March 13th: Help planning new development for bikes
When: Wednesday, March 13th from 6-8pm. Tentatively scheduled for Ava Lounge (just waiting on confirmation).
Todd Boulanger from Bikestation will be in town for the meeting along with the rest of Mosites’ project team for the East End TOD. They are looking to have about 30 bike riders who could give them some feedback on multiple elements of the bike station. Bicyclists who are very familiar with this part of town (Centre/Shady/Penn Circle/Penn), which is probably just about everyone reading this, are encouraged to attend.
An agenda is in the works for the meeting.
Oh cool! March 13th – I’ll put it on my schedule! -Thanks!
I’ll plan to go although I’m interested in the agenda. The bikestation is a cool idea although probably not useful to me personally. To save other people from having to look up what it is, it’s secure bike parking for ~$100/yr.
Will there be other bike things being discussed? Any possibility of bike lanes through that godawful corridor? Not sure this is the right audience for that?
That was the first thing I thought of, that intersection sucks, even after the redesign. It’s better, but still sucks
It needs one of those rings for bike/peds, or maybe make the cars go below the surface level, but allow peds to walk freely
Way outside of the scope of this project, but it would be cool
It does suck. The worst part is, this whole light system with some kind of CMU connection gets press even outside of Pittsburgh. All kinds of impressive statistics about increasing the flow of traffic, never a mention about how it makes life miserable for pedestrians and bikes. I’ve heard Ravenstahl spouting the same, with something about how it was “only $100K”.
So much for “progress”.
The lights system works off sensors embedded in the road. The sensors indicate how many cars (if any) are waiting. The system balances things so that it produces better throughput. A simple example might be: it’s 3am and you are the only car at the intersection; the system changes the lights so that you don’t have to wait through the entire cycle. I think that on the whole this is a good thing.
But if this can be done for cars then I don’t see that the system couldn’t be modified to sense bicycles and pedestrians and manage all three streams simultaneously. Now that would be cool.
Ahlir, I don’t have an issue with sensors like that, although they should be required to be able to detect bikes. The one on Morewood at Forbes I can never trigger, I’ve even tried tricks like repositioning my bike or leaning it sideways to cover more of the sensor to no avail, and I ride a big steel bike. I’ve seen the westbound lane get a red so it could turn on the left turn light, then back to green without ever giving me the green. So now I usually just run it if it’s late and no cars are coming to “rescue” me. But I digress.
This thing on Penn is a lot more sinister, and it’s supposed to spread: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/transportation/cmu-develops-high-technology-traffic-signal-timing-system-654781/
“Increased traffic flow” is the wrong goal in a city. “Increased walkability” should be the priority. Yet every “new” development that goes on there makes things worse for pedestrians. The intersection at Highland & Penn circle south is an abomination. Those rounded corners make it way wider than it needs to be and just encourages speeding. Penn & Shady is also complete crap, even worse actually, although that’s not “new”. The “push to walk” buttons in the area are in inconvenient places and were installed to make it harder to cross the road, not easier. It’s stupidity and I’d like to see it stopped before the whole city gets that bad. But, I have little hope since all the auto-centric people see is “progress”.
There are sensors that detect bikes (like the one on the GAP going through Connellsville). They just need to get installed. My own pet-peeve intersection is the one at the zoo road / Butler, but at least you can get to the crossing button (unlike some other intersections).
East Liberty is a horrible, choking nightmare, a stench that wafted up from the festering cesspool of urban planning and poisoned a thriving community. Sometimes I think they should just put a fence around it and declare a national monument, a grim reminder to future generations that human imbecility knows no limit. But I digress.
I think we should be fine with traffic planning, just as long as it’s understood that “traffic” necessarily includes bikes and pedestrians. Attitudes will change, particularly if we keep bringing up these issues.
Frame-mounted magnets sold in motorcycle shops will apparently trigger those lights with an embedded magnetic sensor. Unfortunately, it won’t work for the IR or Weight sensing devices…
This reminds me of the following:
A long time ago, at a parking lot not so far away, there was a chunk of rail (maybe 1 ft long) just lying around near the gate. When you needed to get in you would stop in front of the gate, get out, and pull it close to the sensor for exiting cars. Drive in and then replace it. It worked fine for a very long time.
Now I don’t know if we have intersections without pedestrian crossing buttons, but I imagine this would be a reasonable solution (if labor-intensive) for those that don’t.
I have found that if you ride right on the sensor (the cut line in the asphalt) you can often get it to trip. This works for me even with aluminum wheels.
I’m feeling sickly and might not come now, but will try to show up for abit at least.
Thanks for coming last night. I think it was a really good discussion, plus free Pizza Sola and beer was a nice surprise.
Developments like this will put even more pressure on the streetscape in East Lib and Larimer to change to become more bike friendly. It’s another win.
Wish I could have been there but push for Pesach + upcoming business trip had me up until 1am as is. What’s the best source of information on the current plans? The blog positing was link free. Anything new emerge during the meeting that seems likely?
This project and Bakery Square II should embarrass Buncher but they seem oblivious.
rsprake wrote:This project and Bakery Square II should embarrass Buncher but they seem oblivious.
Have you seen some of their other work? Uh, yeah. Embarrassproof.
wait there was free beer? damn i should have gotten there earlier… i really wanted a to get a beer but those guys were right in front of the bar and never stopped talking…
it looked pretty cool, but i feel like i missed a lot so i’d like to hear more details too.
Was there any discussion at all about the surrounding streets? specifically Penn Ave, which is seriously miserable there. As soon as I cross shady I start thinking about getting into the middle lane to go straight on penn, which is hard enough since cars are also merging into the right (turn only) lane. then if you want to go left you have to do another merge into the very busy turning lane. more than once i’ve run out of time and been forced to go straight on penn instead. getting into the new development gives you even less time to get over. It would be really cool if there were a little “jughandle” to the right with a dedicated light for cyclists to get across Penn (yes, such a thing does exist… in The Netherlands). Although, that still doesn’t help on Penn Circle S. Maybe a “bike box” there?
This wouldn’t be the same huge Buncher organization that nixed the Strip trail, would it?
@stuinmccandless – When and how did the Strip trail get nixed? This is the first I’ve heard of that.
This was Mosites, not Buncher. The meeting wasn’t about the streets as much as it was about the actual development site.
Scott, did they send you a pointer to their slides or materials? Can someone who was there post a summary?
I didn’t get there until 7:30 or so – I gather they’re plopping down a mixed-use development where the bus station was, extending all the way to Highland behind the existing stores on Penn Circle S. And, there’s going to be secure bike parking (underground I think? not sure how many bikes) for both residents and non-residents for $12/mo or $120/yr.
BTW, is this Mosites the same Mosites that owns all the Trek stores?
I know the developers have to have some pull over the streets, and if they want to encourage people to ride bikes in that area it’s a huge issue.
They want to make the development more bike friendly for people who live there, people who want to go there to catch the express bus, and for people who want to shop there. They just wanted to get ideas on how people would use the development, what would attract bicycle riders to live there and visit. There are ideas from having a full service bike station with showers and lockers to just having a security camera and key fobs.
They discussed making a new street through the development a slow street (think bicycle blvd).
They are interested in making the streets more bike friendly, but this is not what this meeting was about. Perhaps that will be a future meeting.
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