After having a bad experience biking from the southside to oakland yesterday…

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ejwme
Participant
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My favorite onramps are on 70 down near new stanton and east. Literally 4 feet long, zero sight lines, and big rigs substituting the name of the highway for the speed limit. After doing that a few times, I see squirrel hill as a comparative cake walk.


steevo
Participant
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Oh my bad (re bus lane)… I would not want

to piss off any bus drivers. They might then

hate cyclists and try killing us, run us off

the road, and/or give us no respect….

oh wait.


Benzo
Participant
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This wouldn’t be a bad option to get to oakland if it cam be organized…

http://rockalley.org/


Mick
Participant
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@ Benzo

Rock Alley

Looks like a wonderful project. I ride or walk along Ophelia a couple times a day

There is a new contruction project going on down there in the 760′ elevation hollow that the proposed path skirts on the way to the pedestrian underpass. Not sure of the type or scope of the project.


rsprake
Participant
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I’ve seen construction crews poking around what I believe is that tunnel. Related?


scott
Keymaster
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I definitely recommend taking the sidewalk up along Fifth. Please don’t let pride be an issue. We are working on this and something will happen to help bridge this gap for bikes. Till then just imagine the sidewalk as a separated bike lane, just without the markings. I rode sidewalks all over Spain. All they did to make them different was paint a green or red bike lane on them. It was amazing and totally changed my perspective on sidewalk riding. Of course they also changed the intersections, signals and other things so it’s not quite as simple as I make it sound. Essentially, they made the sidewalks part of a legitimate bike routing system. No option should be off the table for us. http://gellersworldtravel.blogspot.com/2011/07/cycling-safety-in-spain.html


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Is this the tunnel that’s visible from the Jail Trail and Second Avenue near MetalTech? When I worked at Ansaldo, I would sometimes see someone park a utility truck on/near Second by this tunnel, put on the flashers, pull out a key, and go through the gate. So maybe related, maybe not.

I speculate that there’s something else back in there, maybe some sort of utility access (like the navigation lights catwalk off the Fort Duquesne Bridge sidewalk) for the Parkway, or some such.

Whatever’s back there, I would love to see that connection made.

While I’m at it, it seems like it would be a simple matter to connect the Oakland ramp off the Birmingham Bridge to the trail, also right in that same area.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Stu, according to the Rock Alley people, Duquesne Light has a utility corridor under the tunnel.


Steven
Participant
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I think it’s this tunnel opposite the Second Avenue parking garage than runs beneath the Jail Trail and the Parkway.

This page on the Rock Alley site has some info on Duquesne Light’s use of the tunnel and the slope above. As I read it, they stuck conduits right in the tunnel (not below it), apparently fairly recently. And they also have lines under the slope.

Their plans for Brady Street seem easier to implement.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Yep, same one I was thinking of. That’s Ansaldo’s parking garage opposite the tunnel. MetalTech is the building just toward town from that.


Impala26
Participant
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@benzo

Is is sad that I think that all of the improvements suggested should be done?

I REALLY like the connector between the Junction Hollow Trail to Eliza Furnace via the hillside and Swinburne Street. A perfect streamlined connection compared to what we currently have. The bonus with that is that if you improve Swinburne a little bit too, you’ve got yourself a South Oakland-to-trails route.

But seriously, something really REALLY needs to be done about Bates Street. Honestly, the uphill lane is actually wider and could accommodate a bike lane or at the very least sharrows. Or just make the sidewalk a shared path already. Unfortunately, the sidewalk is indeed in attrocious condition since the utility work they did nearly a year ago and hadn’t repaired the sidewalk properly.

The staircase from Bates to the Eliza Furnace trail should be considered too. I still think you could get an ADA compliant ramp there if you snake it under the parkway overpass and bottoming out around Hodge Street/The Hideout Bar.

Can Bike Pittsburgh get behind any or multiple of these projects? Obviously, they would need to partner with a communtiy group such as Oakland Planning and Development Corp. (OPDC) and get the city’s and/or PennDOT’s approval/financing. But do we here at Bike Pgh have leverage to help any projects like these to move forward?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Not to take this too off topic, but to reiterate what I said before, if we’re trying to get from SSide to Oakland, it would really be nice to have a connection from the Birmingham Bridge to the Eliza Furnace Trail.

Looking at the bridge structure, it looks like a connection could be made fairly easily from the Oakland off-ramp to the trail, as seen here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Birmingham+Bridge,+Pittsburgh,+PA&hl=en&ll=40.436201,-79.973224&spn=0.001145,0.002642&sll=40.482262,-79.975473&sspn=0.001153,0.002642&oq=bir,+Pittsburgh,+PA&t=h&dirflg=b&hnear=Birmingham+Bridge,+Pittsburgh,+Allegheny,+Pennsylvania&z=19&layer=c&cbll=40.436201,-79.97311&panoid=gOuq6ytzQ7lYx9oukKEoYw&cbp=12,116.73,,0,0

Operationally, I can think of one good reason not to do this: This would make it easy to ride against traffic on the bridge, i.e., southbound on the northbound bridge. I don’t have a good answer.


Marko82
Participant
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Stu, I think that shoulder is plenty wide enough for a contra-flow lane like they put in down at the waterfront. Though with the speed of traffic I’m not so sure the plastic candle sticks would be enough of a separation.


Steven
Participant
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The Brady Street page on that site proposes a path from the Jail Trail to the Birmingham Bridge at Forbes (and then an improved continuation into Oakland). That might make it easier to get cyclists to take the appropriate-direction bike lane, since it takes them to a spot where both lanes are equally convenient.

But a ramp up from the Jail Trail to the bridge would be nice and direct, and it seems like there’s room for it, stretching out west of the bridge.


poboy
Participant
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An additional point for why I think Pittsburgh needs a strong bike connector between the South Side and Oakland:

When I’m riding by myself, I will not ride through Panther Hollow alone after dark.

So coming home at night if I’m on the South Side, I’ll ride over that bridge. As a young female, I will take my chances with traffic over what could happen alone in the dark.

But, even when there is no traffic, that portion of road at Forbes is scary to ride on, and that these related safety factors also stress the importance of this project.

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