July 3: Join as the Mayor announces protected bike lane plans

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StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Fire In Morton’s Kitchen Sends Plume Of Thick Black Smoke Over Downtown

I had to add my two cents to the fire story. Here’s the quote, since the KDKA story will likely not be there in a few weeks:

B16 hours ago
How much longer did it take fire fighters to respond due to the new bike lanes and Cultural Trust closing streets?

Stuart M Strickland2 minutes ago
Having a bike lane replace a line of parked cars would actually help with equipment placement in a fire response, not that it mattered in this case. Thank you, B-for-Bike-Hater, for helping make the case for more bike lanes, not fewer.


RustyRed
Member
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I don’t think you’ll see a cooler thing happen in the Penn Ave bike lane than this:

training-wheels-bike-lane


jonawebb
Participant
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Wow. Amazing. Imagine that happening a week ago!


Marko82
Participant
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With training wheels too!

Someone should forward this to Peduto’s staff – it’s a great image of how things can change.


RustyRed
Member
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I’m way ahead you.

And here’s the video clip I was able to get the image from, FWIW:


Mick
Participant
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For the Schenley drive lane.

The lane goes all the way to the entrance to the Charles Anderson Playground.

The candlesticks, however, end just before the curve at the end of the bridge, where most if not all cars cut the corner and stray into the bike lane.

The visibility isn’t great there anyhow. Most, if not all, cars exceed the speed limit.

If I had to chose between having candlestick on the bridge and not on the curve or candlesticks on the curve only, I’d have them on the curve.

Should I call 3-1-1?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Wednesday’s P-G had a story on the bike lanes, at the end of which was this quote:

Joan Natko, Legislative chairwoman of Allegheny County Transit [Council], who attended the open house as part of the public, said she talked to a police officer earlier in the day Tuesday who said some bike riders on Penn Avenue were riding outside of the lanes. The officer told her that he would have to start citing riders for infractions when they leave bike lanes and move in front of cars.
“I as a pedestrian almost got run down on Smithfield Street right across from CVS by Macy’s,” she said. “That’s very dangerous.”

Is this for real? You can get cited for not riding in the bike lanes? That sounds like a bunch of hooey.

As it happens, I know Ms. Natko. She is well informed on issues, if by “informed” you mean “listens to Marty Griffin all the time.”


Lee
Participant
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How are turns supposed to work from these bi-directional lanes? to turn left through the golf course from the Schenley Park lane means cutting into a line of cars backed up from the all-way stop intersection. Once up to the stop line in the car lane, the person behind me is pissed and honking because I’m in their way and the folks opposite try to go ahead, not respecting that it’s my turn to proceed. It’s a free-for all.


jonawebb
Participant
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It’s a four-way stop, right? Wouldn’t you just leave the bike lane, taking the driving lane, stop, then turn left?


reddan
Keymaster
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How are turns supposed to work from these bi-directional lanes? to turn left through the golf course from the Schenley Park lane means cutting into a line of cars backed up from the all-way stop intersection.

If I’m understanding the problem, it’s the “cutting into a line of cars” that is causing the anger and the confusion.

The simplistic answer is, treat the bike lane as if it were the through traffic lane, and the general traffic lane as a left-turn-only; if you need to turn left, merge into the back of the line of traffic, rather than staying in the bike lane until the intersection and having to cut into line. Same thing as you’d do if driving a car.

If the bike lane is built such that it’s physically impossible to merge left into traffic when necessary, then either A) don’t use it when trying to turn left there, B) use a Copenhagen left, or C) become a pedestrian at the intersection.


Benzo
Participant
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@lee, @reddan – At the schenley drive intersection with schenley drive and panther hollow road. I go down to the pedestrian crosswalk, cross in to the front of the queue at the stop sign and then proceed uphill on schenley drive to the golf corse. Seems to work well during rush hour the few times I used it.

Not sure if that’s the right(or legal) way to do it, but that seemed like the most logical thing at the time.

hook turns / copenhagen left works well in downtown at the intersections there for making a turn across the parallel traffic lanes. I don’t mind waiting for a signal change.

Wouldn’t mind seeing some green bike boxes on the streets that intersect the bikeway downtown to visually identify that it is expected behavior for cylists to use this space to make turns from the bikeway. Here’s a good example from seattle.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Wouldn’t mind seeing some green bike boxes on the streets that intersect the bikeway downtown to visually identify that it is expected behavior for cylists to use this space to make turns from the bikeway. Here’s a good example from seattle.

those’d be fabulous.

(I’ll point out that, at least as of tuesday evening when i was down there last, they’re not done yet. there are markings across all of the intersections indicating they plan to add green stripes across the number-streets. maybe we can get them to add turn boxes while they’re at it, too.)


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I think the design is done.

Let’s not forget that this is an 18-month trial, IIRC. Come spring of 2016, we get to figure out where to go with all this.

What we need to do now is get people riding, particularly those who are not riding now.


Lee
Participant
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re: schenley lefts
The line of cars is often 20 strong. I think I’ll try benzo’s solution of using the crosswalk to fashion some kind of bike/ped copenhagen left through that huge intersection. maybe i can work on xcross dismounts. people are going to love these once kinks like this are worked out. i already see tons of people using the lane that don’t look like your normal hard-core commuters.


FishingNorth
Member
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Toronto needs to do this…..great forum!


jonawebb
Participant
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This has some new info, including a “Better Bikeways” map: http://pittsburghtoday.org/BikeCity.html?utm_content=buffer60020&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Sort of think all this info has to be on this website somewhere if I would just get off the MB and look around, but maybe not…


Lee
Participant
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Tried using the crosswalk at Schenley instead of taking the lane this afternoon. Huge difference. Even though I was still cutting in line, it went so much smoother. I just put a foot down looked over and cars waited for me to cross. Nice and easy.


MaryShaw
Member
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We also tried the crosswalk, about 6:30 this evening. We were coming across the bridge, needed to cross to go up Schenley Drive toward Sq Hill. There were cars coming from all three directions, some looking confused, so we stopped, got off the bike (tandem) to become pedestrians, and started into the crosswalk. After we entered the crosswalk, a car coming from Oakland along the cycle track ran the stop sign, looked like he was going to swing wide around us, and only stopped when we both pointed at him yelling “STOP SIGN”.


Lee
Participant
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ugh. mary, i’ve had that experience many times before the new configuration required all motorists to stop and am not surprised that it isn’t a panacea. the only way they take you seriously is to cautiously step out in front of them and play chicken. of course the day one doesn’t stop is the day you get crushed.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I just discovered tonight that the sharrows on Mairdale, the steep hill whose top is at Perry High School, are pushed way to the right. This is not correct. They should be smack dab in the middle of the lane. Particularly on a hill, where it is not safe to ride on the road edge, going down a hill.

Whose idea was this, anyway? Put the sharrows in the middle of the damn street, not on the edge. I thought that was the point.


Mikhail
Member
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It would be very interesting to count bikers in bike lanes on Penn and Schenley. I have feelings that at least Penn starts to carry much more bikers. I specifically rode there during different PMTCC rides and on my own (during evening rush hours and after as well as on Saturday/Sunday mornings) and saw families, people that otherwise in my opinion would not set their wheels on street.


RustyRed
Member
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This is happening between 16th and 17th and Penn Ave:

When they saw me taking the photo, they turned around and said “This is all for you!” and offered to let me lie in the road and pose with it. .


byogman
Member
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Very nice, and oh so much better than dumping off to Smallman from the on the cobbles on 15th.

Is it going to 17th, or even further?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Extending to 17th?! *happy dance*

I am hoping that means we can go straight at 16th to get to 17th so we can get to Spring Way easier. Though making a left across inbound Penn to get to Smallman might be difficult.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Clarification: Is the two-way lane being extended, or are they just adding green-lane markings to say “[inbound] bikes get over here to prep for bike lanes” ?


RustyRed
Member
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My guess is that it’s an inbound ONE WAY transitional bit of paint to assist cyclists as to how to jump into the protected portion that begins after the 16th St Bridge.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Yeah, that makes sense, actually.

Just how *do* you get from outbound Penn to outbound Smallman?

I’ll tell you what I tried on Friday: I slithered down that space between the 16th St Bridge and a fence. It ends at a ledge about eight feet above an alley, but you can slither along an even narrower ledge until it’s only about four feet down. Once down, you dodge various broken glass, cobblestone streets, and occasional sentient beings until you encounter either 17th/18th Street or Smallman itself.

Don’t try this in the dark.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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I take 13th.
Or I go Penn > 16th < Spring Smallman (I do this rarely).


RustyRed
Member
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I think I like Spring Way only because I’m usually trying to get to the shops on Penn rather than commute beyond the Strip. Otherwise, I’d turn at 13th St (or 14th if they ever open that back up) and use Smallman.


edmonds59
Participant
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I like riding Penn inbound in traffic through the densest part of the Strip on weekend mornings. It’s fun! I will be sad if they Pasteurize, homogenize, and safen that part.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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I usually avoid Spring, especially in summer, because past 17th it often absolutely stinks (literally–grocery garbage is awful).

But it does make a very nice, if odoriferous, continuation of the calmness of the bike lanes.


Benzo
Participant
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Saw a little bike box on the oakland end of the schenly park bike lanes, makes the intent a bit more clear. I’d still like to have an all-way ped signal here since there are no traffic signals for cyclists waiting in the box (because it’s a T intersection).


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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“oderiferous”: I direct your attention to the Wheelset Of Fortune game on the message board, in which “aromatic” is one of the current tags. The other has to do with pedestrian infrastructure needs.

http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/wheelset-of-fortune-take-3/page/2/#post-301562


WillB
Participant
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On the way home yesterday I rode on Spring way for the first time ever. It does have a bit of a smell about it, and it’s definitely not the scenic route, but it gets you from 16th all the way to 32nd pretty much without having to deal with cars or stop very much.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Um, I have to stop at least 16 times on Spring Way between 16th and 32nd. That’s not “not stopping very much”. And since Smallman is such a pain to get to, I usually use Liberty. I simply forgot about the Penn Ave lane on my way down Grant.


WillB
Participant
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I guess I meant not a lot of complete stops. You’ve got to slow at each intersection due to poor sight lines, but there was virtually no traffic on the cross streets, so it was a lot easier and less stressful than riding Smallman.


byogman
Member
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I don’t think Smallman is that much a pain to get to (though obviously not as convenient as Liberty!), I just detest the jam up so much and find myself working around it using more of the stereotypical (those %^&* cyclists think they’re above the law!) methods I don’t tend to employ elsewhere.

I should probably just ride Liberty, but I had one minor scare outbound on an empty road in broad daylight, clearly claiming the right lane, wearing high vis gear AND hoofing it pretty good, so it makes me reticent.

I like the poor sightlines out of Spring way and similar alleys even less, again probably due to impatience.

Ideal world we can just to keep pushing cycletrack further up Penn.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Technically where an alley intersects another street is always an implicit stop sign. But, yeah, unless there’s actual cross traffic or I can’t see anything (which, on Spring, I often can’t, since the buildings go right to the sidewalk at every street), I usually roll through at about Idaho speed…

the fact that there’s almost never anyone else on the street almost guarantees it’s a lot less stressful.


MaryShaw
Member
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Re Schenley Drive lane …

The candlesticks now go all the way to Anderson playground, so the lane is protected to the playground.

If you want to go toward downtown on the Blvd of the Allies, you can continue through the playground, where there’s only a strip of grass and a curb-hop to get onto the Blvd without mixing it up with cars in the turning ramp and merge.


Mick
Participant
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The missing candles sticks taht I whined at length about above?

They’ve been installed!

A very pleasing row of bollards separated me from the drunk drivers on Saturday night.

What a great surprise!

BTW:
@BufBuf
I usually avoid Spring, especially in summer, because past 17th it often absolutely stinks (literally–grocery garbage is awful).

Definitely noticed the aroma going through that alley after the flock.
Strong and disgusting, sure. But not unhealthful.

It wasn’t anything like getting blasted by diesel exhaust on an uphill. Or that aldehyde smell that sometimes comes out of cars.

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