Greenfield Bridge Demolition/Replacement
@erok, slips like that are the reason to attend these meetings.
Edit: also, the snacks.
> I was mostly trying to find out if people put up resistance to that idea, which it seems they didn’t
the bike lane option seemed to be the clear favorite, with the only dissent coming from people who live on pocusset (which doesnt make sense to me — the houses are pretty far from the bridge, and the road between is in horrible shape with no sidewalk)
@steven If we had that, and they restored the Anthony Street steps (connecting Saline Street up into Greenfield, on the opposite side of the Parkway)
I think you should suggest this in one of the comments. It could work for bikes, I guess, if they put in a bike rail. It makes at least as much sense as putting a bike rail on the Murray Avenue Bridge, which they are considering. At least with the Anthony Street steps you get two-way access.
Edit: Oh, I see the Anthony Street steps are on the Greenfield side. How does this help with the detour?
Starting from the north end of the Greenfield Bridge, you’d head down the new stairs Stu proposed to Saline Street, follow Saline Street under the Parkway to Anthony Street, follow Anthony Street and then go up the stairs (which the Pittsburgh Stairs site says are closed, so they’d have to be reopened) up to Greenfield Elementary, and you’re in Greenfield, a few blocks from the south end of the bridge.
Without the Anthony Street Steps (if they only added the steps Stu proposed at the north end), you’d have to continue down Saline until you reached the bottom of Greenfield Avenue, I think. Adds maybe half a mile.
I see. I didn’t connect to the new stairs Stu proposed. That is definitely something they should hear about, because it’s a much better route to Eliza Furnace from Squirrel Hill than anything else they’re thinking about.
I sent an email to the project manager about it, so we’ll see.
I’m not sure it’s a route I’d use, either on foot or on a bike (preferring to go the extra distance if I can avoid climbing a very long flight of stairs), but I can believe some folks would.
I don’t know about the Anthony Street steps. Are they usable today? Do they just need some brush clearing? Are there right-of-way issues with the school at the top?
As I said, I don’t know this part of town, but if all it takes is traversing an existing staircase, that sounds like a feasible alternative for a bridge that’s going to be out of service for a year, and eliminating a hill climb that’s already difficult on a dry day in July, by most accounts.
Edit: I didn’t see the five posts above when I typed this. I guess I should go make a field trip. I wonder how broken the steps are. This might be just the impetus needed to get them repaired.
Comments at the Pittsburgh Steps site say the Anthony Street steps are “closed” and “torn down”, but I haven’t seen them myself. I’d think “falling apart” is more likely than “torn down”.
Looking at the link, the Anthony Street steps are #31 on the map. Using the zoom tool, it’s pretty clear that the steps dead end just beyond Ivondale, and you’d have to scale a pretty steep ravine.
Again, though, the bridge project might be just the impetus needed to rebuild them.
The public meeting responses from the January 16 meeting on the Greenfield Avenue bridge demolition & replacement are up at http://www.pittsburghfederalprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Greenfield-Jan-16-2013-Public-Meeting-Report_Final.pdf.
My sense is that even if the stairs were in
perfect condition, the Swinburn street
bridge is what I’d take.
lulz, i think this was me:
One (1) individual indicated that they were a Minority or Disadvantaged Group noting that they were
I am not seeing my comment in there. I am sure I sent it in on time to the right place. Or maybe I just don’t recall what specifically I said.
Is anyone else seeing the suggestion to install steps or switchbacks on the end of Saline up to Greenfield? Does it appear that such a suggestion got made by anyone, and more importantly, does anyone interpret what did get said as identifying that as a really nice thing to have that they should pursue?
I do see the reference to reinstating the Ivondale steps to the back of the school, but that would require the school signing off on it. Which says to me, no, because “security”. As if someone equally undesirable doesn’t walk past the front of the building now on an hourly basis.
No, and I discussed it with Pat Hasselt at the Louisa St meeting, and he couldn’t recall the comment being in the report either. We talked briefly about how it would work as a detour around the closed bridge, and how it was expensive to build steps. So I don’t know what’s going on. Is there a way to get the comment inserted?
Having it for the bridge work would be excellent, but I see it as a very needed thing even without the bridge. It would provide a perfect, low traffic path from the entire Squirrel Hill area into downtown, via Pocusset or Wightman, a switchback, Saline, and the Jail Trail.
“We will be looking closely at Swinburne and other potential detour streets to make them as safe as possible and, if necessary, discouraging cyclists and pedestrians.”
And where exactly are they going to send all the discouraged cyclists and pedestrians? Why don’t we just discourage cars from one of the detours to make it safer?
The stairs behind Greenfield Elementary do indeed stop basically after Ivondale (you can see scattered remnants of them after that) and it is a pain to climb up; I’ve done it with loaded panniers, I think when the ground was wet or it was snowing
There are functional steps a little further down around Alexis St, but it’s still a pain to get a loaded bike up them
Maybe with those ramp things it would be easier, but I’d still probably just take Greenfield Ave
If they don’t go for the north Saline stairs, could we make our own switchback?
It is just stunning to me, though it probably shouldn’t be at this point, that the response of planners to a street like Swinburne might be to discourage cyclists and pedestrians. Sure, it’s narrow, but the emphasis should be on traffic controls to slow down and regulate vehicle traffic. I don’t think this should be an impossible task. It’s not even that long of a stretch to get from the Swinburne St. bridge up past the nursery and into Oakland, and it’s potentially a nice route for non-motorized traffic.
At this point, I’m afraid it’s looking like the best replacement for the Greenfield bridge route from Sq Hill down to the jail trail is going to be through Schenley park on panther hollow trail, past panther hollow pond and across the railroad tracks. Which is a nice route and if the weather is decent, I love it, but in rain the area by the pond can get mighty sloppy. And of course the trail can become treacherous in snow and ice. Sigh.
Maybe, just maybe, they can do something about the absence of facilities, speed and resulting bike unfriendliness of Schenley Park’s main drag(strip), Panther Hollow Road (not trail). And Blvd of the Allies to Bates or Craft.
I know not so likely given traffic volumes, but a man can dream, right?
chinston wrote:At this point, I’m afraid it’s looking like the best replacement for the Greenfield bridge route from Sq Hill down to the jail trail is going to be through Schenley park on panther hollow trail, past panther hollow pond and across the railroad tracks. Which is a nice route and if the weather is decent, I love it, but in rain the area by the pond can get mighty sloppy. And of course the trail can become treacherous in snow and ice. Sigh.
Not to mention crossing the railroad tracks there is technically illegal, well-worn path through the weeds notwithstanding…
There was discussion of the Greenfield Bridge as part of a story on the pathetic state of America’s infrastructure, on 60 Minutes last night. They chose Pittsburgh as a prime exemplar of the problem: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/falling-apart-america-neglected-infrastructure/
That reminds me. Corey O’Connor addressed the Steel Valley Trail Council’s annual meeting earlier this month, and mentioned that (amazingly) the timetable for tearing down the Greenfield Bridge hasn’t changed yet again. It’s still supposed to be coming down in December 2015, closing the Parkway East between Christmas and New Years.
One aspect was news to me: The city plans to completely close the Pocusset Street Trail (the bike-only street that leads down to the bridge) to pedestrians and cyclists for about two years, so they can use the bottom end as a construction site for the bridge work. After that they’ll reopen it as bike/pedestrian-only again. I’m not sure to what extent the trail closure might extend outside the time frame for the bridge closure.
Terrible that they don’t want to maintain access to the new Pocusset bike-road. There’s a lot of room there, they could preserve a path.
Whatever the status of Pocusset Street (and I do hope they keep it open), the big enchilada is the bridge itself. It’s a major cycling route and its closure is going to push more people on Forbes/Fifth and further east there and Panther Hollow. It could also quite possibly push people off a bike if that’s unnerving/lousy.
Since Forbes/Fifth is going to be dictated by BRT schedules I’d push for aggressive sidewalk widening/intersection improvements on Panther Hollow (especially traffic calming and a pedestrian signal and ramped island at the interchange). If that improvement continued to the intersection where Panther Hollow becomes Hobart… if there were made a smooth way to get to the path across the field and that path was paved up the the beacon street bike lane level, and there were some signage/traffic calming on Beacon turning the corner toward squirrel hill that would be a really wonderful add on.
Surprised to read they’ll use Pocusset for construction staging, since one of the rationales for closing it and turning it into a trail was the fact that it wouldn’t be able to beat the weight for…construction staging.
Maybe something’s changed in the last year, but at the meeting @byogman and I attended last fall I would swear they said Pocusset would remain open as a trail, construction vehicles would be staged on Greenfield Road, and a path would be maintained to get past them.
I was thinking the same thing, but wasn’t sure enough to post. And wanted to keep the focus on turning a difficult outage for the bike community (the bridge itself, not Pocusset), into impetus for improvement of alternate routes.
The City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works, Bureau of Transportation & Engineering will be holding a Public Meeting to review the final plans for the Greenfield Avenue Bridge project which will replace the existing structure along with minor roadway upgrades. The new bridge will be constructed on the current alignment following the closure of the existing bridge in October of 2015 and implosion in December.
PUBLIC MEETING DATE: Tuesday, February 3, 2015
TIME: Open House – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Presentation – 6:30 PM
LOCATION: St. Rosalia Catholic Church,
411 Greenfield Avenue, Wuerl Hall
I don’t believe that a pointer to this presentation has been posted as yet. Of particular interest to bikers is the proposed cyclist (and ADA!) detour. Remember, climbing is good for you.
And make a point of checking out the alternate designs for bike lanes on the bridge.
Thank you for the tip, Paul. I am going to look for that in every one of these diagrams from here on out, and scream when I see one.
Why would they even think this? Are they that daft? Do they think we are?
OTOH, I am heartened that they publicized this meeting well in advance. Maybe our screaming about the West Carson St fiasco got through to somebody. Of course, it has yet to be seen whether any of our comments will bypass the nearest trash receptacle.
Maybe the cyclist just did one of those fancy 180 turns and is doing a backwards wheelie, or she’s just riding the wrong way down the street…
This is probably just a show and tell meeting. I dont like the design either, but if the construction is to begin in 2015 the design is already set. So if anyone goes to the meeting just be advised of minimal expectations to influence what gets put in.
For the Birmingham bridge $28 million rehab they wouldnt even consider a “walk” signal on the south end.
The slides present 2 different options; (a) 6′ sidewalks on both sides, or (b) 10′ on one side with a 5′ bike lane on the other (the sidewalk side has a street bike-lane as per (a)). Note that the ADA sidewalk minimum width is 60″; 6′ gives the ped a foot to squeeze into when the wheelchair rolls by.
My 2¢: All of this would be significantly easier to deal with if we had (say) an enforced 20mph speed limit on the bridge. And maybe for good measure a ped-activated light at the north end (to link with Pocussett).
^the better argument is why do they need to have three car lanes across the bridge? It certainly isn’t needed to handle traffic volume; and you are either entering or exiting a park so one would hope there wouldn’t need to be a reason for high speeds or even the need to pass. So why three? other than it’s always been that way…
Maybe having two southbound lanes is so that traffic making a right onto Alger doesn’t have to wait behind traffic waiting for the light?
“Note that the ADA sidewalk minimum width is 60?; 6? gives the ped a foot to squeeze into when the wheelchair rolls by.”
Wheelchairs aren’t five feet wide. I suspect the ADA minimum width was set to let two wheelchairs pass. The ADA site mentions wheelchairs being 26 inches wide, so two plus a bit of room for hands would just barely fit in 5 feet.
And the intent of the diagram isn’t to show the actual position of cars when passing a bike. I think they’re just trying to show that bikes and cars would share a single 14 foot wide lane, by drawing a car and a bike within the lane. How else should they show “bikes and cars share this lane”, if not the way they did it?
A question to ask: If they don’t want us filtering forward, why do they design it so that we can?
Another concern: If we are relegated to using the sidewalk, how much different would it be from other bridge sidewalks, like 40th St Br, Smithfield St Br, West End Br?
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