June 1: Proposed Oakland bike network community meeting

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erok
Keymaster
#

Please attend!

This meeting is being organized by the Oakland Transportation Management Association.
From OTMA:

As one of America’s shining examples of a 21st century city, Pittsburgh is moving to become bike friendly. The City of Pittsburgh has proposed various methods our Oakland streets can capture this growing trend to make room for more bikes on the roadways – and in some cases this may call for eliminating parking and impacting traffic lanes. Please come out to learn more about this important project.

Monday June 1st
8:00 am and 5:30 pm (Two meetings times are offered to accommodate schedules)
University of Pittsburgh Campus
William Pitt Union
Dining Room A
3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Public Meeting: Proposed Bike Network Improvements in Oakland, June 1


erok
Keymaster
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sorry this is posted so late. we just found out the meeting is actually open to the public, and not just oakland people


ROMO
Member
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Looking at that picture, it looks like most of the improvements are going to be unprotected bike lanes, especially along O’hara street. That currently has parking along both sides of the road and I’m guessing that they are not going to be getting rid of that much parking. Are these going to end up being door zone bike lanes? Hopefully not, because I thought the cons of putting in such lanes was well understood.


erok
Keymaster
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they are looking to relocate some parking


ROMO
Member
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If they do remove parking, maybe they should consider putting in protected lanes. They definitely have the room for it. If they don’t, people could park or stop for deliveries in it anyways like they did on 6th street.


Pierce
Participant
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Is this place really a *shining* example of a 21st century city? Doesn’t seem too different from a 20th century city to me. I mean, I guess based on how things are going, it IS a shining example of a 21st city in that it’s more or less a car centric collection of suburbs with limited places for communal gatherings


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I would really like someone to come right out and say, we’re getting rid of all on-street parking in Oakland. Period. With that out of the way, then we can start talking about being bike-ped friendly.


Mick
Participant
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Things here strike me as very different from the 20th century. I’m expecting teh changes to keep going, though.

I’ll try to attend.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Anyway, I can’t make it Monday. Someone please go, and take good notes.

My bottom line is, we need to be able to ride in any lane of any street, without hassle. And that includes toodling along at 12 mph on Fifth Avenue.


ROMO
Member
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I have a feeling nothing will change on the fifth/forbes corridor until they finalize the BRT plan, which could still be 2+ years out. Something along this route would be awesome, though.

I will be able to attend. For anyone that can’t go, is there any specific feedback you would like to be known?


Ahlir
Participant
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I commented on the page with the original announcement. Silly me. Here it is:

—————————————————————————————
Looking good! I likely will not be able to attend, so here’s a few comments on the proposal:

1) I believe that Bouquet from Forbes to Sennott is not currently lane’d downhill (though Sennott onwards is). The latter should actually be sharrowed not lane’d: a lot of bike traffic turns left onto Clemente and the lane makes it awkward (many of us ignore it, which confuses motorists).

2) Boundary (continuing down from Neville) absolutely needs to be sharrowed. This is a very busy bikeway; the car traffic is fast and not too courteous.

3) This is off the map (so to speak) but the transition on Forbes between the B’ham Br and Craft needs to be fixed. There’s an unused lane that can be for bikes which is good. But necessary is some way to get bikes across the parkway exit ramp and give them a (sharrowed) lane up the hill. (Personally I would like a way to get up Ophelia and on to the Craft/Allies intersection.)


ROMO
Member
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The meeting mostly seemed to focus on the O’Hara, Bigelow, Bayard bike lane. This is supposed to become the major E/W route in Oakland to get traffic off of Forbes/Fifth. They broke this route up into 2 sections. I took pictures of the most important slides. You can view larger versions of the images below here. Unfortunately, some of them came out blurry, but you can still see the important stuff.
In the first section (Mostly O’Hara Street), the plan calls for putting in 2 6′ bike lanes, one in each direction. To make room for these lanes, the parking along the north side of the roadway will be removed. The ones on the south side will remain, so the lane heading out of Oakland will be in the door zone of parked cars. She said that there was not enough room to put the bike lane to the right of the parking lane, which would have required a buffer. She also said that putting the bike lane to the right of the park cars allows people to move into the traffic lane if needed.
Before:

After:


In the second section (mostly Bayard St), any parking would be removed completely. Two 4′ bike lanes (one in each direction) would be installed. These would be the narrowest lanes along the route. Two lanes of traffic and a center turning lane makes up the rest of the street.
Before:

After:


The part of Bayard closest to Shadyside wasn’t discussed extensively. She did say that the residential zone parking will remain on both sides of the street.
Overview of parking lost:

They do not believe that there will be problems with people stopping/parking in the bike lane for deliveries like what happened on 6th St downtown, but someone in the audience said that it happens all the time now along this stretch. The shuttles that operate along this route will still make stops (necessitating pulling into the bike lane), but these conflicts would be marked with dashed lines.

The schenley drive protected bike lane will be extended, removing all parking from the south side of the road. There are plans to put in markings for what inbound (to Oakland) cyclists should do to turn right onto Bigelow Blvd or S. Bouquet St., but she didn’t have any details available.

The plans for connecting the Schenley drive bike lane to the O’hara, Bigelow, Bayard bike lane are still pretty open. It sounded like these routes could require more streetscape work and would take more planning. It does sound like almost all of the parking will remain on the connector streets (bigelow Blvd from Schenley drive, etc). N. Bouquet street is owned by Pitt, and they weren’t sure if that would be a viable route or not. If they couldn’t put in lanes on Bouquet St, De Soto St was the next option, but that would require some travel along fifth, which they do not know what to do there yet.

Louisa Street is going to be the focus for the first sharrow. Different methods (bollards, markings, etc) are going to be installed to calm traffic and to keep people from parking within 20ft of intersections.

They hope to have some of the network installed by the end of this summer.

When I asked about boundary street, they said that they were aware that something needed to be done to better connect the trail to Oakland, but they don’t have any plans yet to do so.

Someone brought up whether allowing bikes in the bus lane was ever considered. They said that they had, but they decided against it. Safety and how it might affect federal funding (since it is counted as a port authority asset that they are renting from the city) were the two major reasons given.
The few people who voiced concern about this plan were mostly worried about the loss of parking. One was worried about the accidents that already occur at fifth and Neville and that it could be too dangerous for cyclists. Another individual brought up how cyclists never follow the traffic laws…
The Fifth/Forbes route was not discussed much at this meeting. It sounds like any infrastructure along this route is tied to the BRT planning. They did say that there is a meeting this Wed. at 3pm at the OPTC career center to discuss the 5 BRT transit options. You can see the 2 major ones (the other 3 are a combination of these 2) on the port authority website. One of the plans calls for putting a 5’ bike lane in between the BRT bus lane and a lane of traffic. That seems pretty dangerous to me. Hopefully the Pittsburgh bike coordinator is talking to the port authority about the pros/cons of those options.


Benzo
Participant
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Like the plans for bike lanes on bayard/bigelow/ohare and extending the bikeway on schenly drive. Removing parking is hard, but this makes sense.

Saw some weirdness in the slides (forbes labeled as 5th in parts), showing bouquet st bike lane as new where it already exists and exists where it would be new. Also showing sharrows as existing where new and new where existing on atwood and showing sharrows existing on meyran where none exist now.

I don’t know if this is due to picture quality of slide photos or issues with the slide.


Benzo
Participant
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Ideally, I’d love to see a protected bikeway on forbes to connect uptown and oakland and all the way to at least craig st or Beeler, but I know… BRT.


Mick
Participant
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I missed this. Ugh.

Sems to me that the outbound on O’Hara, instead of having a DZBL, could have sharrows with no big thing. I think that particular “bike lane” is about as useless as you can get.

I hope that when someone complained about bicyclists not following the law that someone mentioned how much cars follow the speed limit and stop for stop signs.


Benzo
Participant
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If they put in the bike lane on ohara/bigelow/bayard. I would guess they should remove the rush hour parking restriction, because it wouldn’t make sense anymore so that really means more useful parking here.

Currently I don’t have a lot of issues with riding home from oakland since there is a generous amount of space due to cars not parking there during rush hour (but enforcement is spotty and some days there may be 10 people parked along that stretch when parking is not allowed, as well as people parked in front of Ryan Catholic Newman Center)


jonawebb
Participant
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@mick, yeah, it would definitely be better to put sharrows on the outbound (downhill) side of O’Hara and use the saved space to make the inbound (uphill) lane parking-protected. A much safer, more logical design.


Ahlir
Participant
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The plans for connecting the Schenley drive bike lane to the O’hara, Bigelow, Bayard bike lane are still pretty open.

I use Bigelow regularly to get from Schenley Plaza and Bayard (and the other way as well); it’s quite manageable. Better signage and markings could be enough.

As a more exotic alternative, Dithridge is lightly traveled and could be the Schenley/Forbes connector to Bayard. Signaling and markings at the Bellefield/ Forbes/ Dithridge intersection could be reworked to allow for a bike lane (well, definitely outbound).


Jason-PGH
Member
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In my opinion, there is plenty of space on Bayard as well as O’Hara and Bigelow to install protected bike lanes on either side, with the reconfiguration of some intersections. If the parking is already being removed, it makes the most sense to make those lanes protected. This will be a better draw to get bikers off of Forbes and Fifth, and onto those roads.


ericf
Participant
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Just saw bike lanes being installed on Bigelow, between Fifth and O’Hara St.


Benzo
Participant
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Now there are new bike lanes on both sides of the street installed between ohara st and fifth ave and forbes and schenly drive. Nothing betweeen fifth ave and forbes ave at the moment. However, this seems to be changing every time I get on my bike.

I’ve got mixed feelings about the new setup. Still getting a feeling for it. However, they had nice touches using green paint where turning traffic has to cross the bike lane.


Benzo
Participant
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I’m a bit less enthusiastic about the bigelow blvd bike lanes between 5th and ohara on the downhill side. I used to ride in the leftmost lane to go straight through the 5th/bigelow intersection while cars entering the garage and turning right stayed in the right lane, now I have cars attempting to make a right turn in front of me to enter the parking garage, car doors opening in to the bike lane, and cars merging right across the bike lane in to the right turn lane.

Probably going to stick to the traffic lane on this section. Would have preferred sharrows on the downhill side here.

It seems to work pretty well though on the section from forbes to Schenly drive though. Less issues with cars turning right across the bike lane here.


Ahlir
Participant
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@ Benzo: I think it’s fine. I haven’t had problems. You can always ride right next to the line between the bike and car lanes to stay away from the doors (and the cars should be able to handle that).

My reading of the green stripes is that bikes have priority, so cars should not stand there, and also give you right of way. Well, you know, theory.

Now I’m really wanting those lanes on Bigelow/Bayard…


paulheckbert
Moderator
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In the PAT Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Scoping Booklet that @romo cited, the bike lane placement in the “Fifth/Forbes Concurrent Lanes” option is unacceptable: there is insufficient space for cars to pass cyclists while obeying Pennsylvania’s four foot law! (Go to http://www.portauthority.org/paac/CompanyInfoProjects/TransitProjectPlanning.aspx and click on the “Scoping Document” link)

Designing bike lanes with insufficient space like this is an invitation for car & bus drivers to flout that law, and it’s a dangerous design for cyclists.

The diagram shows a 12 foot lane for buses, next to a 5 foot lane for bicycles, next to an 11 foot lane for cars.

Typical vehicle widths (with mirrors, in feet):
bus: 8.5
large pickup truck (Ford F150): 8.0
sedan: 6.0
bicycle: 2.5

A bus driving in the center of a 12 foot lane has (12-8.5)/2=1.75 feet of space on each side.
A large pickup truck in the center of an 11 foot lane has (11-8)/2=1.5 feet of space on each side.
A bicycle in the center of a 5 foot lane has (5-2.5)/2=1.25 feet of space on each side.

So if you’re biking along in the 5 foot bike lane and a bus approaches in the bus lane on your left at the same time that a pickup truck passes you in the car lane on your right, there will be 1.75+1.25=3 feet of space between the bus and your left handlebar and 1.25+1.5=2.75 feet of space between your right handlebar and the pickup truck’s left mirror.

Both the bus driver and the pickup truck driver will be breaking the law if they stay in the center of their lanes and pass you. Even a 6 foot wide sedan could not legally pass a centered cyclist while staying in the center of its lane!

This design is unacceptable, as it appears to ignore the Pennsylvania driver laws.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

These designs always look so much better on paper.

Nobody wants to tackle the real solution:
* Get rid of all on-street parking in Oakland
* Get rid of through traffic on Forbes, except for buses and bikes
* Drop the speed limit to 20 mph; timed 25 mph lights is great for cars but a PITA for cyclists
* Actually enforce the existing speed limit and aggressive driving

Nobody wants to come right out and say it, but if you’re driving a car in Oakland, particularly on a daily basis, you should not be.


J Z
Participant
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My schedule isn’t going to permit me to attend tonight’s meeting, I think this one is important, though. If someone is able to make it, would you mind reporting back?

Oakland Bike Infrastructure Public Meeting
Thursday July 30, 2015 6:30pm

July 30: Show Your Support for Oakland Bike Projects at the City’s Public Meeting

Oakland Bike Infrastructure Public Meeting
Thursday July 30, 2015 6:30pm
Oakland Career Center, 294 Semple St, Pittsburgh, PA


chrishent
Member
#

How did the meeting go? I’ve seen a bunch of articles about it, but I’m sure none of them portray what actually went on during the meeting.

Also, BikePGH tweeted a photo of the presentation showing a “Bicycling Heatmap” of the area. I’m certain that this was a snapshot of the Strava heatmaps (http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#12/-79.98050/40.43140/blue/bike) for Pittsburgh.

I’m wondering if the City simply used this free map, which doesn’t really give you any information other relative data point density, or if they are using the more in-depth and, I assume, paid service from Strava called Metro (http://metro.strava.com/). It’d be awesome if they are using the latter


Benzo
Participant
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It was a pretty positive meeting overall. The audience appeared to be mostly local residents and bicycle commuters

The biggest points of concern were from people in community with physical disabilities who wanted to ensure that appropriate drop off points were preserved so that they would still be able to safely get picked up and dropped off by access and personal vehicles with minimal distance to homes and businesses.

Several cyclists were concerned that the plan didn’t go so far as to affect 5th/Forbes corridor, but it was said that this will be addressed as the planning for BRT progresses and decides on a final routing for the BRT.

For the most part, I think the biggest impact areas are 1 – extending the Schenly drive bikeway a single block to connect with Bigelow blvd to make it easier to connect to and from the bikeway through Schenley park and the connection from Bigelow / Ohara st to Neville and Bayard which is a large commuter route.

The Bayard/Bigelow/Ohara street reconfiguration will remove some parking along this stretch, focusing on the north side of the street, rush hour parking restrictions on remaining parking will be removed, they will remove a lane of traffic, add left turn lanes at major intersections (but not all the minor ones). This creates a door zone bike lane on the south side, but the north side will not be in the door zone.

Bike boxes are planned for left turning at bayard and craig, but not at bigelow and ohara.

They really didn’t talk about the strava map, but I did see it on the first slide and recognized it immediately.


chrishent
Member
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The PG posted the meeting’s presentation:

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2187339-oakland-bicycle-network-presentation.html#document/p1

I like the “O’ Big Bay” designation for the project (pg. 16)


Marko82
Participant
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J Z
Participant
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thanks @benzo for the report.

sounds like local media, for clickbait or whatever reason is attempting to drum up more controversy than there is in reality.

I would expect that the majority of people in attendance would be in support and it is a strange position to be in, to be attempting to plan additional infrastructure (around) the Fifth/Forbes corridor due to the BRT and not knowing how that will shake out.

concerns about accessibility should be on the city’s radar.


jonawebb
Participant
#

I think the first or second issue the city should address is connecting Pitt and CMU via Forbes. I don’t quite get why the BRT plays such a big role in delaying any decision there; it seems like an excuse. It could be 20 years before the BRT is built, if ever. And when it is built, it will be a relatively simple thing to reconfigure whatever bike infrastructure exists on Forbes.
In the meantime, the most direct, obvious way to go to Oakland from CMU is via Forbes. And there are lots of suburban students who arrive at CMU thinking they should be able to bike here, since they did at home. And all they encounter on Forbes is danger.
Forbes is a four-lane road with space for parking; surely there is enough space there to allocate some for a safe way to bike between two universities.


chrishent
Member
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@jz, nothing like some paint and signage to get people all fired up!

I like the idea of the bike boxes, but I’m not overly optimistic on if they’ll be respected, what with drivers constantly going beyond those “Stop here on RED” signs at traffic lights, or stopping in the middle of crosswalks, etc. At least initially, the boxes will be mostly ignored. For example, see the bike box at the Convention Center at 10th and Penn. Nobody cares that it’s there. Granted, this is a fairly poor implementation of this feature (no bike lane leading up to it) but shows the seemingly widespread disregard for such signage.

Hopefully, time will prove me wrong


Benzo
Participant
#

Bayard / Bigelow Ohare Bike lanes!


Benzo
Participant
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Super express ride from neville to bigelow @ ohara street. Traffic backed up a bit, so it was very difficult to make a left on to bigelow which I would typically do. I think we need a bike box at that intersection to skip the traffic queue.

Drivers parked in the bike lane along most of Ohara street, but I figure it’s going to take a few days to adjust (and more no parking signage and removal of parking pay stations).


Marko82
Participant
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Ugh, no buffer stripes. Can we at least get some 4-foot-to-pass signs.


chrishent
Member
#

^right on cue, BikePGH posts a video of the bike lanes with a driver going on the white line:

New bike lanes on Bayard/O'Hara in Oakland. Stay tuned for more Oakland bike lanes coming in the next few days.

A video posted by Bike Pittsburgh (@bikepgh) on


buffalo buffalo
Participant
#

Also watched two drivers at Craig nearly cause collisions because they went straight from what’s now an outbound left-turn lane (but was formerly a left-or-straight lane), then merged into through traffic from the other lane…

i thought i remembered there being buffers in the plan for at least part of it, but there certainly didn’t seem to be room left for any in the paint.

also looking forward to the bike box planned at Craig, as the only reason I was able to get over to make the left was because everyone next to me was stopping for the car parked in the bike lane just before the signal…


stefb
Participant
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Yes, how are we going to make sure cars stay out of these bike lanes? A friend posted photos of several cars driving in the bike lane today..


ericf
Participant
#

Hopefully after the striping is complete, it won’t be so confusing. When I came through there today, some of yesterday’s lines had been removed. It is still very much in flux, hopefully it won’t take too long for them to iron things out.

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