Aspinwall to/from Washington Blvd oval

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zzwergel
Member
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At what time is it ok to bike in the traffic lane of the Highland park bridge and make the quick lane change necessary to access Washington Blvd? Also, when is it possible to enter traffic on the bridge coming from Butler St. and make the merge right so I can exit to Aspinwall? Another thing, why are pedestrians prohibited from crossing the Washington Blvd./Allegheny River Blvd. intersection in any direction? How are you supposed to walk from Morningside to the Zone 5 police station without climbing hills?


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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They’re not really concerned with people being able to walk in to the police stations in this town.  Anything you’d want a police response to, they want you to call 911 (yes, even if it’s not an emergency, but that’s a different thread) so that it’s logged and dispatched centrally.

I would never recommend riding Highland Park Bridge except, perhaps, in a group; the posted limit is 45mph, and actual speeds approach and exceed 60mph regularly.  I would take the sidewalk, keeping an eye out for glass and other debris (as on any other bridge sidewalk).

There is no good way to get from the Zoo/Bridge area to the Oval.  There are a few trails through the woods that may be accessible on a mountain bike, but I think there may be stairs involved.  I would probably go up into East Liberty, then down Negley Run; from there, you can cut through the fire department training facility and police station parking lots.  If you don’t want to climb the hill, you could take the 75 bus up to East Liberty and then ride down the other side.

Improving accessibility of the Zoo area and the Oval is, I believe, a focus of the Highland Park/East Liberty Bike/Ped Committee.


zzwergel
Member
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Hi,

I tried this for the second time today. I have some video here. Please read the video descriptions.

 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  zzwergel.

zzwergel
Member
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I went to Home Depot today from the Waterworks Walmart via Freeport Rd., H.P. Bridge Sidewalk, 1 W. Pl. Crosswalk, Butler St.,  Washington Blvd., Negley Run Blvd., Centre Ave., and Station St. I returned via Highland Ave., East Liberty Blvd., Negley Ave., Black St., Chislett St., Greenwood St., Jancey St., Baker St., Butler St./ H. P. Bridge Sidewalk., and Freeport Rd. back to Aspinwall. Made it back unscathed for the third time.


Eric
Member
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I usually just take one wild place


zzwergel
Member
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I just wanted a bit of a challenge? BTW, Why can’t Washington Blvd., Allegheny River Blvd., and the Highland Park Bridge be marked with sharrows until a parallel bike path is constructed?

Also, Why aren’t pedestrians allowed to cross Washington Blvd at Allegheny River Blvd at the new traffic light? I think they are trying to prioritize motor vehicle traffic on a non-highway.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  zzwergel.

buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Why can’t Washington Blvd., Allegheny River Blvd., and the Highland Park Bridge be marked with sharrows until a parallel bike path is constructed?

HPB is posted with a speed limit of 45mph, and speeds are closer to 60+, with absolutely no room for error.   Rather than somehow convincing drivers to slow down, they’re more likely to delegitimize sharrows in the mind of both drivers and riders, as the use there (and at 40th St Bridge) would be seen as an obvious joke or worse.  (Step back from your own abilities and mindset as a rider for a moment:  What do you seriously think would actually happen if an average, not particularly fit or superconfident, rider were to attempt to bike across HPB in freeway-speed traffic?  As a driver that bridge fucking terrifies me and I avoid it.)

(Also, there are specific standards for where sharrows can and should be used; look up AASHTO markings regulations.)

I think they are trying to prioritize motor vehicle traffic on a non-highway.

You’re probably right–but both roads are highways by standard usage:  Allegheny River Blvd is PA-130; Washington Blvd is PA-8.  (By statute, as discussed several times elsewhere on the board, nearly all roads in PA are highways, but that’s a separate topic…)

Did you mean expressway?


Eric
Member
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I think there is a fine balance between honing your high traffic skills and riding on a more safe road. I try to prioritize the safe roads so that I rarely need to use my high traffic skills. As with anything else there is a ceiling on whatever skills you are trying to obtain, so maybe at this point the risk (zzwergel vs car crash) vs reward (obtaining a tiny bit more skills in high traffic areas) isn’t worth it?


zzwergel
Member
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@Ed, @Buffalo,

Yes, I meant Highways like Rt. 28 or I-279 which have no traffic lights. I think any other road should be accessible to pedestrians and cyclists as well as motor vehicles. I will only ride across the Highland Park Bridge on the roadway in a group with at least three other cyclists. As seen in my video, I had verl little trouble on southbound Washington Blvd. and will be regularly using it as a way to get to the track because there is no other viable way to get there from Aspinwall. What I mean as viable is any other way would involve climbing a big hill and descending the other side to an even lower elevation or rough terrain which my bike cannot handle.

I think the speed limit on these very important cyclist connections should be strictly enforced with stationary radar towers attached to the traffic lights. If someone going even a fraction of an MPH over 35 MPH the light will turn red and induce a delay based on the speed. If the red light is ran, a citation should be issued. I think the speed limit on Allegheny River Blvd should be reduced to 30 MPH as well.

Rumble strips and “Yield to cyclists” signs should also be placed across both southbound off ramps as well as move the flashing “Traffic light ahead” sign closer to the eastbound off ramp.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  zzwergel.

zzwergel
Member
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@stu,

This relates to this thread. I think the same should be done on the I-279 off ramps to McKnight Rd. Also, I think a parallel bike/ped path should be built along Evergreen Rd./Peoples Rd. from East St. to ock Blvd. Ave. Install sharrows along Babcock Blvd. From North Ave./Evergreen Ave. to Three Degree Rd. Sharrows along entire length of Center Ave. in West View and along Perry Hwy. from the Northern intersection of Center Ave. to it becomes two lanes each way. Center Ave. can be used to bypass some rough areas on Perry Hwy., including the horseshoe bend, especially in the southbound direction.


zzwergel
Member
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Also, Will the traffic light at Allegheny River Blvd. detect cyclists approaching the intersection from the north (Choderwood), or does it give a protected left regardless of any traffic approaching from this direction? Does anyone want to experiment with me some day?


Mick
Participant
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My recollection is that there is a path through the woods from where you crossed Butler  at One Wild Place to the Oval.   I know I got to that intersection via that path once, but I don’t recall where I started from.


zzwergel
Member
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@mick,

That path is quite rough and my bike cannot handle it. I tried it once before and it was an epic failure. I would like to do an experiment to see it the traffic light will give a cyclist a green light to turn right onto Washington Blvd. from Lock Way. This traffic light appears to have been replaced in late 2016. I would also like to get video of the experiment to post to YouTube.


paulheckbert
Moderator
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Today, while driving Washington Blvd between Negley Run Blvd and Allegheny River Blvd I noticed three boxes in distributed locations along the road with bright red blinking lights. I saw them both mid-day and in the evening. They were so bright that when I first saw one in my rear-view mirror I thought it was a cop car, but later determined they were on white boxes along the side of the road. They’re distracting to drivers.

I’m guessing they’re associated with the flood gates. Do they mean (a) all is well; gates are powered & working; or (b) emergency: gates have lost power; or (c) something else? Have others noticed these red lights?


Eric
Member
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Yes. They added this “feature” after about the 20th failure. My guess is that this is an a-ok light. But they can be seen for 100s of yards and do look like police flashers.


zzwergel
Member
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I’ve seen those as well. I have also seen plenty of Share the road signs too!

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