Bike advocacy with a view toward cost of improvements

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Anonymous #

Hi Mikhail,

I agree it appears this rockalley.org site has a pretty good summary of a lot of the problems, and a lot of good suggestions.

Are we as an organization working with them? It seems like it would be fruitful. As jonawebb said, every so often there is money to do something and these folks have evaluated a lot of alternatives already.

Anyways, time to pack it in for the night. Fun stuff everybody.

Cheers,

Ben


jonawebb
Participant
#

Thinking about the Swinburne street connection, I can pretty much guarantee that there would be more people using the road if it was closed to car and truck traffic from Sestili’s down the hill and a ramp was built connecting it between the Eliza Furnace trail and the Swinburne Street bridge. And there wouldn’t be any more issue about car/truck/bus crashes coming down the narrow and twisty street.

But, of course, the very idea — turning a road motorists can use over to cyclists — is absurd.


Anonymous #

It’s a pretty route, I would enjoy it I think if not fearing for my life by, as you say, turning it over toward safer and lower speed transport.

I get a similar feeling about the tiny stretch of Pocusset street between the greenfield bridge and the homes starting in squirrel hill.

Maybe you can be less confrontational but get a lot of the same benefit with speed humps?


Mick
Participant
#

@jonawebb I can pretty much guarantee that there would be more people using the road if it was closed to car and truck traffic from Sestili’s down the hill

Would there?

For sure, there would be more bicyclists.

I’m pretty sure that the car/truck traffic there now is considerably more than the total bicyle traffic would be. That would be fewer people.


jonawebb
Participant
#

Well, it’s an empirical question, so we would have to count, I guess. I’m basing my statement on the number of people using the Eliza Furnace trail now versus the limited amount of traffic I’ve seen on Swinburne Street. Opening Swinburne Street would make a pretty good bike connection between South Oakland and Downtown (as well as Oakland and Greenfield) and I would expect that would increase traffic since it would then be possible to ride pretty safely between Oakland, Greenfield, and downtown.


Anonymous #

Well, we used 2nd->Greenfield->Swinburne->Dawson on some PMTCC rides. I would agree with Mick. Even it was on Wednesday around 18:45-19:00 or Saturday-Sunday around 10:00 there were cars.

What I would like to see is an access to Bridle Trail from Boundary St just pass Proctor’s Garage so it still before going under Rail Road Bridge.


jonawebb
Participant
#

@byogman, I sent you a PM.


Anonymous #

@jonaweb Hm, you have number of people using Jail trail? I rode it during lunch hour Mo, Tu, We and amount of people I saw each day was about 15-20. Not that many. Four weeks ago I catch my coworker (I talked him into biking :) ) with his 8 year daughter. And we rode Jail Trail from parking lot and to Smithfield Bridge very slow. Took about 45 minutes. :) And we counted riders. About 40.

Maybe some numbers form BikePGH could be released? We know that BikePGH had some counters installed for some time at both ends of jail trail.

There are school buses on Swinburne. Each school bus easily exceeds my numbers.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Pretty cool, this, from the Atlantic. Crowdfunding as seed money, like Kickstarter, but for civic projects. Need;

http://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/goldman-sachs-progress/archive/2012/11/neighborly-helps-communities-build-better-towns/264542/


jonawebb
Participant
#

I’m sure there aren’t that many people using Eliza Furnace trail right now. But in warm weather there are a lot. As I said, we would have to count.


Mick
Participant
#

@byogman

Thank you for startign this dialog. Maybe nothing specific will come of this dialog.

But having the bicycle community pondering the advantages and disadvantages of different schemes can help with focusing on what we need, what we want, and what we can realistically hope to get.

Or at least I think it can. May the Bike-Pgh staff is so far ahead of us that this is spitting in the Mon.


Anonymous #

edmonds59, I very much like the idea of some crowdfunding goodness for this. How big is our crowd by the way? Think we can get joggers/runners in on this? What’s the right way to reach them?

This wasn’t part of the X,Y or Z mentioned in the movepgh meeting and I think it may cover only a small part of the cost in absolute terms unless someone is sitting on a pile of cash.

But still, I think putting your money where your mouth is is worth A LOT.

We may be able to get buy in and matching funds or even more substantial bankrolling from sources more like the X,Y and Z mentioned in the meeting if they see that we’re serious in this way.

I’ll go out on a limb here. I’ll spend as much to support this as I did on my bike. Granted, my bike sure ain’t much, but hey, I’m in my early 30s and have 3 kids… how much extra money do you think I have lying around? (hint, it’s negative).

Moreover, I’ll keep doing this as I spend on biking (better gloves next). I’ll try to keep that 1 for 1 ratio, improving my situation, improving the situation for us all. Now who’s with me?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Said one way:

The more you buy into sustainable transportation in any form, the more you want these ideas forwarded, and are willing to front a few bucks to see it happen.

Said another way:

Every $50 bill you fork over to fill your gas tank is not helping fund any of these projects.

Said a third way:

Gasoline is expensive. So is caviar. I don’t buy caviar.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
#

Bought gas last weekend for the first time in, if my bank record is to be believed, three months. prices have actually gone down a bit. I still don’t buy caviar, though I did just order a rack for my bike.


Anonymous #

Gas is only part of the cost, generally maintenance is worse than gas on old cars, depreciation much worse than gas on newer cars. And that’s not accounting for insurance, parking, tolls, and government fees.

In comparison, the 1 for 1 I’m proposing here: here is awfully cheap.


Anonymous #

I’ve ventured a little bit into UPMC parking lot/

It’s pretty tight spot to make a ramp off bridge and not to cross RR.


jonawebb
Participant
#

I talked with my friend, the former city traffic engineer, and he said that Swinburne Street is, indeed, a major commuter route from Greenfield to Oakland. So it is probably not conceivable that we could somehow take it over as a bike-only road. Too bad.


Marko82
Participant
#

@mikhail, I went exploring back in there last week. The hillside looks like it could “hold” a trail rather easy all the way to Boundary Street, but there is a bridge abutment/pier that would force the trail to be very close to the train tracks. Both sets of tracks are shiny so obviously they are both in use. I’m not sure what the minimum distance is to keep things safe for the RR, but a narrow single lane bike trail with fence could probable be put in there. They do stuff like this in D.C., but I haven’t seen a willingness to do it in PA.

EDIT: the single lane would only need to be thirty feet or so to get you around the pier.


Anonymous #

You’re talking about the lower part of boundary street, the parking lot/loop thingy before the field, right?

Clearances are clearly a big question and this all needs to be properly surveyed if it hasn’t been already.

In terms of bike only infrastructure, I think that it’s glorious when we can get it, but I’m mostly ok with sharrows downhill, and lanes uphill, provided that shoulders and bike lanes are well maintained, there’s traffic calming on straightaways people tend to gun, and sturdy barriers between cyclists and people on turns a distracted driver might miss.

Now, I’m not everybody, I think my wife and many other current non-cyclists would probably never ride in the street, period. So this approach buys you only so much, and if you want to showcase your city to the world (say, like is coming up in 2014) as bike/pedestrian friendly you need to do a whole lot more.

But what it does buy you, it buys on the cheap, so you may as well do a lot of it… returning to the name of the thread, that is.


jonawebb
Participant
#

Yes yes yes. The issue is not us fearless (mostly male) cyclists, but everybody else who doesn’t want to have to compete with two ton vehicles being driven by people who are also texting. That is why we need separated, safe bike infrastructure. Without it we’ll never get beyond a few percent use. And many more people can make use of the same space riding bikes.


melange396
Participant
#

> Swinburne Street is, indeed, a major commuter route from Greenfield to Oakland.

if the greenfield bridge is still scheduled to be demolished next month, swinburne will see even more traffic :-


Anonymous #

Wasn’t that supposed to be in 2014?


melange396
Participant
#

@byogman i hope youre right, because im going to be pretty bummed when it happens.


Steven
Participant
#

The news reports from a year ago say the plan was to implode the bridge for Christmas 2014, so it’s still 2+ years away.

http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_764046.html#axzz2C4kXXNjh

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/10/27/city-planning-to-implosion-rebuild-greenfield-bridge/

(Of course, it’s in such a state they may wind up closing it early.)

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