Forbes Ave/Parkway off-ramp death trap

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zzwergel
Member
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In the following PDF, There is no mentioning of the lethal weave area on Forbes Ave. between the Birmingham Bridge and Lawn St. I think something should be done about this before it claims a cyclist’s or pedestrian’s life. This ramp should either be closed or converted into a T-intersection with a stop sign or traffic light. If this ramp is to be closed, Oakland-bound traffic from the Parkway West can exit onto Grant St. and take the Blvd of the Allies to Oakland. I also think a traffic light with pedestrian-activated exclusive pedestrian interval should be installed on the westbound off-ramp to Bates St.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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We’ve discussed this before. What’s needed is traffic calming, some method of getting people to slow to 25 mph before the merge point, which would facilitate cyclists  being able to use the lane or even getting across the street.

This video is not from the U.S., so is not the best example, but the point is that it switches often from green to red and back.


zzwergel
Member
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I remember you mentioning the rapidly cycling traffic light before.

Why wouldn’t closing that ramp or converting it to a traffic light or stop sign controlled T intersection work? T intersections force cars to slow down so they don’t run off the road and crash while a weave area essentially just adds and drops lanes as the ramps enter and exit. Why wouldn’t replacing the one-way stop on the Glenwood ramp with a traffic light do any good?

The opposite problem exists on the southern end of the Highland Park Bridge where a cyclist upon entering from Butler St., is forced to merge right into a continuous stream of car traffic not expecting to see a cyclist. Exiting toward Washington requires an abrupt leftward merge at end of the bridge. Also, a leftward merge, followed by a rightward merge into traffic exiting the bridge is necessary when continuing onto Washington Blvd. from Butler St. The leftward merge can be performed prior to the traffic light at One Wild Pl., which makes this a little safer. Merging left to continue onto Butler St. from Washington Blvd., is particularly nasty as it has to be done while climbing a hill.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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The benefits of having the Oakland exit far outweigh the difficulties of merging traffic.

Fix the problem. Sight lines for a calming light are ideal there.

The other locations you mentioned could have a similar treatment.


zzwergel
Member
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What are the benefits? The ramp from Blvd. of A. exits onto the left side of Forbes Ave. where it is unlikely to find cyclists. What is wrong with a T intersection which forces traffic to slow down by a physical means rather than some electronic device flashing lights that can easily be ignored?


PIT2MAD
Member
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Could a T be configured there? That merge is wedged between a retaining wall, a bridge, and a neighborhood.

 

How about some flashing lights AND a few big speed humps that will F up your car if you hit them too fast?

 

Also to consider: what part of this ramp is considered a part of the Interstate Highway System, meaning federal approval is needed for changes, and what part is Pittsburgh’s to do what they want with?


Eric
Member
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My understanding is that any ramp off a highway is Penndot’s until it hits something not Penndot. So the entire ramp is Penndot.


zzwergel
Member
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The cycling community needs to send a delegation to Harrisburg and protest for consideration of our safety. I believe building car-dependent infrastructure with no viable alternative in cities is a human rights/civil rights violation given that it alienates and endangers people who want/have to use alternative transportation means such as a bicycle or their own two feet.

PennDOT officials should be aware that there is no viable alternative to that section of Forbes Ave. for Oakland-bound cyclists from Uptown and makes access to South Oakland much easier from Downtown and the South Side as well as it does not require climbing Bates St. The sidewalk on 5th Ave. is far from ideal as an alternative to Forbes Ave. for accessing South Oakland.

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