Cyclist down at Hobart and Beacon

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Lee
Participant
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I saw a young male laying on his side in the right lane of Beacon at the intersection where it joins Hobart to head toward the Blvd of the Allies. A couple cars were stopped and a few people were attending to him. I think about how dangerous that intersection is on my way down through there every day and was sickened to see my fears confirmed this morning.


Marko82
Participant
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I hope the rider is ok. It’s a shame that it’s not safe to bicycle IN A PARK.


sarah_q
Participant
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When I passed around 0845 someone who I hope was the cyclist was holding a mangled bike, loading it into the trunk of a car. Police and ambulance on the scene. Green Subaru looked like it was dented. Family standing on the side of the grass, perhaps driver and kids? Or witnesses? Who knows. Traffic backed up quite a bit, trying to get around it.

This intersection is terrible, I ride or drive through here regularly.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Imagine if they instituted a FIFTEEN mph speed limit through here. Also include an electronic sign saying

THIS IS A PARK
NOT THE PARKWAY
15 MPH
PERMANENT CHANGE

I’d further like to see a metering light at both entrances to the park, letting about one car through every 10 seconds, just to make it exceedingly difficult to use it as a thoroughfare.


sarah_q
Participant
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@stu it doesn’t matter what the speed limit sign says unless there is some enforcement. Even if people “only” went 35 mph, instead of 50, it would be a huge improvement. I get tailgated/aggressively passed for going the speed limit in the city every time I drive.


screbner
Participant
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I don’t care for bullies. Speeding tailgaters fall into that category.


fultonco
Member
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Ditto on the enforcement post. Too little of it, everywhere and no effort underway to change anything. Why not cameras and speeding tickets in the mail? I understand there are not enough police so why not automation in key areas?


stefb
Participant
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People have shitfits about that kind of thing for various reasons. I think it is a good idea, but there are issues. I believe there is an entire thread here somewhere about it


Eric
Member
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I’m pretty sure PA legalized red light cameras a few years back for my than Philly but hardly anyone has picked them up. Cost, civil liberties issues, thoughts that for profit companies tend to be the biggest beneficiaries, possible increase in rear end accidents and red lights. All weighed again changing driving behavior. Don’t know the exact details but like most things in life isn’t 100% cut and dry.


meaculpa
Participant
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I ride Hobart to Panther Hollow to Blvd of the Allies every morning. That is one of two trouble spots: the other is when drivers trying to get to the Phipps Conservatory/Flagstaff Hill exit will accelerate around from my left and cut across me (in the right lane) to exit. You have to move left of center in the right lane, and it helps to point left, until you clear the exit. This works very well most of the time.

But that is a lesser hazard compared to the outbound traffic that cuts across my inbound lane of travel at the Hobart/Beacon merge point. Drivers trying to get to Beacon are confused by having to navigate two converging lanes of oncoming traffic. More often than not, they will chance it and we could collide if I don’t proactively accelerate or brake to avoid that possibility. The inbound bike picks up a lot of speed at that juncture, that is where I have had close calls on my morning commute. And WATCH those buses!


MaryShaw
Member
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What about going a long block north to Beacon, like on Wightman or Wendover?

It’s out of the way, and you shouldn’t be forced to do that, of course.

But you’d then approach the Beacon/Hobart merge from the Beacon side.

Should we try again to get them to pave (perviously pave?) the path through the meadow from Bartlett up to Beacon?


apr
Member
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Hey!

I’m the guy that got hit. Someone from Kindred Cycles showed me this thread when I went there to get a new bike. I’m happy to report that I’m doing great. I got pretty lucky and I was only minorly injured.

People have been incredibly nice to me (including the driver that hit me). I was surprised by how many people stopped when the accident happened. Two nurses and a doctor stopped, presumably on their way to UPMC, before the ambulance had time to show up.

I got a new bike today, so I’m going to start bike commuting to oakland again on monday. This accident is definitely making me think about safety. I’m considering slightly longer but safer routes (schenley drive?), and ways to be more visible to drivers. My lights are going to be on during the day from now on. And I’m thinking about getting reflective things, but I’m not sure what yet.

Anyway, this story ends well :)


Eric
Member
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Glad you are ok!


sarah_q
Participant
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@apr I live on Beacon St on the other side of the hill (near Frick). Outbound I take Beacon to make the right on Panther Hollow. Inbound from Oakland I go up by the golf course and then over to Darlington. Downhill I take the lane, uphill I feel better not making that crappy left where you were hit.

Glad you are okay! Out of curiosity, was the driver charged with anything?


Ornoth
Member
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I’m in the hood too and glad to hear this incident wasn’t worse.

Despite being experienced and pretty fearless, I can’t justify setting foot on Panther Hollow. It might be posted 25 mph, but most cars are traveling at 45+. It’s worth the couple extra blocks to avoid a road that drivers treat as a shoulderless limited-access superhighway.

Westbound I’ll take the descent on Circuit or Schenley to the plaza; eastbound it’s almost always Schenley to the cloverleaf, up over Overlook, straight across Panther Hollow onto Barflett and up Serpentine for fun. Tho I’m a climber and don’t mind the workout. In a pinch I’ll just go straight up Schenley.


lenticular truss
Member
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Schenley Dr. is a good option for going west to Oakland. Circuit Rd. is a little windier, but even more pleasant due to low (almost nonexistent) traffic. I find Circuit is a particularly good option in the dark/rain/snow, for that reason. Also don’t forget about the trails through the park – Upper Panther Hollow Trail basically parallels Panther Hollow Rd., and you can come up on to the roads at Anderson Playground, then take the protected bike lane into Oakland. I regularly take Lower Panther Hollow trail down toward Panther Hollow Lake, cross the railroad tracks, and get into lower Oakland that way.


jonawebb
Participant
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Constables hired by Allegheny Railroad periodically block the railroad crossing at Panther Hollow lake.
I like Schenley Drive riding west. It’s a nice run down the hill. Coming back, I prefer Circuit Road. It’s a little longer, but not as steep, and more pleasant — less traffic and a more bucolic setting.


paulheckbert
Moderator
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I don’t recall seeing or hearing of a constable where the RR tracks cross the Panther Hollow Trail since Nov. 2015 or so.


apr
Member
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Thanks for the advice everyone :) I’m going to try Schenley Drive and Circuit and see how it goes.

On the visibility side, I got a bright yellow shirt, and some reflective stickers for my wheels and helmet. It’s going to be hard not to see me on the road. Hopefully.

@sarah_q: The driver wasn’t charged, no. I’ve been talking to their insurance to cover my expenses however.


J Z
Participant
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@apr glad to hear you’re on the mend. I saw the aftermath of your crash while on the way to drop off the kids at school, the ambulance was already there.

If you don’t mind me asking, what was your intended route and where did the crash occur? Was it at that trouble intersection at Beacon & Hobart? That intersection has been reported on numerous occasions to 311 & to other entities involved with planning for several years.


Lee
Participant
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Apr, I’m glad you are okay. It might not be prudent to describe the accident in a public forum until the insurance settlement and any legal matters are concluded, but I too would be interested to learn what happened especially if it can help generate ideas to make this area safer.


MaryShaw
Member
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I have suggested to the SqHill bike-ped committee that the Beacon-Hobart intersection be added to the list of issues considered by the committee.

This month only, the June Bike-Ped Committee meeting was rescheduled from its regular (2nd Thursday) date to Thursday, June 16th, from 6:30-8:00 PM, in Room 202 of the Squirrel Hill JCC.

So, what concrete improvements could be considered?

Bike lane on Hobart for climbing eastbound?

Establish recommended bike route that goes westbound on Beacon and Eastbound on Hobart?

Put hard surface on the path that goes up the meadow from the Bartlett/Blvd/Hobart stoplight to Beacon at the edge of the park? It’s visible as a green curve on the Google aerial view of the intersection at https://goo.gl/maps/7tLKnxVpyFw PPC just created that as part of the stormwater project, so they might want pervious pavement

Other ideas?


Benzo
Participant
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Also, if they install a path there, they should install crosswalks to connect to the lower panther hollow trail and bridle trails.

I hate this intersection of panther hollow rd and bartlett. Shouldn’t have to cross the street 3 times to get from panther hollow trail to the end of the bridle trail here.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I don’t suppose a 20 mph speed limit through the park is under consideration, combined with knocking it down to one motor vehicle travel lane in each direction.

If you’re in a car, and driving it through the park, it should naturally be assumed you have a destination or origin in the park. Otherwise you should be on the Parkway East or Forbes Ave.


byogman
Member
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There’s no reason for Hobart to be two lanes approaching Beacon from the west. Trim one off so there’s the possibility of a safe merge. Also makes the left from Hobart going onto Beacon in the other direction safer… for cars.

On a bike, that left, or going up Panther Hollow Rd through the park is pretty awful. Best alternate is the sidewalk, but the problem is the same as with any sidewalk, too narrow and headphoned peds tend to walk in the middle. The sidewalk should be widened wherever possible, marked as shared, probably striped to encourage separation. Also, there needs to be a real and safe crossing, at Bartlett, and deeper into the park by the playground/pool/trail/cycletrack, both for sidewalk users and for users of the upper trail that parallels. The crossing at Bartlett should go onto the path, which needs porous pavers and the same sort of marking as the sidewalk. To help peds cross and get bikes into their lane on Beacon, there should be a ped activated signal at the top of the meadow… Beacon otherwise doesn’t otherwise have a safe crossing all the way until Wightman, which is ridiculous.

Routing downhill traffic along this path and sidewalk would be terrible, however. Lanes on Beacon approaching Hobart should be narrowed so bike lane can continue to Hobart. Once on Hobart/Panther Hollow/Blvd, there needs to (better) be dedicated space for bicycles in the downhill direction, or (minimally) the speed limit needs to be 25, with explicit sharrows and a serious crackdown on speeders. I don’t necessarily mind 35, but 45/50 is grating and totally commonplace.

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