of bikes. These public steps are an urban typology unique to topographically challenging cities like Pittsburgh. Currently, no runnels exist on any public steps in the city of Pittsburgh. Our ‘Bike Steps/Light rails’ project is designed to address this lack.

Springboard’s ‘Bike Steps/Light Rail’ project is focused on developing an illuminated bike ‘runnel’ that can be retrofit onto public staircases like the one connecting Joncaire Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This location will serve as the ‘pilot’ program or prototype for what we hope will be additional installations throughout the city. To the best of our knowledge, these will be the first bike runnels in the city’s history.

In addition to the support of Bike Pittsburgh, we have also received support from the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) and are seeking other partners and collaborators to implement the project.

According to their website, “The Sprout Fund supports innovative ideas that are catalyzing change in Pittsburgh—making our community a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Through its programs and activities, Sprout enriches the Pittsburgh region’s vitality by engaging citizens, amplifying voices, supporting creativity and innovation, and cultivating connected communities.

Founded in 2001, Sprout is one of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s leading agencies for catalytic small-scale funding, civic engagement, digital media and learning, and public art. With strong working relationships to many community organizations and regional stakeholders, Sprout’s approach has worked successfully across political and geographic boundaries to make hundreds of community-decided investments in early-stage projects, organizations, innovators, and activities.”

For more information, contact Paul Rosenblatt at paul@springboarddesign.net, and read the Pop City article about the Sprout Fund grant:

http://www.popcitymedia.com/features/SiXwinners071112.aspx