Autonomous Vehicles Need to See Cyclists and Pedestrians
AVs need to be held accountable for their use of the streets of Pittsburgh.
While it’s impossible to know when an AV is in self-driving mode or is human operated, people clearly want transparency and accountability, and as long as it’s left to nonprofits to collect anecdotes, people will be slow to trust the AV companies, especially if they deny problems with the technology or blame their drivers whenever something goes wrong. When a negative interaction occurs, most people will assume that it’s the fault of the robot, so it’s up to AV companies to take responsibility and create a clear course for improvement.
AVs also contribute to Pittsburgh's already polluted air quality and increase car congestion in the developing and crowded Strip District. Recently, multiple housing developments, new offices, and autonomous vehicle testing have increased the motorized traffic in this same corridor. While job and residential growth can be positive, there has been no plan to manage this increased traffic demand on our streets.
As the saying goes, if we plan for cars what we get is more cars, if we plan for people we get more people. If we increase the number of people living and working in a neighborhood without providing safe biking and walking facilities, people will drive and park wherever they can. To complicate matters, if we allow companies to test autonomous vehicles without providing bike lanes we are further putting people in harm’s way.
Providing safe and connected bikeways and sidewalks will ensure that jobs and amenities are available to all