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

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WillB
Participant
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I do agree that the left turns through that bike lane are pretty dangerous right now (although I get more worried in the middle of a green cycle when everyone is moving full speed, as opposed to during red lights). They’ve put some of the green paint down in a few intersections, which helps a little, but there needs to be a lot more done in terms of dramatic signage so that someone doesn’t get seriously injured.


Mikhail
Member
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Well, then bikes are may be privileged over cars in this particular place since there are thousands milesof the rods where bikes are not permitted. And taking a little piece of this car privileges does not make bikes privileged over cars. I would say it makes bikes tiny-mini less underprivileged.


WillB
Participant
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^that’s all I meant, that bikes were getting privileged in those particular spots. Which I think is a good thing. I think we’re in agreement.


edmonds59
Participant
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jonawebb
Participant
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Katelyn Haas just tweeted — they’re planning to put bike lanes on the lower Hill development (up Centre Ave, looks like):


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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that was posted last night: https://twitter.com/KatelynHaas/status/519257821545000960
“6:48 PM – 6 Oct 2014”

my response: “joy, more bike-lane-protected parking. how about some infrastructure that doesn’t actually put riders in more danger?”

(ps, for others who’d also never heard of Haas, she’s Program Coordinator for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group: http://www.pcrg.org/pcrg-welcomes-its-new-program-coordinator/)


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Those of us who know what we’re doing (both in regards to biking, and having a brain in our heads in general) need to get out there, at every possible opportunity, and make it known that this sort of infrastructure is a bad thing, and not having it is better than having it.

At the early stages of planning, like this, that’s when the most damage is done and the most chance exists to get plans changed for the better.

Where and when and in what way can we get loud about this?


chrishent
Member
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Hadn’t noticed this at the 10th and Penn intersection coming out of the convention center:

Not sure how long this has been there, maybe since the convention last month? Obviously, these are nice and I hope we get more of them. However, they’re not very useful if drivers ignore them.

Also, speaking of neglectful drivers, today around 6 pm I saw two go eastbound into the cycle track at 6th and Penn. Now that the orange cone and police officer are gone from that Heinz Hall corner, it appears that clueless theater-going suburbanites will continue to “not see” the “Do Not Enter” sign. Any chance we can at least get a bollard here?


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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I rode through that area Wednesday and walked it Friday and did not notice that box either evening…

I did however see drivers going straight on OB Penn at Sixth in successive light cycles Friday night (around 715), despite multiple pedestrians yelling at them. (There was a police officer at the doors of Heinz Hall, but apparently he didn’t notice, either…)


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Having the cone there helps. Can we at least get that back?


Vannevar
Participant
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A centerline reflective wand-bollard (like the lane separator) would be perfect at each cross-street. Exists in inventory, not removable by whimsey.


WillB
Participant
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I get a little worried about bollards/cones as a permanent solution. I remember a few years ago an experience cyclist died after hitting a bollard on a trail in the middle of the day. Having a fixed object essentially right in the path of moving bikes feels like asking for trouble over the long term.

It sucks that we have to worry about this. How insanely inattentive does a driver have to be to drive down and extremely well demarcated bike lane?


jonawebb
Participant
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The bollard in that particular case was a solid concrete pillar, not very high. There were two cyclists riding together along the path, one dodged it, the other hit it at speed, not seeing it since it was screened by the first rider. I think the issue there was with the bollard design, not its existence. Simply making it into a taller sign would probably address the problem, but I’m pretty sure the folks who designed this particular lane would know what to do.


Vannevar
Participant
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To be clear-er, I meant a reflective strip on plastic sort of bollard, flexible and frangible. In a perfect world, with a breakaway design.

Something tangible to tell drivers – you don’t want to scrape your bumper, do you?

certainly not a concrete, wooden, or pipe-type pillar.


Marko82
Participant
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Stu, Joann and I were marshals for the 321 ride Sunday. We stood at the intersection of Penn & 6th street from about 11am to 1:30 pm. We turned back eight drivers who actually turned into the bike lane, and saw probably another two dozen who started to turn but recovered before entering. This on a quiet sunday afternoon.

I would like to see a flexible bollard similar to those used for the sides placed at the ends of the bike lane but painted hi-viz and taller so they would really stand out. Since the bollards are flexible they would be fairly safe for cyclists while still allowing the occasional emergency vehicle to gain access to the lane quickly. They could also paint “bikes only” on the ends of the lanes like they do for bus lanes, but I think some physical barrier is needed.


chrishent
Member
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The flexible bollard is perhaps the best thing they could put in there right now. It will at least alert the drivers that they are going somewhere they shouldn’t, allow emergency vehicles through the lane without causing a delay, and cyclists may not crash after impacting one of them. You definitely don’t want to put anything more solid than that. I’ve seen two incidents in which a cyclist crashed hard because of one of those metal collapsible bollards, with one of those crashes resulting in a separated shoulder and the subsequent physical therapy, a cracked helmet, and a ruined carbon frame.

However, I think that most of the incidents we’re seeing right now of cars on the Penn Ave lanes are from people that don’t frequent downtown often. The people that regularly drive through these roads should be well acquainted with this cycle track by now. It will take some time for everyone to get used to it, not to mention for GPS units to update their information about this road (a quick test revealed that Google Maps has already taken care of this).

Once the cycle track is completed all the way to Stanwix St, the number of wrong way incidents should decrease. Of course, if we see that a bollard is missing, putting in a 311 request will hopefully get it replaced fairly quickly.


Benzo
Participant
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Yeah, I bet a lot of old gps units will route folks the wrong way here.


chrishent
Member
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Then again, GPS units seldom work well in high rise areas, so maybe people will turn it off and watch where they are going.

On the subject of the Penn cycle track, that 6th and Penn intersection has gotten better, traffic-wise. I don’t know if it’s because drivers have adjusted their habits or because the Pirates’ season is over, but the eastbound lane doesn’t seem to back up like it did a month or so ago. It’s starting to look like how it was before the cycle track was installed. Maybe even better?

Of course, now that I’ve written this, there’ll be a huge traffic jam there the rest of the week.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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…or at least on Thursday, when both the Pens and Pitt football have evening home games. (The ensuing traffic clusterjam will of course be our fault, because of course Pittsburgh’s tiny double grid would’ve handled roughly 15-30 thousand cars at once just fine without that one eight-block bike lane.)


helen s
Participant
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Thursday night will also be hosting “Wait Wait, Don’t tell me!” dowtown.


chrishent
Member
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Well, the cone is back at 6th and Penn. I did put in a 311 request for having something installed that can’t be blown away by wind gusts or that can be easily removed.

Any word on when the last two blocks of the Penn cycle track will be completed? I know this was hinging on fixing the sewer drain in the 500 block. That work was supposed to start last month but haven’t seen any progress on this. Also, the pavement on this block sucks, so maybe they’ll fix that too while they are it.


chrishent
Member
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FYI, I put in a 311 request regarding the flex bollards for entering/exiting the Penn Ave bike lanes. Here’s the response I got:

“The construction division will be adding delineators to the ends of the blocks as their schedule allows. However, the end delineators will be removed for winter to allow winter maintenance vehicles to access the bikeway”


chrishent
Member
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Another FYI, this time regarding the sewer repair on the 500 block on Penn, courtesy of Alco Parking:

So my guess is it’ll be another month or so before the Penn Ave lane is extended to Stanwix. I would not be surprised if this is put on hold until March of next year


erok
Keymaster
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The city intends to install the flexible bollards at the intersections of the bike lane on every block. they are waiting for the company to deliver a special type that can be removed for plowing, and reinstalled easily.

no one knows how long it will take pwsa to fix the sewer under penn. i wouldn’t expect that section to be open until the spring.


Lou M.
Participant
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Looks like they were installing a more permanent solution this morning to the orange cone. At the bus terminal they were core drilling the street to install what looked to be a permanent white bollard.


RustyRed
Member
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“The city intends to install the flexible bollards at the intersections of the bike lane on every block. they are waiting for the company to deliver a special type that can be removed for plowing, and reinstalled easily.”

“Looks like they were installing a more permanent solution this morning to the orange cone.”

I saw that bollard flange work being done too.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/116705988007745115329/posts/9R9zCMB3V8S?pid=6075300186519535282&oid=116705988007745115329


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I had a fun little situation on the Penn Ave lane last night. As I tweeted here, I was outbound on Penn, approaching 16th, when I see a set of headlights behind me. They were on the roadway, not the bike lane.

Passenger lowered the window a couple inches, I asked them where they were headed. Middle aged couple in a Mercedes, trying to get to the 16th St Bridge. I said, next time please use Liberty Avenue. This is now a one-way street.

He signaled his turn, got the green, and they went on their way. Whether he learned anything or not, I don’t know, but it was a little unsettling. Looking at my video, he made the left off of 15th Street, so he wasn’t there long. But still.


erok
Keymaster
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yeah, the city is notifying garmin and the other companies to make sure the change is made


WillB
Participant
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Several new bollards were in when I rode in today. Oddly, though, there were a bunch missing (from the barrier line part) down by Sixth. Almost like they didn’t have enough, so they just moved a few :) Hope that’s not what actually happened.


edmonds59
Participant
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It is a sign of the degree to which our society is inured to the deadliness of automobiles that the event of a car going the wrong way on a street is fear-inducing. In a right world, operators of motor vehicles would drive cautiously enough that the mistake would be seen and dealt with safely, and not treated as a potentially deadly occurrence. If I walk in the out door of a store, most people don’t scream and freak out.

Well, unless I’m wearing the mask.


chrishent
Member
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Does anyone know if the city plans to install additional bike racks along the Penn Ave bike lanes? There’s really not a lot of places to lock up your bike inside the Cultural District section (6th through 10th), other than a few of the sculpture-like bike racks here and there and the racks inside the 9th St garage.

I only ask this because, if I understood correctly, part of the evaluation process for these bike lanes is their economic impact on the area’s businesses. Adding a couple of bike racks per block could help stimulate bike traffic customers for this zone.

You could even take one of the parking spots between 10th and 9th and make it a bike corral. *wishful thinking


Steven
Participant
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They’re looking for five more artist-made unique bike racks for that area, maybe with more to follow. I imagine the plan is to put in artistic racks for as long as the Cultural Trust is willing to pay for them, so the city doesn’t have to.


mjacobPGH
Member
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Posted in another thread but this seemed more appropriate. There were news cameras filming today on the Penn track but I didn’t catch what channel they were from. If anyone sees a story on the news, please post here.


edmonds59
Participant
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In case anyone in a position of planning racks reads this, the last time I went to an event at one of the restaurants on Penn, I locked up at a pole on the side toward the river. It occurred to me that this was really preferable to locking up on the side that the bike lane is on, as that side has more storefronts that are not streetlife-type things, not open to the sidewalk. Consider placing any additional racks on that river-ward side, and keep the other side clearer for pedestrians and the sidewalk tables. IMO.


jonawebb
Participant
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BTW, related: Peduto released his proposed capital and operating budgets. The capital budget has a huge increase in spending on bike infrastructure, from $125K in 2014 to $940K. Excellent!
http://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/mayorpeduto/2015_Capital_Budget_FINAL.pdf


chrishent
Member
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From the budget proposal (search for “bike”)

1. Planned locations for the additional cycle tracks. Interesting, to say the least:

– Downtown: Stanwix St and Boulevard of the Allies. $440k
– Homewood: Lincoln Ave. $93k
– Schenley Park: Greenfield Rd. $125k
– Northside: Allegheny Commons. 156k

2. They mention rack installations in Uptown and North Side, as well as “pavement markings” on Forbes, One Wild Place, Beacon St, 40th St, and Marshall Ave.

3. There’s also “Installation of street lights at bike stations” and “Installation of street lights on bike lanes” with locations TBD.

4. Neville Off-road bike trail (Centre Ave at Neville St.) $25k. This appears to be for a study, though.

5. Finally, there’s a plan to start engineering work for replacing the 28th St bridge (Strip to Polish Hill). A bike lane for it would be nice…


Ahlir
Participant
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Interesting indeed.

– Downtown: Stanwix St and Boulevard of the Allies. $440k
Perfect. A commuter-oriented connection between the EFT and the Penn Ave lanes. I want those intersections more bikable (esp. at Smithfield.)

– Homewood: Lincoln Ave. $93k
Mildly puzzling, unless it’s simple lanes along each side. Something up to Apple, or even Meadow would be fine. As long a the Frankstown intersection gets fixed.

– Schenley Park: Greenfield Rd. $125k
Which part? This is a complicated street.

– Northside: Allegheny Commons. 156k
Awesome. Also, repaving.

It’s too bad that Bates is not on the list, or a parallel trail.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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– Schenley Park: Greenfield Rd. $125k
“Which part? This is a complicated street.”

Unless I’m mistaken, this is the Greenfield Road that runs only within Schenley Park from the end of Pocusset at the bridge up to the intersection of Boulevard/Hobart/Beacon/Bartlet/etc, not the Greenfield Ave that runs up from Saline/Second/Irvine up through Greenfield Neighbourhood.

We really need to stop overloading our names in this city…


Ahlir
Participant
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Unless I’m mistaken, this is the Greenfield Road that runs only within Schenley Park
Ah! your’e right. My mistake. It all makes sense.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Also included:

– On?Road Cycling Wayfinding Signage TBD — $487,890
– $2,85 M overall ($400K in 2015) for construction of sidewalks and curb ramps, including on Bates St and on 40th at Eden (the alley behind Wendy’s).
– $64,3 M overall ($12M in 2015) for repaving, the most in a decade, because “Adequately maintained streets are a core city service.”
– separately, $2,075 M overall ($225K in 2015) for “Streetscape and Intersection Reconstruction”, which includes “street furnishings, public art and monuments, and multimodal improvements”. This includes $40K specifically marked for Liberty Avenue Streetscape and Pedestrian Safety Improvements, and while there are other projects going on Liberty in Downtown, this looks from the included map to refer to Liberty in the Strip instead.
– $325 K overall ($50K in 2015) for “Trail Repairs”.
– Funding in future years (though none in 2015) for a new bridge on old Second Ave in Duck Hollow, and work on Swinburne Bridge over 4 Mile Run
…..

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