July 3: Join as the Mayor announces protected bike lane plans
I’ve been watching people go through there all week, and at least on the Plaza side traffic along the bike lane has slowed considerably. Most drivers are even managing to stay out of the bike lane without the bollards.
The bollards will be nice, but if they’re too close together it will just make it harder for us to get in and out of the green lane at places other than the endpoints and discourage use. I don’t think that’s a good way to communicate the new parking arrangement.
I’d hope there’d be good gaps in the bollards approaching intersections. I’d also prefer to see dashed lines to indicate where bicycles will rejoin the road, though I don’t have any reason to think that’s in the current plans.
But for the future, can we put in that sort of marking? At the very least where bicycles have to cross a lane of traffic moving the opposite direction to get in lane. “Bicycle crossing ahead” signs and speed humps would also be good.
Pro-new bike lanes. http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2014/08/25/The-new-protected-bike-lanes-provide-a-real-benefit-to-cyclists/stories/201408250050
I haven’t looked, but probably a good idea not to read the comments.
Re: The new Schenley lanes… I was looking for them yesterday during the ride. I actually never noticed them, until I was stopped with a few other riders at the light before entering the Plaza. A city cop coming the other direction actually stopped and asked us if we knew what the actual ruling of the markings was supposed to be (opposing lanes of bike travel on that side of the road?). Hopefully it will become more clear, and visible once all of the signage and bollards are in place, but for now, it seems that even the law enforcement aren’t sure what to make of it.
The intersection past Phipps when travelling away from Oakland has now been marked as “All Stop.” This has been a dicey crossing for a long time, since walkers trying to cross from Phipps to access the park have had to deal with motorists who previously did not have to stop to turn right toward the Blvd of the Allies. Likewise, drivers have to stop coming the other way now as well, coming off the Blvd. and turning down past Phipps toward Oakland. Today, traffic was backed up clean across the bridge and up the off ramp from the Highway Through the Park. First there was no way for me to cross traffic to get in the bike lane as I followed the same route. Luckily I could ride in the new widened shoulder, whizzing past a quarter mile of likely fuming commuters. The intersection at the end was still crazy though. I used to be able to take the lane coming through there and turning down to oakland, so that people would see me. Today because of the traffic I couldn’t do that and had to take my chances that the guy waiting at the stop sign at the same time as me didn’t turn left into me to go to the golf course. Not sure if the new all stop configuration is permanent or not, but those were my reactions as a cyclist.
Can’t say I’m too torn up about the traffic, since car commuters already clog the only other flat route from squirrel hill to oakland every day. that being the parkway. i didn’t tell them to build a highway through a public park. that thing cripples bike commuting between sq. hill south and oakland. hopefully as others have mentioned, it is on the table for a future redesign.
P-G article on dedicated bike lanes:
Something I didn’t know: The Schenley Park lanes will go all the way to the Anderson Playground.
You’re right; it’s made it over the bridge at this point. Riding up made me wish for the bollards, though. Those cars come around that bend pretty fast.
Now, if they could later extend it up Overlook to the Oval, then Hobart, Prospect, Pocussett…
Yes, there are some design alternatives to work through but there will be a facility that connects to Pocussett.
Reading the Post Gazette FB page where they posted about protected bike lanes on Penn. Seems to be starting a shit storm of “Cyclist can’t follow the laws” comments.
Seriously, 50% or more drivers that pass me are on their phones or texting. Why don’t motorist get bad raps from the ones that don’t follow the laws? And why don’t these commenters ever notice me waiting at traffic lights and following the rules.
One day, maybe one day there will be a comment, “I saw some dude on a Cannondale Badboy stopped at a redlight following all the laws and not requiring gas to haul himself around!” on a FB post. One day.
I have to take back the bad things I said about that lane.
The people on Parkview – even the non-cyclists – are pretty exceited about the possibi9lity that the Charels Anderson Bridge (the Blvd of teh Allies/ Panther Hoolw Blvd bridge) might get a diet.
And if they make the bridge two lanes? The “freeway through the park” might be open for discussion.
Yay, Bike Pgh!
I will cry tears of joy if the freeway through the park thing is truly fixed.
Man, that would be beyond awesome. Potential road diet for Blvd/Panther Hollow Rd, plus the rumblings of possible bike lanes on Bates north of BOA (in conjunction with that planned development @ the corner of Bates & Blvd). You’d have a serious dedicated bike infrastructure grid in Oakland & leading to EFT.
To get from the Schenley cycle track to the Blvd of the Allies headed west into town …
At the end of Panther Hollow Bridge, turn right into the Anderson playground and follow the street to the end. At the turnaround, it’s a short hop across the grass to the sidewalk, which is essentially level with the street. This allows a connection without using the traffic ramp. It’s important because if the road through the park gets a road diet, there would be space for ramp traffic to merge into the leaner road and then join a protected lane on the Anderson (?) bridge across Junction Hollow.
Right now, the sightlines aren’t great for merging into the fast Blvd traffic, and there’s no curb cut. There’s great potential, though,
FYI, the lanes on Penn Ave. are starting to take shape. Eastbound traffic has been rerouted and the lanes have been painted on. Also, numerous signs have been placed (yield to bikes, no left turns, etc.)
I rode eastbound on them yesterday, but as of right now I would recommend that you wait until the lanes are completed to use them. DPW has placed a series of barriers at each intersection and parking access point. Therefore, you must ride around these barriers and go temporarily get on the westbound lane. Just wait a few more days and it’ll be good.
The lanes look sweet. I wasn’t big on the idea of them, but that is because I feel they aren’t needed. It is however super nice to ride on them and not have to worry about cars or buses passing you.
Are you familiar with the renderings of the Penn Avenue Protected Bike Lanes? They are here http://bikepgh.org/protectedbikelanes/
We would like to do before and after “fades” of the same locations – where the new condition fades into view. I have some help from absolutely fantastic interns – but being there at the right moment when the cyclists and lighting are just right might be hard to do.
Someone will be dahn ere Friday morning, since a lot of people ride in during the morning rush. Figure between 8-9 AM.
If you should happen to get some good shots, post them here and perhaps we can use them for our next PeopleForBikes release.
P-rob, thanks for the link.
I like the plan for 11th & Penn since this intersection is confusing to motorist now BEFORE the bike lanes. I think it will be better for cars after the change, but there might be confusion getting into the transit garage between 11th and 12th. I’m not sure if this was considered or not, but there should probably be signs instructing cars heading east to continue on Liberty and then turn on 12th street. Likewise a sign on Smallman heading west to do the same.
There has been talk here of extending the Schenley cycle track from Phipps up Schenley Drive through the golf course.
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is planning a project on the segment through the golf course. Preliminary plans call for eliminating the 8′ shoulder and reducing the pavement width overall.
I just started a separate topic on this project, ” Schenley Drive through golf course — PPC project may take away the 8′ shoulders” to keep that discussion separate from the cycle track discussion here
DPW is installing bollards on Penn as I type this, starting on the Strip side.
I rode this through the Strip this morning (had to get back on the road for the last few blocks downtown because they were still installing bollards). So cool!
Here’s some commentary, saw some of this firsthand, yesterday, with a driver following a couple of us down the bike lane for a bit towards the Strip.
I rode through this morning too. Worried though about the drivers making lefts…I see some issues with people being unaware of having to yield.
I had to dodge some utility work in the Penn Ave lane, momentarily wiggling out into westbound car traffic to get around a very large truck parked there, with men working around it. This was around 6 p.m.
Once I got to 16th St, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. 16th itself was jammed two across and ten deep up to Liberty. My plan was to dash over to Spring Way, which is what I did, but no points off for style.
I’m not sure what my alternatives would be, and some of these are design problems more than functional. How would I turn onto 15th if there is oncoming car traffic on Penn? I can’t quite come to a stop on the bike lane if there’s anyone behind me, I can’t stop in the oncoming bike lane if there’s anyone coming at me, and I can’t jump up on the curb. Well, I guess I could do any of those things, but it’s rather assumed that you can’t. Or is it? I don’t know.
Another option, I suppose, is to dismount at 16th, walk the bike up onto the sidewalk on 16th heading toward Liberty, wait for a break in the traffic, and then dash across. It works, but it’s not a sustainable solution. None of the above are sustainable solutions.
I have yet to try getting onto the bike lane from 16th, either direction, inbound Penn, or 15th/14th/13th/12th.
I forget which light is the last one before the 16th st bridge outbound on penn ave. But I would just do a hook turn (copenhagen left) on to 12th st (or at the last light on penn) to get over to smallman st if I was going outbound. Seems like the easiest approach with least chance of conflict.
The bike-pgh urban biking companion does have info on the hook turn aka the copenhagen left. http://bikepgh.org/101/19.html
Getting on to the lane going inbound is easy, you can ride in either the regular lane or left turn lane and then just hop into the bike lane because there’s no opposing traffic to deal with. Going outbound sounds sketchy though (I will try it out tonight). I think the ideal solution would be to extend the bike lane one more block so that you could turn left on 17th to get over Smallman.
Saw one guy this morning drive into the Penn Ave. lanes at the terminus on 6th. He promptly realized his mistake and backed up. Since the bollards to prevent (or more accurately, discourage) vehicle entry at each intersection were not up yet, I can see this as an honest mistake.
Of course, the guy simply wasn’t paying attention to all the signs (and there are plenty) that indicated that he should not go in. It’s hard to shake old driving habits, I guess. It will take a while for all involved to get used to this setup
Rode from the strip to 9th (then to Qdoba on Liberty) and back. Really nice. The terminus at 16th will be tough at rush hour but was a piece of cake for me at lunch hour.
The ride outbound at rush hour was good, although the section of Penn from Stanwix to the start of the cycletrack is a mess right now as people figure it out. There was also a truck parked in the track at on point, which is kind of crappy way to kick things off. Other than that it was great, and I went left down to Smallman over the cobblestones before the 16th street bridge.
I’m telling you, we just need to fill the candlesticks with a silver fulminate mixture, the stuff in kids “Bang Snaps”. That would be difficult to ignore. POP!
envy of the nation, ma!
RT @shanehamp: Imagine having bike infrastructure like this. Fresh lanes painted in Pittsburgh this week flooding my Twitter feed. http://t.co/hTLRuCyrEo
(Oklahoma planner, via a Philadelphia cyclist I follow…)
Rode through the Penn lanes yesterday evening. Very fast and mostly trouble free, though there are few manhole covers that are a little low. Like others have said, the turn onto the 16th St bridge is tricky, but this could be said about all left turns going outbound. Going inbound was nearly blissful, just gotta keep an eye on drivers making a left, particularly those who don’t bother with turning lights.
I saw a few riders using the lanes who looked like they would otherwise not be riding on the street, so this is promising. Also saw a group of rollerbladers *groan*. I’m guessing we will be seeing Segways soon, too. Plus I also went past a loitering pedestrian, who realized upon seeing me that she shouldn’t be in the lanes.
Regarding car traffic, it will take a while for things to get smoother. Traffic at 6th and Penn was bad, but not the worst I’ve seen there. It will take a combined effort of both adjusting driving habits and altering traffic light patterns to improve this.
“Wearing his neon-green cycling gear, John Markowitz sat on his bicycle in a queue of cars haltingly making their way to the intersection of Penn Avenue and Sixth Street just before 5 p.m. Friday.”
This is the second time I saw a PG story featuring this guy. How does he get all the bike-related press?
Too bad the first bollard to eat it was the very first one to be installed on Penn Avenue. Looks like someone was making a left off 16th in the face of oncoming traffic.
It was sort of lonely for a while in the lane this afternoon. Just me and some BMW SUV with Ohio plates.
We are also reading all of these comments and working with BikePGH to create a safety and user guide for the bike lanes. I apologize for not having it out before the bike lanes went in, but it should be a great piece given all of the input that has been emailed, posted, tweeted, etc.
If anything else, the installation of the lanes have forced people to pay attention to where they are going – for all modes. It seems to me that some of the frustration expressed is akin to the breakup of a routine. I think those routines can lead to accidents and am encouraged to see more and more people simply paying attention.
Also – someone created a graphic to illustrate how to make what looks like a “Pittsburgh Right” – exiting the bike lane to the left and then lining up perpendicular to it in order to safely cross the street. It’s a version of the CL that I would love to incorporate as an important contribution. Does anyone know who did that?
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