Citizen input requested tonight 3/10/2014, White Oak, Lincoln Way project

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StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Posted in the Post-Gazette at 10:25 p.m. the night before the event, of course.

Headline: Citizens invited to view Lincoln Way project plans

Link to story

Sorry to sound so sour, but this has all the markings of the dog-and-pony show PennDOT staged for the West Carson St project. Virtually no notice, just come on in, look at the pretty pictures on the easels, talk to the nice engineers, fill out surveys, drop them in the box, and we’ll kindly dump them in the trash after you leave, thank you very much.

Anyone who lives or bikes south of town, please go through the motions so we at least know what’s up!


byogman
Member
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I hope the pro-biking voices show up in forums that surprise. It’s close enough to McKeesport that I’d hope we could think about extending the useable network out that way.

However, I don’t think it’s really all that likely that said network would would this road directly. I’d like the suggestion to come up mainly because it annoys all the right people.

Longer term, and maybe this is something that can be pushed on a state politics level, but a fallback I’d like to see a sort of tit for tat forced into the PennDOT planning process any time when the local economic distribution says that a non-trivial minority can’t afford to be driving (which, I don’t know the area, but would be true most places… driving is expensive!). If the main project degrades options for those who are already getting the short end of the stick, something HAS to be done to compensate. Call it the freedom of movement act.

What that might look like applied here is this… penndot maybe could, under this act smooth, widen, and therefore encourage and speed motor vehicle traffic flow here (Well, anywhere within a certain radius of downtown they probably shouldn’t be doing this at all, but that’s another battle. This is a little far out to have the expection cars won’t stay the overwhelming choice even decades hence).

It’s that they couldn’t do so without making provision for de-motorized traffic on a nearby parallel path… they should be forced to make provisions to make connections available from the primary road available safely to the de-motorized so it’s part of a network. And that project would have to complete before the car centric one could start. So, perhaps Fawcett avenue and Oliver drive could be the parallel path here, with sharrowing and speed tables or some such you could do ok?

Don’t think you can do anything about 48, but in the long run (hahaha) perhaps you put a trail down by the creek so people can safely move in that direction.


jonawebb
Participant
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I may go to this, to represent if nothing else. It’s sorta kinda on my commute home. But if anyone else is planning to go, please speak up. And if you have any insight into the situation in White Oak please let me know. Looking at the strip they’re talking about, it appears to me that they could benefit from having some bike infrastructure along there. It looks sort of suburban / commercial.


Mikhail
Member
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Well, I used to bike there when my younger daughter was in PennState McKeesport campus. Lincoln Way is pretty flat (between Nelson and 48) and has a shoulder. 30 mph speed limit. Not many cars going 30, mostly around 40. But shoulder helped. Not many drivers were happy to see me there. So widening the road I think would end up in losing shoulders on both sides. And this is not good. At some point I started to use Fawcett Ave — it runs in parallel. It’s a pretty quite street with a lots of stop signs.

I don’ think that alignment of Henderson Rd and Guice Str is necessity — http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4194052 — this is one of my loops there and I never saw a lot of cars on Henderson (I biked it at 9:00 am, at 11:00am, at 1:00 pm, at 3:00 pm, at 4:00 pm) but whatever cars been there definitely acted crazy — from Monongahela to Lincoln Way it’s a pretty steep hill.


jonawebb
Participant
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It was a meeting to discuss construction issues — construction started a week ago. It turns out they’re going to do the road construction in much the same way as they usually construct roads.
I did raise use of the rebuilt road for cycling with the secretary, and hope to hear back. But it was not a design planning meeting. That was already done with the White Oak Development Corporation, previously, with public input.
I’ll have more info on the road tomorrow.


jonawebb
Participant
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I put a scan of the fact sheet they handed out at the meeting at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0SsCVLENRv4M3JsQ19qWlhOOVU/edit?usp=sharing.
The work they’re doing is to widen the road, which required getting rights of way from like 100 property owners. It’s a difficult project. But it makes me wonder how often we’ve been told that some bicycle infrastructure project is impossible because of existing property rights.
What they’re doing is widening the road from two lanes to three (center turning lane) and adding sidewalks and ADA ramps. Also improving the intersection at State and Lincoln Way.
I rode home on the road — it’s not terrible now, just pretty bad. There is always a shoulder. And it ends not far from the GAP in McKeesport. Unfortunately, the connection to the GAP via 148 is pretty awful — multilane, fast traffic, no shoulder.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Hmm, not entirely horrible. Having a center lane for turns does make it easier for cyclists to ride outside the door zone. Not that there would be a lot of cars parked along here, but staying outside of the gravel and downed branches and carrion does have its merits. Anyone caring to pass us generally has enough space to do so while still giving us four feet. I would still like to see some existing roads with such a configuration and how well they perform for cyclists.


edmonds59
Participant
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I’ll place money that the first day this is open, and the first time a cyclist rides on it, a motorist yells “get on the sidewalk!” Any takers?


byogman
Member
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Note about clearances aside, I’d still wager it’s better from a cycling perspective to have a shoulder as long as it isn’t tooo crappy than for motorists to have a center turning lane.

The center turning lane while giving a space to pass, which is good, but also means they have more space from cars coming the opposite direction. So, they’d tend to go faster and pay less attention. Likewise because you’ve greatly reduced the likelihood of slower or stopped traffic up ahead making lefts.

I don’t like picking enemies, but I think the mindset at PennDOT is really only about moving cars faster (till that clogs up)… lather, rinse, repeat. So, the same reasons PennDOT likes these things, we should be suspicious of them at the very least.


jonawebb
Participant
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I heard back from the secretary — there are no provisions for cycling in the Lincoln Way development. Which isn’t surprising. I’m thinking that they’ll replace what they have now, a crappy road where motorists don’t speed too much, and with a shoulder, with a new road built out to the curb and with enough space that motorists feel like going fast.


Mikhail
Member
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jonawebb wrote:motorists don’t speed too much

What is “too much”? I’ve seen people doing around 50 there.

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