Beechwood Blvd…bike lanes

← Back to Forums


pratt
Participant
#

does anyone know if they city every intends to put them back? it’s been a long time since they repaved the section near Forbes, still no bike lane markings.


erok
Keymaster
#

yeah they’re supposed to go back. what a mess this shit is sometimes.


pratt
Participant
#

they are slackin’!!!!


ejwme
Participant
#

311?


dwillen
Participant
#

Are these even real bike lanes? There are just cars parked in the “bike lane” the entire length of the road. I know it says bike lane, but they seem kind of half assed if it is bike+parking lane.


JZ
Participant
#

Even when the lines were there, it seemed like it was some kind of targeting thing – “drive here to hit a biker and earn extra points”. I do my best to stay off Beechwood.


bikefind
Participant
#

Are these even real bike lanes? There are just cars parked in the “bike lane” the entire length of the road. I know it says bike lane, but they seem kind of half assed if it is bike+parking lane.

+1

When I first started riding in the city, all those parked cars in the beechwood blvd bike lanes really irked me. I didn’t use this forum at the time, so mainly I just grumbled to myself alot. Then one day I was talking to a man I knew only casually, and it came up that I ride a bike. He said “You’re not one of those rude cyclists who swear at cars, are you?” (and at this point I’d have to go back and amend my answer – self control hasn’t always been 100%) but after telling him no, I did say that I definitely had some frustrations with cars in the city. I mentioned all the cars parked in the Beechwood bike lane, and he said, “But there’s nowhere else to park!” I said “That’s a separate problem. If you needed to park your car and there were no spaces, you probably wouldn’t consider parking right in traffic” (I assumed this, anyway) “You’d think of that as off-limits. You’d have the problem of finding a place to park, but you wouldn’t let that overlap with your idea that you don’t park in traffic, i.e., the lanes where cars drive. It’s the same with this. That’s a bike lane. The fact that you don’t have anywhere to park is a separate problem – it doesn’t make it ok to park in a lane designated for bike traffic anymore than it does with car traffic.”

I think at that point he just classified me as one of those crazy bike people and dismissed my mind and the entirety of its contents. And I’m not even saying that I’m right in a legal sense. But if you put up a sign that says “bike lane”, that’s going to create a set of attitudes and expectations, at least in me. But then I’m often accused of taking things too literally. (I’m not sure how else to take them. “bike lane. bike lane.” keep saying it over and over, still sounds like a bike lane to me.)


dwillen
Participant
#

It could be easily solved by re-striping the road for parking on one side and bike lanes on both sides, where the road is too narrow to facilitate bike + parking lanes on both sides.

I’m not real jazzed about riding in the 1.5 feet remaining of the bike lane after cars park in the rest of it, when that 1.5 feet is right in the door zone. I still bike on Beechwood, I just don’t bike in the bike lane unless I hear a car approaching from behind.


Mick
Participant
#

The funny thing is that Beechwood is wide enough for each side to have a parking lane, a door zone space, a bike lane, and STILL have a wide traffic lane.

It’s also a place whre they would do well to enforce the speed limit.

When I ride it, I pay no attention to the white parking lane line. Why should I?


Lyle
Participant
#

If you needed to park your car and there were no spaces, you probably wouldn’t consider parking right in traffic” (I assumed this, anyway) “You’d think of that as off-limits. You’d have the problem of finding a place to park, but you wouldn’t let that overlap with your idea that you don’t park in traffic

I guess you haven’t lived here very long. I mean, you’re right, he wouldn’t park in traffic, he’d park ON THE SIDEWALK. Of course.

As for the original comment, I haven’t noticed that riding in the unstriped portion of Beechwood is any less pleasant than riding in the striped portion. Actually, I think the unstriped portion is better, probably because it’s wider and there are fewer cars on it, but the absence of the stripe isn’t hurting anything.

For that matter, the absence of the stripe makes me feel a lot more comfortable leaving room around the door zone of the occasional parked car. I do feel some emotional pressure from the lane stripe to ride to the right of it, even when that IS the door zone, and I’m an obstinate bastard. I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of riders who haven’t got the guts to ride to the left of it. Given the way our society programs young women to “be nice”, I would expect that the dutiful door-zone riders probably include those young women out of proportion to their numbers.

What do we call a road feature that disportionately encourages young women bicyclists to put themselves in a dangerous position? Do we call that “bicycle-friendly”? WHY?


erok
Keymaster
#

well, go to other cities with bike lanes, and guess what, there are a lot of people riding. more people riding=better awareness

anyway, we worked with the city to redesign those gawd-awful lanes of yesteryear, to include a door zone buffer. then, they messed up when they restriped them and used the old design. then they’ve been delaying for various reasons on re-installing them. it’s all very frustrating.


JZ
Participant
#

I forget the name of the road, but I’ve seen one in Squill with the explicit buffer. It’s really great.


rsprake
Participant
#

I was talking to this right wing conservative at Rolands after teh Bike Fest party and he was shocked when I told him just how hard it was to get the sharrows right outside of the bar.

He also hated taxes but somehow wants bikes to separated lanes and wanted better public transportation…


rsprake
Participant
#

JZ, Beacon and Wightman have buffered lanes and they are indeed awesome.


scott
Keymaster
#

Doug Shields is helping us get these prioritized. Stay tuned.


Tabby
Participant
#

I have no use for door zone/parking zone bike lanes. I’d rather have no bike lane marking than crappy and potentially dangerous ones. My all-time favorite being the bike lane marking that keeps getting narrower and narrower until it just disappears into an intersection.

Hope they do get the markings right when they install them the next time around.


Lyle
Participant
#

I’d like to see that uphill bike lane on Forbes changed so that it actually ends about 20 ft earlier, and add a sharrow in the center of the lane there to tell people to get away from the curb. As it is, if you stay in the lane all the way to the end, there’s simply no space left to merge in with the overtaking motorists doing 20-30 mph more than you are. And if you’ve got your head down grinding up the hill, you have no warning that the road is about to narrow. It’s particularly difficult to make the left turn onto Dallas/Beechwood unless you’re already solidly in control of the right lane well before the bike lane ends. I don’t have any data, but I suspect that Forbes -> Beechwood is more common than the usual left turn.

Motorists get “road narrows” signs, and signs that indicate merges and “lane ends”. Those are just as important for cyclists.


salty
Participant
#

geez… 15-20 years ago we thought the lane on beechwood (which was striped the same way it is now) was pretty nice, especially considering it was the only one in existence.

i don’t think it’s an abomination/death trap/etc, but that probably has more to do with beechwood itself being fairly sedate than the lane anyways. i guess i’ll see since it’s now going to be part of my daily commute (although only 5th->wilkins). once upon a time i thought beeler st was pretty sedate too.


mark
Participant
#

i can remember being in awe the first time i road the beechwood blvd bike lanes after gallivanting through the rankin mills in high school… i rode it last week and it left a sour taste in my mouth…

we’re all spoiled by bikepgh … i love it


JZ
Participant
#

Yeah, hooray for BP for raising the bar!


cburch
Participant
#

maybe we can get the city to follow the original plan for the lanes this time? if i remember correctly they were never supposed to be striped the way they are in the first place.


erok
Keymaster
#

there’s a pretty solid design in the hopper, it just needs to be installed and installed correctly


jeg
Participant
#

If only all roads were like Beacon and Wightman. Those roads are great as a cyclist, driver, runner, and pedestrian. Maybe impractical, but oh so nice!


ErinK
Participant
#

I love the Beechwood bike lane. There are only a few places where it’s parked up and too narrow for both of us. But I would like the lines back. It’s been more than a year since they paved there (you know, where the nature center used to be).

One benefit of Beechwood, over the last 15 years people who park there all the time have actually learned to check their mirrors before opening their doors. My mom lives on Beechwood and I always do a double-clutch style door opening when I park at her house: First crack the door open a few inches as a warning, look for cyclists, then open it all the way.


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

the lines on beechwood always bugged me. i ride it fairly regularly from brown’s hill to fifth ave (or the other way). near the southern end, there are lines, but the lane itself is filled with tree branches and other assorted debris, and the most important spots (the curves, and there are a lot of them) are filled right up to the lines with cars. it’s one of the many areas i look at and say “don’t call it a bike lane”.

however, the street is so chill anyway that it doesn’t affect me one way or the other. i would ride beechwood regularly, bike lane or no bike lane, and i would be completely comfortable 99% of the time.


Lyle
Participant
#

It’s been bothering me lately because of the endless cracks, crevices, holes and patches, most of which are right in my preferred line of travel. The only line of consistently smooth pavement seems to be the left tire track.

That is, on the “old” part. The new pavement, even without lines, is fine.

I have to respectfully disagree about the residents on Beechwood learning to check their doors. I’ve almost been doored twice on Beechwood, but not yet anywhere else in the city (possibly because I’m trying to ride in the bike lane, granted.)


helen s
Participant
#

Beechwood is my running street of choice in the winter. Not a lot of traffic in the evening, not many cross streets, plowed, and wide, with “semi-bikelanes”.


BradQ
Participant
#

Don’t get me started on people that run in the street. There really are sidewalks and parks for that sort of thing…


RoadKillen
Participant
#

The other day I was on Beechwood and suddenly a salmon jogger appeared from behind a parked car. There was also a car coming up behind me. It was almost very bad.


ejwme
Participant
#

err… there are sidewalks, but in the winter, a lot of people don’t shovel them (and under the snow and ice they’re so uneven that it really is just asking for a broken ankle).

but this time of year, and if it’s still light out, yeah, sidewalks are for pedestrians, including joggers. I only ran in parks in the daytime (there are muggerraperkillers there at night, doncha know!), and at night the worst stretches of sidewalk for craters are always the worst stretches of sidewalk for leaves blotting out streetlights.

Some joggers run in the street for the theoretical impact force reduction on the cushier asphalt than the concrete sidewalk. I’m not sure the advantage is tangible enough to risk one’s life like that.

I’m just saying, as with cyclists and “why don’t you bike on the shoulder/beside parked cars/on the sidewalk”, it’s not always so cut and dry with pedestrians either.


Mick
Participant
#

Runners in the steet? Depends a lot on the street and time of day, in my opinion.

Fifth Ave during rush hour? Not cool. Aylsboro at 7:00? Cool.


Lyle
Participant
#

Except that there actually is a law against running/walking in the street.

And a law against not shoveling your sidewalk, for what little that’s worth. And probably even a law against uneven, ankle-breaking disrepair, too.

Gotta love all the laws nobody cares about.


sarah_q
Participant
#

Just like the law that says you need to come to a complete stop at a stop sign on your bike.

When I run on the street I yield to bikes the same way I expect bikes to yield to me if I am a pedestrian and they are riding on the sidewalk.

It is much easier on your legs to run on asphalt rather than concrete.


Kordite
Participant
#

Is asphalt really that flexible? I’d like to see the math.


JZ
Participant
#

I have a bad knee, and I can say that I definitely notice the difference between walking a couple blocks on concrete/cement versus a couple of blocks on asphalt.


Pierce
Participant
#

I don’t have math, but practical observations.

1) At least three people on this forum run on the road for the reasons Sarah Q stated.

2) Sidewalks are split every like four or so feet so they don’t crack when they expand and contract right? Compare that to roads which are continuous without splits for much greater distances. Therefore, asphalt must be more flexible. Heh?


jeg
Participant
#

Try running (heck, try walking) any distance on Pittsburgh sidewalks after significant snowfall, or when the leaves start falling, or after dark, or…

Concrete versus asphalt: http://mysite.verizon.net/jim2wr/id184.html and http://mysite.verizon.net/jim2wr/id27.html

I have plantar fasciitis, and it’s aggravated at much shorter distances when I run on concrete versus asphalt. Anecdotal, but that’s all I need. Of course, grass or trail is even better, but there’s a limited amount of grass and trail if you’re running any significant distance.

That being said, I tend to run before 7 am, stay mostly in parks and on trails (again, these are often not maintained in winter), always face traffic when on roads, move to the sidewalk if I see approaching traffic (car, bike, or other), and don’t use headphones on roads.


BradQ
Participant
#

This whole notion is similar to cyclists just deciding to ride on the busway because the pavement is in good shape, traffic is light, sight lines are good and it is a straighter shot to the final destination. Still a foolish move worthy of scorn, and a ticket.


jeg
Participant
#

What/where is the law against walking/running in the street? (I’m sure it exists, just curious.)

I really don’t see how this is unsafe if you’re smart about it. No one is advocating running down the middle of Forbes Avenue, here.


Lyle
Participant
#

It’s in the pa vehicle code. I can’t cite chapter and verse but you’ll find it. Says basically where sidewalk exists, peds must use it, otherwise walk on the left and yield to oncoming traffic.

← Back to Forums

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Click here to login.

Supported by