downtown Pittsburgh bike lanes

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paulheckbert
Moderator
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DOMI had a meeting about the next round of bike lanes downtown, yesterday. Their plans look good to me. In brief:

  • Bidirectional bike lane on west side of Stanwix between 3rd and Penn.
  • Bidirectional bike lane on north side of Penn between Stanwix and Point State Park.
  • These lanes will be protected by plastic bollards.
  • Some car parking will be removed, but more car parking will be added, for a net gain in car parking spots.
  • To be completed by late 2019.
  • Presentation slides will go online in a few days at http://pittsburghpa.gov/domi/current-projects.

(This will extend the Penn Ave bike lane to the Point, and also connect to the Eliza Furnace Trail and Smithfield Bridge, via the recently-painted bike lanes on Smithfield and Third.)


paulheckbert
Moderator
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@BikePGH tweeted some of the slides from the meeting already. Click to see them:


NMR
Member
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Slides are up for anyone interested.

Couple things that caught my attention:

-Looks like they took their bike counts at poor times, at least for ridership purposes. The counter on the 900 block alone showed at least 700 riders per day from April through September, whereas the presentation lists 450 riders per day.

-The cycle track along Stanwix from 3rd to Liberty will be parked in for the majority of the day. There’s a ton of competition for curb space here and little alternatives.

-While I understand the intersection treatment at 3rd and Stanwix, it sucks for any not turning onto 3rd. This is my daily commute and there’s no way I’m putting myself in danger by using this part of the cycle track.

-The bus loading platform at Stanwix and Liberty is the best part of the project! That stop is crushed with riders who don’t have anywhere to stand and a ton of pedestrians competing for little space.

-Finally connecting Penn Ave to the Point is a success.


Steven
Participant
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The cycle track along Stanwix from 3rd to Liberty will be parked in for the majority of the day.

I’m not sure that’s correct. The portion of southbound Stanwix that will become a cycle track is currently a travel lane marked “no parking or stopping”. It’s not listed as “added parking” on the PDF’s page of parking changes. (Parking is added to Stanwix only south of 3rd, not north of 3rd where the cycle track will be.) And the diagrams have no indication that the bollard-protected cycle track on Stanwix is to be somehow shared as parking.

(Though I suppose some drivers will drive over the bollards and park in the cycle track anyway, under the principle that emergency blinkers have the magical power to suspend all traffic laws. But probably not every day.)

Seems like a really good plan to me.


NMR
Member
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I ride this stretch of Stanwix twice every day. I can assure you those signs make little difference, unfortunately. Venders and deliveries at Liberty & Stanwix. Pick-ups and drop-offs at City Charter High School. Movers and deliveries to the homes above it. And as our experience on Penn Ave unarguably shows, bollards are little deterrent when there’s demand for curb space.

Hopefully there have been arraignments negotiated along the way and signage planned to encourage people to use Blvd of the Allies or Liberty.


chrishent
Member
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Agreed with @nmr.; signs matter little when there is no enforcement or need for curb space.

I think of the person with the hot dog stand (at least I think it’s him/her) that parks their truck at the corner of southbound Stanwix and Liberty every day. That white truck is there all day, even during peak hours. I wonder if he/she has a permit to be there…


edmonds59
Participant
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The transition from the Penn Ave lane across Stanwix continuing west is extremely problematic, and it’s not defined at all in the City plan – page 3 of the presentation. The lane needs to change sides either east or west of the intersection much earlier or people are going to get nailed trying to negotiate that IN the intersection.
edit: After thinking about it, my strong suggestion would be for the lane to stay on the south side uf Penn until the merge point with Liberty, then switch to the north – page 2 of the presentation. There is already a very active ped crossing there and signage for motor vehicles to yield or stop (forget which exactly).

  • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  edmonds59.

paulheckbert
Moderator
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At the meeting, the DOMI presenters said that they plan a bicycle all-way phase for the Penn & Stanwix traffic signals.


chrishent
Member
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At the meeting, the DOMI presenters said that they plan a bicycle all-way phase for the Penn & Stanwix traffic signals.

I live a block away from here. Pretty sure I’m going to take the lane when heading westbound here instead of waiting for the bicycle signal.


zzwergel
Member
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Get some police on bikes to enforce the signage and bollards.


NMR
Member
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Or, we can construct a simple 6″ curb one time and save the money spent on daily police patrols for something useful.

After thinking about it, my strong suggestion would be for the lane to stay on the south side uf Penn until the merge point with Liberty, then switch to the north – page 2 of the presentation. There is already a very active ped crossing there and signage for motor vehicles to yield or stop (forget which exactly).

If memory serves, this was actually on the table at one point but nixed for lack of signalization. Penn Ave draws some less-experienced riders and will do so even more now with the direct Point connection, so I think the concern was pretty justifiable in that demographic maybe not being the best at judging vehicle gaps. Signalization at least protects the rider from any conflicts, as long as the signal is obeyed.

 


edmonds59
Participant
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But when the signal is green for Penn westbound, bikes and cars will be able to continue through, and bikers will be faced with the option to continue in the automobile lane, or negotiate a hole in traffic to get to the north side of the road. Unless there is a bike lane specific stop signal that allows bike crossing only during the all-ways signal, which seems to me like the wrong solution. The design as proposed will generate more confusion among riders and drivers at this intersection.


NMR
Member
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Unless there is a bike lane specific stop signal that allows bike crossing only during the all-ways signal

This would be consistent with what I’ve seen on other projects with bike signals and vehicle conflicts.

The cycle track will have a green phase, then Penn will have a green phase, then Stanwix. This is similar to all-way walk phases like you see just up the block at 6th and Penn. Great to have a phase without traffic conflicts, but you don’t get the concurrent walk phase with the vehicle signal.


zzwergel
Member
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@nmr,

So, is what your talking about a bicycle exclusive interval on Penn Ave.at Stanwix St. that is analogous to the exclusive pedestrian interval on Craig St. at 5th Ave.? All motor vehicle traffic faces a red light while cyclists from all four approaches to the intersection face a green bike-shaped traffic light.


NMR
Member
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Generally speaking, yes.

I’m not that familiar with what’s happened at Craig and 5th to be more specific than that, but I’d expect Penn & Stanwix to have bike-specific signal heads with a dedicated phase for cyclists during which no motor vehicles will have green time.


zzwergel
Member
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@nmr,

Here is an example of an exclusive pedestrian interval.

  • This reply was modified 4 days, 9 hours ago by  zzwergel.

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