ACTION for Safe Fifth/Forbes
The push to make Oakland’s streets safe for all
A team composed of the City of Pittsburgh, PennDOT, the URA, the Oakland Transportation Management Association (OTMA), and the Port Authority are looking to redesign the Fifth/Forbes corridor, between downtown, Uptown, and Oakland. There are two major projects taking place, the Forbes Ave Betterment Project, and the Bus Rapid Transit Project, that are looking to make everything from basic upgrades to a complete redesign of Fifth and Forbes Ave, from Squirrel Hill to Downtown. This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to make one of the most important roads in the City work for all users – cars, pedestrians, transit, and bikes.
And we’re getting there!
Fifth/Forbes in Oakland has long been a target for safe streets advocates, who have been pushing for traffic calming and bike lanes in this University District for years. The neighborhood has a large numbers of students, workers, and people with disabilities who need to get to their classes, jobs and myriad facilities, often without a car. The existing wide roadway encourages traffic and speeds on the Fifth/Forbes corridor that are notoriously fast and dangerous, creating a situation that has often led to tragedy.
In 2015, everyone’s worst fears came to light when University of Pittsburgh employee, Susan Hicks, was killed on Forbes Avenue while riding her bicycle home from work. A few days later, a driver killed two people (one of whom was in a wheelchair) who were exiting a Port Authority bus in a different part of Oakland. These tragedies led to BikePGH creating the Action for a Safe Fifth/Forbes Campaign.
- Spring 2019: After a delay, we’re expecting the complete bike lanes to be installed in Spring 2019.
- Fall 2018: Forbes between Craig and Bigelow get repaved, and the bike lanes are reinstalled.
- August 2017: The City installs bike lanes on Forbes Ave, from Craig St to Bigelow Blvd. The bike lanes go in both directions and include new features such as Pittsburgh’s first contra-flow bike lane (click to see a video on how to use it). Additionally, the City completed the gap in the Bigelow Blvd bike lanes, between Fifth and Forbes.
- July 2017: The planning team presented a revised plan for the Fifth/Forbes Corridor. This includes extending the project and bike lanes to Bigelow Blvd, and installing a contra-flow bike lane from Bellefield to Bigelow. The City will install an interim bike lane on Forbes, and bike lanes on Bigelow (connecting a missing gap between Fifth and Forbes) in August of 2017. In 2018, PennDOT will be repaving the length of Forbes Ave (from the Birmingham Bridge to Margaret Morrison) and will install bike lanes from Bigelow to Margaret Morrison.
- October 2016: During a Susan Hicks memorial event, Councilman Dan Gilman announced that the City will extend the bike lane project to Bigelow Blvd and install it in 2017.
- August 2016: A team including PennDOT, Carnegie Mellon University, the City of Pittsburgh, the URA and the Oakland Transportation Management Association (OTMA) unveiled their plans to make safety improvements on Forbes Ave, from Craig St to Margaret Morrison St, including bike lanes. Advocates had many concerns, most notably that the project didn’t connect to the bike lanes on Bigelow Blvd that the City had recently invested in.
- October 2015: BikePGH launches Action for a Safe Fifth/Forbes Campaign
Over 1,700 people agree and have signed on to fix Fifth/Forbes.
Add your name today!