July 3: Join as the Mayor announces protected bike lane plans
i will add some light to that soon, just need a minute to type it out.
in the meantime, if anyone would be so kind and check out the greenfield neighborhood facebook page and “like” the post on the bike lanes, and maybe defend the cycling position, that would be keen.
Yeah, i’d say there’s a good amount of truth to what you said, but timing and speed of intall is another. shit takes a long time to get in place, and being able to get something in this summer was definitely in the city’s thought process. picture if a project needs 5 steps to go in vs one that needs 15 steps, the 5 step project will be a bit more attractive for a quicker implementation.
this is what i know of the city’s thought process
Schenley Dr: the city has been looking at putting something on schenley dr for a long time. it’s even in the 1999 bike plan. once these separated bike lanes were getting more popular, it sort of rose to the top as a place where they could be tried out. it connects into oakland, goes into the park, and can eventually connect to squirrel hill, a major bike commuter spot. Also, the thought is that phase II could be to take the bike lane along Panther Hollow into Squirrel Hill, connect to Greenfield Rd and also Pocussett st, and maybe even the other direction to Bates St (i’m fantasizing a bit, but who knows?).
penn ave: they really wanted something downtown. smithfield was the first choice, however there is so much construction on smithfield this summer that it didn’t make sense to do because of all the equipment and whatnot. so other locations were being considered, and the outbound lane on penn trickled to the surface as a low impact high visibility project that is already used by bikes. alot. very minor impact on transit and no impact on parking. there’s also lots of businesses on there so it will help supplement the bike share when it comes in next year. the lane is barely used by cars, even during rush hour or after an event. the ultimate goal is to connect it to the point and into the strip to connect to the green blvd. a
saline: the run neighborhood group actually helped push this little section. and it’s been a serious missing piece in the trail network for a long time (imagine trying to figure out where the trail goes if you’ve never been here before). the neighborhood group said that they’ve noticed a huge increase in bike traffic over the years, especially families, and noticed how people have no clue what to do there. they don’t really like sharing the road with the children, so thought if the trail continued thru there, separated, it would be better for everyone. also, the area around there is a bit of a dump site, people dump trash from their cars, and they have to clean it up all the time. plus the people who park there are only adding traffic to their hood. maybe the bike lane will help prevent dumping. win-win
hope that helps some.
Looking at the comments on that Facebook post, to date, it is almost universally negative, and many say the Saline St neighbors were not included in the conversation. Uninformed? Misinformed? Haters busy typing? Organized resistance? Are we wrong?
Can you tell us whether the lanes on Penn will be adjacent, versus on opposite sides of the street? And if the former, if they have a good way for cyclists to transition from riding in the right lane on a normal street to getting into the bike lane along the left side of the street, cutting across car traffic?
Wow, the posts on that Facebook page are hostile. There’s even a conspiracy theory about the bike lane being a pittsburgh parking authority scam to eliminate free parking. This is just typical xenophobia where people hate anyone or anything who is not one of them or part of their niche in the world. I honestly don’t think it is specifically anti-cycling anymore than it is just a knee jerk reaction to change. It is likely that these same people will eventually not despise the new bike lane.
@stu: Councilman O’Connor, during the press conference, called out a guy who was in attendance representing the Run Community Group, and talked about how the project will hopefully help in their efforts to curb dumping in the area, something the neighborhood struggles with.
@steven: I’m not sure yet, re: transition. but a very good question.
I didn’t want to start a new thread for this story, which is well-intentioned but, wow, how wrong: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/07/03/bikes-cars-and-people-co-exist-on-pittsburghs-shared-streets/
“Saline St neighbors were not included in the conversation”
Politically active / civic minded folks, people who are active in the community group were likely included in the conversation . The people who are normally apathetic to the work of the community group didn’t have a voice, because they likely didn’t join the conversation till a decision had been made.
I don’t know how much this was advertised for public comment. I know the downtown lanes were, but was this component? You kind of assume that community groups like this speak for a neighborhood, but for every 1 proactive resident that gets involved, there are many more that are simply reactionary.
Nobody lives on that part of Saline St anyways unless they live on the train tracks or that lot of that guy who was vandalizing cars at the trail head a few years back
I bet it’s just pissing off commuters from out of town who aren’t paying for parking and are catching buses downtown or into Oakland
@jonawebb What the hell is that depiction of streets trying to show? It has like illustrated substrate or something
@Pierce, I saw some comments to that effect. People are worried that outsiders are going to come in an park in front of their houses, instead of on Saline St, when they come to commute by bus. But there’s an easy solution for that, which is to restrict parking on the residential streets. I’ll bet the neighborhood association is already on that.
The solution to all this, of course, is to get more people on bikes, particularly those upstream of the Saline St area.
Again: If we had a decent connection from Pocusset to lower Saline St, none of this would be a concern.
A couple of weeks ago, I hiked a bike from behind Greenfield School down the no-longer-there steps to the Byzantine church. If there was a path of some sort from Anthony & Ivondale up to Neeb & Lydia, as well as a switchback up to Pocusset, there would be no need to park a car down there.
I see lots of folks parking there and walking up to catch the UPMC shuttles. I bet a lot of folks just don’t want to pay a $40+ month parking lease and use this as a way to avoid it. Now that they have to walk further, and they might reconsider.
However, i wouldn’t doubt some people in the run or greenfield consider parking down there more convenient than walking to the bus stop, Especially if they live deep in the run. I don’t know how wide the street is, and if they could accomodate a single lane of parking along one side of the street in addition to the two way bikeway. That might alleviate some concerns, especially if they made the rest of the run an Residential parking permit area with some low cost metered or free parking around big jims.
It doesn’t seem wide enough for the bike lanes, bollard strip, two traffic lanes and parking. Drivers would be running over the bollards or hitting side view mirrors when attempting to pass oncoming traffic. Or at least that’s my take.
Here’s a google street view link:
Do you know who owns that parking lot across from the hot metal bridge right next to 2nd ave? Is that another UPMC lot or does it have public parking available?
According to the County, the parking lot at Second and Hot Metal is owned by “MB PITTSBURGH BRIDGESIDE DST”, which also owns several pieces of the Tech Dr office park including the Fisher Scientific building directly across the street. The remainder of the land between Second and the river, pretty much from that point to below Hazelwood Ave, belongs to Almono.
(As an aside, according to the County, the land on the railroad side of Saline from Second to the Swinburne Bridge all belongs to the B&O, even as the road bends away from the tracks; the three properties along the other side of Saline between Greenfield and the bridge all belong to the mechanics at the corner.)
Does that parking lot offer parking to the public during all or some hours for pay or for free?
I was under the impression that it was a UPMC parking lot http://www.mirm.pitt.edu/contactus/MIRMCOPIER@upmc.pdf
The UPMC Oakland Master Plan Transportation Study makes several references to a Bridgeside Lot, which has “563 spaces in this lot, of which 470 are leased by UPMC Oakland”. It doesn’t define the term, however, so I don’t know if it’s this lot or another one in the Bridgeside complex—though Streetview shows a UPMC shuttle exiting the lot in question.
Regarding transitioning between right-side regular bike lanes and left-side cycle-track on Penn Avenue:
This seems like a great opportunity to install Pittsburgh’s first cycle-specific traffic signal as well. Red lights for cars in both directions, and a bike green to cross over, perhaps abetted by a painted lane angling across the intersection….
I was riding on Schenley Drive yesterday, and judging from where they’ve put what look like guide marks, they’re going to put the bike lane right in the door zone of cars parked in front of Phipps. Surely there’s a better way to arrange things there, there’s lots of space.
I took the chute down from the parking lot/jail trail on the way home and hopped on this pretty easily. However, where it ends, there is not a smooth curb transition to continue on the pre-existing trail up toward the soccer field. This may be an issue for inexperienced riders. I can see people getting pinch flats or even slamming into the curb and maybe getting hurt. I actually took the road when it ended and it is awkward, but it is good that it is a low traffic area.
Yeah, I’m interested to see if they make improvements to those transition spots. The painting of the diagonal stripes wasn’t complete as of this AM, so there is still a chance that it could be done.
Went by there yesterday. It’s awesome. The Phipps side of the street has a cycletrack. No parking at all on that side between Schenley Park and the Boulevard of the Allies.
Looks like the lines on friendship were repainted on the side next to the hospital. Some jag in a car drove into the bike lane there as the paint was drying and dragged some all over the road. What a jag.
This afternoon the cycle track in Schenley Park by Phipps was full of parked cars — which were conspicuously ignoring the “No Parking” signs. Naturally, this was forcing bikes into the (now narrower) auto lanes. We made a 311 report, asked for parking enforcement.
I am going to hold out on judgment on these new lanes. I remain unconvinced that this is the best way to get people on bikes.
For my own experience with the new lanes along Saline, I rode from the Eliza Furnace Trail up to the edge of the soccer field using the chute and the new lanes. Then I reversed, came back down, and made a left on Greenfield Ave. Yes, they work. For now. I’m less sure how well they will continue to work as soon as we get any snow, and I don’t mean a lot, just enough to make the lines not readily visible.
I won’t pooh-pooh the idea yet. I’m just withholding making a decision on them until I see them in action for a while.
yeah, they really need to get those bollards in. and they are supposed to fix the curb as well.
a little ramp at that curb on the Big Jim’s end was added today
They’re going to need a team of workers to yank out that knotweed all along there. Or else tamp down sheets of 4-mil plastic sheeting along that entire stretch to starve it out for a couple of years.
Obviously the chute is a problem. But with the addition of the protected bike lane it’s now possible to get from anywhere in Schenley Park to anywhere the EFT reaches without ever having to share the road with a car. That’s not nothing.
I hope you’re not counting the railroad crossing from Panther Hollow Lake to the Junction Hollow trail as a necessary connection for that–lots of people do it, yes, but it’s no more legal and promotable than the crossing on the hillside from the bottom of Saline to the UPMC parking lot…
(which, btw, this weekend had a new orange netting fence at the top of it, not that that stopped the half-dozen people I saw using it Sunday…)
People parked all over the new bike lane from Carnegie Library to Phipps on Sunday. Assume the bollards will stop that, but the “No Parking or Stopping” signs along side the Frick Fine Arts building were completely ignored. I pointed out the bike lane and signs to a driver pulling out…”Even on Sunday?”
Both the Saline street lane and teh Schenley DRive lane strike me as totally unnecesary, just to have “bicycle infrastructure.”
It’s ahrd to imagine either one being much of an improvement. Whether they actually hurt bicycling remains to be seen.
Why bother? (Seriously. There were resources used getting these thing in there. Why?)
While I agree that neither Saline nor Schenley Drive would have been high on my list of places to put these lanes, it does prove the concept well without too much backlash from the general public. In this respect it’s not unlike the stair-rail on Louisa St.
Hopefully it will be easier to get these installed in other neighborhoods in the future after “learning” on these projects.
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