A major sharrow coup would be…
…Liberty eastbound from 16th Street to Herron, there joining up with the existing lane; with a reduction (or at least enforcement) of speed limit the whole way. It’s so strange to me that we have this great sharrowed route into town on Penn, but leaving downtown requires braving that paradox parking lot/highway hybrid known as Smallman; having every bus, SUV, and lot shuttle ride up your ass on Liberty; or inching through back alleys. Unfortunately Liberty is the main egress out of town for cars so I doubt this would ever happen…
inching through back alleys
True story: I got my first flat tire, ever, from a piece of glass on a Strip District alley.
If I want a calm exit from downtown back to the East End (and I’m not in a hurry) I sometimes take the North Side Trail up to Washington’s Landing, and over across the 31st Street Bridge. From there, it’s not far to the bike lanes.
How about enforcing the stop signs on Smallman as well? I long ago lost count of the number of times I was almost run over (either on foot or on a bicycle). Also, 21st & Smallman desperately needs a traffic light.
I used to take the trail to 31st street bridge, which makes a lot of sense as my job is on the North Side… but it actually takes more time. And that bridge is a bear to cross….
Either that or a counter flow lane on Penn.
When leaving downtown I take Smallman to Railroad, or once the trail entrance from the convention center opens again I will take the trail to Railroad.
21st and Smallman desperately needs a traffic light
Does no one know of the alley behind the liberty avenue buildings which runs adjacent to the railroad and busway? outbound you catch it at 21st street. cross liberty, head up the ramp and make a left. stay right and you avoid traffic until 32nd street. you can either make the right off 32nd onto liberty near the carwash, or you can cross liberty and make a right at penn.
real low key back there…
i see a few folks traveling back there in the morning and afternoon, but not a whole lot.
I usually take spring way until about 30th or so, then get on liberty.
I also take Spring, which is full of broken glass, gnarly potholes, and garbage smell. I’ve always wondered if there was something on the other side of Liberty…. thank you for filling us in, I’m so trying that tomorrow
I like mountain bike tires, they’re pretty good vs broken glass.
That being said, I’ll probably run over a nail next time
Also, I seen you today.
@sloaps I take Sassafras St from my office at 29th & Liberty to 32nd outbound (runs between lLiberty & tracks/busway). Same alley? If so, how does it connect from 21st?
You probably did. If you saw a neon green PITT hoodie that would be me
something on liberty would be a dream, but i’d settle for a completely redesigned smallman or railroad. like make smallman really unattractive to drive on so that all those cars and trucks use liberty instead.
question about Spring way: is that a one-way street? I know cars usually drive in either direction, but I don’t really see any signs directed at westbound traffic, only east.
I’d take Smallman over Spring outbound… much better eyeball clearance on cross traffic, newer pavement, no rat traps in view.
We did a Roadway Safety Audit of Liberty Avenue through the Strip this Spring. Found lots of things that could be improved, either through infrastructure improvements, operational improvements or better enforcement. Upcoming closure of portions of East Busway, and need to use Liberty as detour option for Route 28 a complication in implementation. However, it was agreed by all parties that what was needed was a comprehensive look at the four parallel streets through the Strip (five, if you include Sassafras which was definitely a part of the analysis in the RSA). I believe the City is thinking about looking at the five street “corridor” in greater detail if they can find the resources to do so.
I am totally re-imaging Penn Ave as a two-way Complete Street. It would be realllllly amazing. Whoever wants to go fast can just use Liberty. They already have Liberty anyway. Take it!
I also imagine Smallman becoming a rad Complete Street, but last I heard people want to turn it into more of a truck corridor.
if penn was two-way:
1. I wouldn’t rant to my coworkers every time I see a bike going the wrong way
2. It would be much easier for my friends from out of town to visit me at work when they come in from the west of the area.
3. It would be a total clusterfuck during business or delivery hours with all of the parking, double parking, etc going on… at least now there’s a 2nd lane to get around all that
I could see some minor detail improvements, but I really hope no proposed scheme involves large, ’60’s style changes to the area, it’s great, thriving. In the past several months it’s been one of my destinations for my Saturday or Sunday morning ride, I’ll ride in, get a nice coffee and a pastry, ride around town, and go home, it’s like, 30 or 40 miles. I ride outbound on Smallman and inbound on Penn, I love mixing with the traffic, it’s a little slice of riding in a real city.
Granted, I don’t have to do it as a daily commute. I could see completing the trail along the river from the convention center out as far as possible for people who don’t want to deal with it.
2-way on Penn, no.
Swalfoort, don’t let anybody screw it up.
haha. the last plan i saw is part of the allegheny riverfront visioning plan.
the idea (so far) is to leave penn alone, make smallman more of a thouroughfare, and extend railroad’s reach and make it a bike/ped priority road with a trolley of all things on the existing railroad tracks. there’s apparently a private company interested in making this happen all the way to lawrenceville, and from what i can tell, they are pretty serious about it. the path would supposedly be able to get you under the 40th st bridge (which is great), but also (and i have no clue how this would happen), but they made mention of connecting smallman to the 40th st bridge. a big part is also to relocate the trucking company to the 62nd st bridge (which they want to do) and which would reduce much of the truck traffic.
@quizbot and others.
Traveling inbound from Sassyfrass, Follow the waypoints
A: make a left off Sassafrass towards the back of the commercial building.
B: follow down the back alley.
C: from the parking lot, take the gravel road under the busway ramp.
exit gravel road and bear left.
E: wave to me
F: make a right down the ramp and onto liberty at 21st street.
OR at D, make a right, travel to Point G and take 25th street to cross liberty instead.
Since Smallman has been repaved, it’s much more pleasant to bike on. The biggest problem I have is at 21st street (which is why I complain about it about 862 times every week). I typically take it outbound during rush hour, FWIW. I’m not sure I’d want to take it at night. There seems to be a school of thought that speed limits and stop signs no longer apply when the sun goes down.
this is true JZ, because at night if you can’t see the potholes it means that the road is clear and smooth and therefore you should drive faster to make up for slow, rutted daytime street driving.
Is there any way, with the redevelopment of the
iron city brewery to ensure that Sassafras will
connect to liberty?
When I was a messenger, I would shoot through the
brewery all the time when the gate was open, but
it is a totally viable way to connect the sharrows
of liberty and cut out the awful intersection at
good point. don’t think there’s any plans for redevelopment yet, but i’m sure that once there is there will be opportunity available.
I took that parking lot/alley/Sassafras route this afternoon. Great ride, thanks for the tip!!!
Butler as a bike highway! (Though that’s not Sharrows) with a weight limit of 500 LBS for vehicles, allowing for heavy bicycles. That’s if I had a magic wand.
(edited to add a zero to the former weight of 50)
Hmm. I’m a pretty fat guy, and I ride a heavy bicycle with a bunch of crap bolted and zip-tied to it. Can we bump the vehicle limit up a bit there?
+1 on what JZ said. my bike is like me. Freaking huge.
Can you flatten the Butler fauxhawk with that magic wand while you’re at it?
a major sharrow coup would be anything in the suburbs. People ignore the “share the road” markings, paint on pavement has a better chance of getting seen.
Yes there are often shoulders, these shoulders are just as often littered with deer carcasses, or children at bus stops, or they disappear at random times when the road is pinched (the shoulders, not the children).
Paint indicating “this happens here too, legally” in the suburbs could do more for education in the strapped, spread out spaces than any program in place – and those drivers get in to the city too.
It’s just paint, pointing out the law that already exists (bikes are allowed too). What’s so difficult about paint?
I’m completely done with the “share the road” signage, drivers totally misinterpret them, they’re a waste of money and time. Now they just piss me off.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve had some jerk honk at me, push me off the road, or otherwise harass me, and follow it up with a “Share the road!!”. Yea, that is working as intended.
“Share the Road” to bicyclists = It’s our road, too, let us co-exist
“Share the Road” to drivers = It’s our road, you’re lucky we let your ass on it in the first place, NOW GET OUT OF MY WAY
… complete the existing sharrows all the way to intersections.
^^ What Mick said
In related news, I was just in ‘downtown’ Butler the past two days, and they had sharrows EVERYwhere. I was thoroughly impressed. I also didn’t see a soul on a bike the entire time there…
To Noah’s point, can we please get some of the other signs in this city? Especially the ‘cyclists have the right to a full lane’ ones in areas like Penn Ave where there are two lanes.
@wojty – thanks for the observations on the Butler sharrows. That was all coordinated through local volunteers from the Butler-Freeport Communtity Trail group, and coordinated with the City of Butler and PennDOT. The sharrows have been in place for about a month. They are doing organized rides a couple days a week, and have developed Butler City Bike Maps, so if you go up again this time next year, I hope you’ll see LOTS of bikes.
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