Thomas Blvd., Southside Works–Replacing 3 and 4-way stops with roundabouts

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zzwergel
Member
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There are several places where I think replacing stop signs with roundabouts should be considered. Thomas Blvd has four-way stops at every intersection where there is no traffic light. All of these stop signs can be turned into garden roundabouts with yield signs. Turning the three-way stop at Lexington St. into a one way stop on the driveway would also be a good idea. Sydney St. should also have roundabouts at 28th St., and 29th St. I would also convert Water St. and Tunnel Blvd into a one-way pair.

more stop signs and traffic lights do not calm traffic because people want to go faster between the stop signs to make up for the lost time while stopped. People driving want to speed in order to try to make it through the traffic light before it turns red. In fact, I crashed on Butler St at 57th St. because of this. I was moving and as I approached the intersection, the light turned red. I slammed the brakes, crashed onto the road, and suffered a banged knee and elbow.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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In McCandless, the corner of West Ingomar and Highland, as well as Duncan-Ferguson-Thompson Run, are prime candidates for roundabouts. I could name lots more.

With any redesign, though, you can’t just drop in a roundabout, you also have to throttle down the traffic speed, or it becomes worse instead of better for cyclists and pedestrians. By slow, I mean 15 mph for the last 100 feet or so. And I don’t mean put up a sign, I mean change the shape of the street so they’ve slowed down without needing a sign they’re going to ignore. And yet still allow traffic to free smoothly, including long vehicles like buses and fire trucks. This is a lot harder than it looks.


jonawebb
Participant
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Yeah, you need a certain amount of space. I remember this was the problem with the Panther Hollow/Schenley Drive intersection. Roundabout would be better than stop signs, but not enough space.


zzwergel
Member
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Thomas Blvd. is very wide. If curb extensions were installed just before the roundabouts, it could work. The reason I do not like all these stop signs is because my brakes keep wearing out. I just had my bike tuned up about two weeks ago, and the brakes are already starting to feel a bit loose. Another reason is that once stopped, all momentum is lost and mere energy is needed to get started again.

“An object in motion tends to stay in motion, an object at rest tends to stay at rest”

–Isaac Newton


Ornoth
Member
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If they replaced your brake cables during your tuneup, you are probably experiencing cable stretch, which is pretty common. Usually the barrel adjusters are sufficient to take up the additional slack.


zzwergel
Member
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@ornoth,

The cables were replaced. I’d rather have good brakes so I could safely go down the many hills of Pittsburgh than tons of unnecessary stopping. 90% of the time I have to stop for a stop sign, it was not necessary as there was no cross traffic. Also, Why does Thomas Blvd. have traffic lights at Dallas Ave. and Homewood Ave. since there are 4-way stop signs at every other intersection other than the 1-way stop sign at 5th Ave.? Also why doesn’t Wightman St have stop signs where it intersects Darlington Rd. and Bartlett St.? These intersections just have 1-way stop signs on the cross street and Wightman St. doesn’t have to stop. Shouldn’t Thomas Blvd., Sydney St., Western Ave.(Aspinwall), 2nd St. (past Brilliant Ave., Aspinwall), Jancey St., and Chislett St. be the same way as Wightman St. with only one stop sign at each end? Essentially, give the street with more traffic priority and make the lesser street stop.


Steven
Participant
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Roundabouts on Sydney Street would make things tougher for pedestrians, of which there are lots. Seems like a very bad idea for the Southside Works area, which is currently pleasant and safe for pedestrians. Surely safety issues (for pedestrians in particular) are far more important than how often bicycles require maintenance.

Also why doesn’t Wightman St have stop signs where it intersects Darlington Rd. and Bartlett St.? 

Maybe it should. Wightman doesn’t seem to have excessive speeds that stop signs would help to reduce (perhaps why some of those other streets you named have them), but it can be difficult to cross it (on a bike or as a pedestrian) at those cross streets. Stop signs would help with that.


rainbow dog
Member
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A bit late for this now, but the intersection of 31st St Bridge and Rt 28 could have been way more efficient with a two-bridge elevated roundabout. The second bridge would have to be the continuation of the bridge from Herr’s Island. Maybe part-time traffic lights to control merging in peak directions. That 4-minute, one tributary at a time traffic light is pretty inefficient.


zzwergel
Member
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@steven,

Stop signs actually cause mid-block speeds to increase in order to make up for time wasted while unnecessarily stopped. What about Thomas Blvd. and the other streets mentioned as well as making S. Water St. and Tunnel Blvd. a one-way pair from 26th St. to Hot Metal St.? By the way, where is N. Water St.? There is a N. Charles St. with no S. counterpart on the Northside too.


zzwergel
Member
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Most of the stop signs on Negley Ave. are south of 5th Ave. There is also stop signs at Hampton St. Negley Ave. has stop signs ate every cross street South of Wilkins Ave.if that’s the case, why aren’t there any stop signs on Negley Ave. at Lynne Haven Rd., Dunmoyle St., Kentucky Ave., Howe St, Elmer St., Coral St., Broad St., Columbo St., Hays St., Jackson St., Wellesley Ave., Bryant St., Elgin St., and Callowhill St.?


Steven
Participant
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Stop signs actually cause mid-block speeds to increase in order to make up for time wasted while unnecessarily stopped.

At least on short blocks like Sydney Street has, I’m not sure this is correct. Is there any research to show it’s true? It seems easy enough to measure traffic speeds before and after adding or subtracting a stop sign, on a variety of different streets, to see under what conditions traffic speeds up, if indeed it does.

Failing that, you could just measure speeds on two parallel streets, one with stop signs and one without, for instance Braddock Avenue versus East End Avenue in Regent Square. According to your assertion, peak speeds on East End Avenue should be higher than peak speeds on Braddock Avenue when there’s comparable traffic on both. That’s not been my impression, but I haven’t actually tried measuring speeds.


zzwergel
Member
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Can someone please answer my question about Negley Ave.?

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