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

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chrishent
Member
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We really need to stop overloading our names in this city

Clearly you’ve never been to Atlanta ;)

It’s a shame there’s no further description as to how each cycle track will be developed:

– For BOTA, if they go for a two-way cycle track, this will likely mean the disappearance of some parking spots. I bet that such a cycle track would be on the eastbound lane, as it would connect better to the Jail Trail near Grant. Lanes on Stanwix would likely only go between Penn Ave and BOTA, maybe even all the way to Fort Pitt Blvd.

– For Greenfield Rd, maybe it will only be painted-on lanes? I’d hate to go downhill on that road on a bollard-ed cycle track. You can hit 30 mph going down that road without much effort.

– For Allegheny Commons, they could do only the inner loop around Allegheny Center, but maybe lanes on North and Cedar Ave as well.

– Not familiar with Lincoln Ave, unfortunately. But based on the budget amount, does not seem like it will be a long section.

Of course, this is only a budget proposal. We’ll have to wait and see for what actually is approved for next year.


ericf
Participant
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@chrishent, thank you for the info. Good stuff!


jonawebb
Participant
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BTW I fear a backlash when this gets discussed in Council. A lot of the opposition has been from suburbanites, but we should be prepared to attend and voice our support for the new infrastructure. It would be helpful if somebody kept track of this and let us know when to show up.


erok
Keymaster
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jonawebb, thinking the same thing. We just had this conversation and intend to keep up on it.

and Chrishent, Yeah, i think it could be problematic that there is so little detail.

the alignment that they are looking at for the downtown lanes are to connect the end of the GAP at Smithfield St Bridge, to the Point.

The tentative alignment to the Point is to have the trail connect onto bike lanes on Ft Pitt @ Smithfield, turn onto Stanwix, turn onto Blvd of the Allies to the Point. Stanwix, in theory, will also connect over to the Penn Ave bike lanes. to my knowledge, the details of this have not been worked out, this is just the idea that they are shooting for


Mick
Participant
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@jonawebb
BTW I fear a backlash when this gets discussed in Council.

I’m thinking something similar. If $900K of bicycle infrastructure gets implemented, we can expect responses from drivers that range from irritation up through homicidal rage.

The same would be true if we persuaded the Pittsburgh Police to enforce speed limits.

Of course, I’d love to have either of those “problems.” ;)


chrishent
Member
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Interesting, @erok. Ft Pitt Blvd would make sense for a cycle track, as it’s already one way on that side and the right lane is either a bus turn lane or on street parking. This is also less intrusive when it comes to bus routes, as there’s only one stop on Ft Pitt between Smithfield and Stanwix. However, this stop serves 13 routes, so the stop should be moved to the northeast corner of Smithfield and Ft Pitt or to Wood St (or both!)

Once on Stanwix, if the cycle track stays on northbound lane, it can easily connect to the lanes on Penn. However, you interfere with busy bus stops, so that might be tricky.

A turn into westbound BOTA from northbound Stanwix is not easy. Might require a bike box. Same for coming from Point State Park on BOTA and turning right onto a cycle track on Stanwix.

We’ll see what the city comes up with. I hope they have a defined vision, otherwise these projects will not make it very far in the budget approval process.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I wouldn’t worry about that one Ft Pitt Blvd bus stop any more than I worry about bus stops on Forbes in the center of Oakland. Moving that anywhere would be very problematic. I’d concentrate more on getting rid of the on-street parking.

That one bus stop is THE departure point for the half of the county south of the Mon, who are headed for destinations on and above Smithfield. That is a massive number of people. When PAT had its Fifth and Market bus stop forcibly removed a couple of years ago, the shitstorm was enormous, and justifiably so.

That is a battle you should not engage. Don’t even think about it.


erok
Keymaster
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it’s the on-street parking that’s being looked at.


edmonds59
Participant
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If bike lane on Ft Pitt Blvd, westbound, it should just pass Stanwix and continue to Commonwealth Place, Stanwix is a mess, Commonwealth is low traffic. Not sure how to connect to a Penn Ave bike lane in that case tho.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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> “– Funding in future years (though none in 2015) for a new bridge on old Second Ave in Duck Hollow”

More info on this project: http://www.pittsburghfederalprojects.com/index.php/second-avenue-bridge/
“The existing Second Avenue Bridge is historic and is anticipated to remain in place and be converted into a bicycle/pedestrian crossing as part of the Rails to Trails Program.”


Ahlir
Participant
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@erok: the alignment that they are looking at for the downtown lanes are to connect the end of the GAP at Smithfield St Bridge, to the Point.
The tentative alignment to the Point is to have the trail connect onto bike lanes on Ft Pitt @ Smithfield, turn onto Stanwix, turn onto Blvd of the Allies to the Point. Stanwix,

Sounds reasonable.

But Ft.Pitt->Stanwix->Allies doesn’t seem right; unless there’s an all-ways stop light at Allies/Stanwix: that’s a lot of lanes to cross. Why not Ft.Pitt->Commonwealth to connect Point Park? And a separate hugging-the-right-curb lane for Stanwix->Penn? Or, just repave 1st St already. (*)

I assume that the planners are professional traffic engineers and that they ask people like @erok et al for input. But do they ever actually ride a bike along candidate routes? It’s really different on the ground and riding gives a better informed perspective. Trust me. (*)

(*) I usually do Smithfield->1st->Stanwix->Allies->Commonwealth.
The lights at Ft.Pitt/Smithfield make the 1st St turn easy to do; when I get to Stanwix gaps are easy to get for crossing to a left turn onto Allies, which admittedly can be a pain (unless you force a Pgh left-turn at the yellow). This is to get to the Park and points west. If I end up on Ft.Pitt (only on low-traffic days) I just continue to Commonwealth. If I need to go east I do (Liberty->)Stanwix->Penn. At some level my brain subconsciously computed that this was the least hassle… brains are good for that.


erok
Keymaster
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good suggestions. nothing is solid yet


chrishent
Member
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Another article on “bikelash”:

Mayor Peduto Defends City’s New Bike Lanes, Answers The ‘Bikelash’ From Drivers

Featuring the usual comments from the haters…


Vannevar
Participant
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My hero, too! @bradsohner Chinese man becomes hero on social media for forcing car driving in bike lane to back out. pic.twitter.com/RpWb5Cuy1y— Taras Grescoe (@grescoe) November 16, 2014

via @chrisbriem


Mick
Participant
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@ Vannevar

That pic resonates with the 1989 pic of Tiananmen Square tank guy.


MaryShaw
Member
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Re Duck Hollow bridge … It’s important to keep an eye on this and express support whenever there’s an opportunity. If funds get tight or there’s a cost overrun, this is the sort of thing that could get trimmed from the project.


Benzo
Participant
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What is the benefit of the duck hollow bridge reconstruction with repect to cycling? For future potential trail connections through the Carrie furnace site? If this didn’t happen, would it delay progress on creation of a trail there?


jonawebb
Participant
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BTW I was riding the Schenley Drive bike lanes Saturday and I really liked the ride to the west. I came down to the intersection with Panther Hollow Road, turned left at the stop sign, then immediately right into the lane. Worked great. I had a nice quiet ride all the way through the stop light in front of the library at Schenley Drive Extension, and no worries about the sort of dicey parking situation around the Bigelow statue.
I know it’s just a short ride, but it does seem better than what was there before.


jonawebb
Participant
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J Z
Participant
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There was also this, not bike specific, but still nice, even with the incorrect assumption about the air quality.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/11/how-green-riverfronts-transformed-pittsburgh/382928/?single_page=true


Pierce
Participant
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“We’re going to beat every other city” – Mayor, on creating bike lanes

If we start actually getting neighborhoods connected in a way that novices can comfortably get from place to place, I’ll start getting excited.


jonawebb
Participant
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edmonds59
Participant
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buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Washington’s Observer-Reporter newspaper declares Pittsburgh bike lanes (especially Penn Ave) “an innovation ahead of their time & place”, missing the point entirely:
http://t.co/Tfs4nPYcWg


ShooFlyPie
Member
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^What a stupid Fn article. It sounds like the guy who wrote it has a very low IQ, is a Boomer who needs his car to get a gallon of milk, is very un-progressive, and would be better to switch careers to Walmart door greeting.

First, bike lanes don’t slow traffic anymore. Is there studies? Does this low IQ imbecile have any Fn data to back up his suburbanite dipshit argument? What causes gridlock is other cages. On a Friday afternoon it is cars impeding me on my bike, and not the other way around. It is not practical for me to be using a giant piece of metal sitting there behind other giant pieces of metal to haul my fat ass around under 5MPH in gridlock.

Second, you can’t ride between October through April? I hear this a lot from moronic Boomers who equate cycling only to leisurely rides on the beach boardwalk using a cruiser. I may be hindered only during the worst of the worst snow pack months, and that is a month and a half on a bad winter.

This “journalist” is fn stupid.

And this is what is pissing me off with ALL news outlets in our metro. They stir the pot for clickbait over providing information that could educate the public about the laws and how cycling infustructure actually reduces traffic congestion. They fire up the local morons who can’t comprehend logic. They just have this simple reasoning, “Duhhhh, if there bike lane there less traffic lane for me and I go slower, duhhhhhhh”.

Don’t get me started with WXPI and WTAE. I remember that WTAE article about some stupid slide show that shows angry drivers and the first slide was a cyclist taking the lane. Their whole point was to rile up the bike-lash imbeciles. What do you expect of a society where majority of the people think Noah’s ark literally happened.


jonawebb
Participant
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I was driving around a week or so ago and I was really struck by how frustrating it is. You can go fast, but there are other cars holding you back, maybe by doing stupid things like waiting unnecessarily. You can’t tell. And there’s all this free space if you could just get past the annoying other drivers.
It’s even worse with lane-taking cyclists, because they obviously don’t need all that space, and are much slower than I could go in a car. And you can see the road ahead is clear.
Of course, as a cyclist I don’t need to deal with all this frustration. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I had to wait in traffic, unable to move forward, without there being an obvious good reason for waiting. I am much more narrow and maneuverable, and I can see farther. And my max speed is just about right for city traffic.
So it makes sense to me that people get frustrated driving. They’re just in the wrong type of vehicle. Sure, it has conveniences, like staying warm and being able to listen to the radio. But you’re taking a tiny house around with you all the time. No wonder you get slowed down.


byogman
Member
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I “had to drive” to Kraynick’s last Tuesday because the pedal snapped off on my only working bike and I didn’t have any spares.

Seemed like a good idea at the time. It took almost 25 minutes. From Squirrel Hill. Not at rush hour.

I could have (and should have) damned the appearances and biked using one leg… would’ve gotten there sooner. Heck, I could’ve jogged there in less time.


paulheckbert
Keymaster
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@jonawebb – well said!

I was driving around a week or so ago and I was really struck by how frustrating it is. … there’s all this free space if you could just get past the annoying other drivers. …

as a cyclist … I am much more narrow and maneuverable.

So it makes sense to me that people get frustrated driving. They’re just in the wrong type of vehicle … you’re taking a tiny house around with you all the time..


jonawebb
Participant
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I know this is a meme etc. but, still, this is just very good. Please forgive me if you’ve seen it before.
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=249255251908631


Mick
Participant
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Oh! On Friday I rode on the Frendship Ave bike lane next to Friendship Parklet – once in each direction.

IMO, the bike community would benefit from the removal of this dog.

Inbound, it’s in the door zone of parking with high overturn. Outbound it is so narrow that you cou7ld be as far right in teh bike lake as you can be – and still get hit by the mirror of a car whose tire is on the car side of the white bike lane sign.

Freindship needs sharrows.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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A brief, pleasant conversation I had with a motorist a few weeks ago who turned onto outbound Penn from 15th to get to the 16th St Bridge.

Is this still happening?


Benzo
Participant
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I actually prefer the door zone sharrows on friendship over the non door zone ones on the outbound side. The outbound ones were inadvertently narrowed during installation and I always feel way to squeezed here and since there is no extension if the lanes past the park, there is a very awkward merge before the turn. I tend to only really use these when turning right on to millvale, otherwise I feel safer taking the lane when traveling outbound.


chrishent
Member
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@stu, haven’t seen an incident like the one in your video, but at least the car-on-bike lane incidents seem to have stopped. The flex bollards placed at intersections appear to be doing the trick. I do see from time to time somebody trying to turn into the lanes, only to realize their mistake and course-correct before it’s too late.

It remains to be seen how the lanes work out in the winter. The flex bollards at the intersections are, per someone on this forum, supposed to be removable to facilitate lane access for snow plows. Hopefully the plow driver won’t simply drive straight through and tear them out.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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I actively avoid Friendship Park because of the ridiculous bike lanes, especially now that the outbound lane has been made even smaller than it originally was. They’re simply not usable, and I won’t subject myself to driver harassment for refusing to use them.


Benzo
Participant
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I found one of the bollards from on schenly drive down in the valley where the railroad trestle used to be on neville st.


jonawebb
Participant
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Yeah, those bollards are a problem. Riding across there a couple of weeks ago, I put one that had fallen over onto the sidewalk barrier, then saw there were a couple others already there. Whatever is supposed to hold them in place on the bridge is really not working. I 311’d it but I suspect they don’t have a solution right now.


J Z
Participant
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I’ve also 311’ed the Schenley Drive missing bollards (3 at last count). Not quite sure what sheared them off.


chrishent
Member
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As seen on Penn Ave, next to the 9th and Penn garage, that’s some futuristic lookin’ bike racks (plus the fix-it station):

20141220_082726

Well, at least I think they are bike racks…


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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I agree that the fix-it makes it seem likely that’s supposed to be a bike rack….but if so man that’s an awful design. Looks nearly impossible to use, except with a cable…


chrishent
Member
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This is probably not the best photo angle for it, though. Not seen here are slots on the vertical side of the “rack” that are wide enough for a tire. Maybe you’re supposed to prop up the bike and put the tires in the vertical and horizontal slots? I may be overthinking this…

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