Liberty Avenue thread
The project to redo Liberty Avenue through the Strip needs its own thread.
[copied from buffalo^2’s post on the Local Stories thread]
“Pittsburgh’s Penn Avenue isn’t the only major street scheduled for a face-lift in 2019.
“The city is planning to reduce four-lane Liberty Avenue from 12th Street to 34th Street in the Strip District to three lanes with a turning lane in the middle, plus make improvements to traffic signals, crosswalks and sidewalks….City officials said that section of street is too narrow for four lanes and unsafe for pedestrians to cross. The city has no plans for a bike lane on the street.”
Great news- I can’t believe they are actually changing this. I don’t blame them for leaving out a bike lane if the eventual plan is to extend Penn Ave’s up further from 16th Street. Does anyone know if that is indeed the eventual plan?
I like this in concept and actually think it will allow traffic to move more efficiently/safely since the turning lane will eliminate the need for cars to constantly switch lanes. However, a family member brought up the issue of busses stopping to pickup/drop off passengers -especially outbound. Will cars be allowed to “pass” in the turning lane (unlikely) or are they going to have sidewalk cut-outs for the busses to pull into? There’s lots of road width to work with here, so hopefully they they can figure out how to make this work.
Will this treatment make it safer for cyclists to take Liberty Ave. Eastbound instead of Smallman St. which is laced with stop signs? Also, Why does Morningside Ave. have a traffic light where it intersects Greenwood St. while there are stop signs at nearly every intersection prior to that?
Hopefully they will clean up that giant ditch full of sewer grates / potholes / patches by the car wash / overpass. I won’t even drive my car over that. I guess if it’s only one lane there should be enough room for cyclists to ride on the shoulder. With the telephone poles and trainbridge support pinching the right lane, I never ride my bike on that section of Liberty as it stands. It would be ideal if I could just continue up Penn past 16th though.
Penn is pretty narrow and very congested in the heart of the strip. Would be too much outcry if they removed parking from the left side of the street. Plus, pedestrians would use the cycle track as a sidewalk during very busy times in the strip.I don’t see the cycle track being extended up Penn.
I could see a well defined connection between the bikeway on penn and strip trail @ 15th street (if it were not for the cobbles by lydias) and a more organized smallman though the produce terminal area.
As for liberty. I welcome the turning lanes. I’m sketched out driving on that stretch, mostly because I don’t trust the phone zombies, land yacht captains, and truck drivers to not cross the white lines on the narrow lanes and force me into the curb or a telephone pole. I would also like to feel a bit safer connecting from Liberty ave bike lanes down to 32nd or 31st street (to access penn/smallman) to go from bloomfield to the strip or the reverse.
- This reply was modified 3 years ago by Benzo.
I do not understand why you are more critical of the door zone bike lanes on Liberty Ave. than those on Beechwood Blvd. and Bigelow Blvd. Also, doesn’t the 55 MPH speed limit apply since the last sign on Liberty Ave. is across from 4053 Liberty Ave? The speed limit wood take effect 1/2 mile from the sign which puts you at the intersection with Mathilda St. since speed limit signs are to be placed at most 1/2 mile apart.
That’s an interesting point about speed limits. Title 75 section 3362 does indeed seem to say that if a road lacks speed limit signs every 1/2 mile, then its speed limit is 55 mph, even if (being in an urban district) the limit there is supposed to default to 35.
However, using Streetview on Liberty Avenue inbound from 40th Street, I spotted speed limit signs every few blocks. Which specific stretch are you talking about (inbound or outbound from 4053) that lacks all speed limit signs? Heading which direction? If there is such a stretch, I think it should be 311’d.
@zz, I think people object to the DZBL on East Liberty more because they are more recent. BikePgh was trying to get the city to put the lane in a better location when they were first built. The one on Beechwood was made a long time ago.
Outbound, From #4053. There are no speed limit signs in either direction east of Main St./Bloomfield Bridge.
Also, relating to speed limits, Why is there so much speeding on Forbes Ave. and 5th Ave.? The traffic lights are timed such that if you are traveling at the speed limit, you will not have to stop once passing the light at Bellefield Ave. I also think a RRFB or HAWK crosswalk should be installed halfway between Bouquet St. and Bigelow Blvd. on Forbes Ave. as I was once run off the road near there trying to get from Bouquet St. to the 7-11 store.
Good catch! I just 311’d the issue myself, but it wouldn’t hurt if they got more than one request.
I don’t think PennDOT has authorized HAWK signals yet.
FWIW, there are hawk signals at the ramps leading up to 40th street bridge from millvale. That’s a penndot road I think. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t violate policies, but they are there.
@zz – I also think that between S. Bouquet and Bigelow, they built a pedestrian sky-bridge as a substitute for a standard crossing. I can’t think they would ever put in a redundant crossing there unless given a really compelling reason.
Though, I never use it, and it doesn’t make sense for crossing the street. There are very few reasons why I wouldn’t just cross at Bigelow (if coming from east / schenley) or bouquet (coming from west or south).
The Pitt skywalk is a bit out of the way for crossing the street, but it works remarkably well for connecting several buildings without realizing you’re crossing a street. On a non-winter day, you may not realize you’re outside.
they are planning on putting an official pedestrian crossing on Forbes at the overpass.
It will be timed with the light on Bouquet.
@zz – Thanks, got it. I understand the difference now after a google.
The Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacon (RRFB) – which is also activated by pedestrians, but has blinkers on signs, not overhead. Seen on Millvale to 40th st.
The High intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) – not flashing, but which uses 2 red lights stacked over 1 yellow light, in an inverted pyramid shape, overhead to signal when cars should stop for pedestrians. Typically paired with pedestrian walk / don’t walk signals.
Is the S. braddock @ biddle crossing considered a HAWK, RRFB, or other?
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Benzo.
the one at the skywalk will just be a standard traffic light, from what i understand
Cool. Didn’t realize about the new crossing under the ped overpass. I can see that being useful more now considering the bus stop there and the well timed light cycles through bigelow.
So, the traffic light under the foot bridge will turn green a few seconds after the light at Bouquet St. turns green. Is that the way it will work?
i don’t know the total logistics. i suppose another way to think about it, from what i was told, is that the ped bridge light will be red (OK to cross as ped) when the light on Bouquet is green. So if you turn from Bouquet, you will get that red light. I don’t know if the ped signal will be automatic, or if you will have to press a beg button
Following up on the missing speed limit signs that zzwergel noticed in September, I just got a response to my 311 request to install the missing signs.
A work order has been issued for 25 MPH Speed Limit signs
The service request ID#: 186019 that you filed on 9/11/2017 7:40 PM has been closed by brandc
Hopefully they’ll be installed before too long.
@steven, I noticed the “Begin 35 MPH” sign just west of the Bloomfield Bridge. To be honest, Bike lanes are not needed on Liberty Ave. between Main St., and Baum Blvd. A climbing lane would make sense from 32nd St. to Pearl St. and sharrows to Centre Ave. There should also be sharrows in the outer lanes from 28th St. to 32nd St. and in the outer eastbound lane starting at Grant St.
That part of Liberty should be 25. Lose the goddamned DZBL on the downhill side, and put in a climbing lane, with door-opening buffer, on the uphill side. Narrow the lanes to 10 feet. Add BMUFL signs, at least westbound.
@stu, I agree.
Shouldn’t they get rid of the DZBL on Schenley Dr./Bigelow Blvd. as well. I know the one on Forbes Ave. is temporary. It scares the living $#!T out of me descending Liberty Ave. in Lawernceville. I can easily speed up to over 28 MPH going down that hill so there is no need to use the DZBL, but I get horns if I don’t. Why doesn’t even Panther Hollow Rd. give me this kind of trouble?
- This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by zzwergel.
One of the members on our Northside Bike/Ped Committee crashed going downhill on Liberty after hitting a patch of black ice.
Separation from traffic is all that saved his life.
That is an argument to remove on-street parking. Which I would support heartily. That, and a 25 mph speed limit. And enforcement.
But a DZBL is a disaster waiting to happen. The downhill lane should be removed. I cannot understand why anyone advocates for them. This or any other.
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