Local news stories & LTE 2016
PennDOT bike map website released: http://www.post-gazette.com/life/recreation/2016/05/16/PennDOT-releases-interactive-map-to-enhance-bicycling-experience-in-Pa/stories/201605160135
I think it’s kind of useful.
Pittsburgh is applying for a $50 million federal ‘Smart Cities Challenge’ transportation grant; Peduto announced today that PennDOT will contribute an additional $11 million if the City gets the grant.
It’s really nice that some of our local police are teaching children about bicycle safety. I really think they mean well, but what’s wrong with this picture?
“Mechanics took the time to check the operation of the bikes after a long winter in storage.”
Looks like they missed one…
Pennsylvania close to requiring ignition locks for first-time drunken drivers
It might be a good idea to contact your legislator to urge them to support this bill. Because there are “motorist’s rights” organizations out there on the other side of this — believe it or not.
If convenient, if posting a post-gazette link, could we copy some of the salient pieces of the article into the post–since PG limits free access…and mucking with my browser setting…
“After being pushed for years by advocates, legislation to require some first-time drunk drivers in Pennsylvania to use ignition interlock devices is inching toward becoming law.
“The House on Monday voted 193-2 to approve a bill that would force the use of ignition interlocks by first-time offenders whose blood-alcohol concentration was at least 0.10. After returning to the Senate, which unanimously approved an earlier version, the bill would head to Gov. Tom Wolf, who supports it, according to a spokesman.
“Connected to the steering wheel or ignition, such devices require drivers to blow into a tube and prevent their car from starting if it detects an unacceptable blood-alcohol level.
“Current law defines intoxicated drivers as those with an 0.08 blood-alcohol level. It also only requires ignition interlocks after a second DUI conviction in Pennsylvania.
“Advocates say the devices allow offenders to keep a job and meet other responsibilities while also preventing them from drinking and driving.
“Between Oct. 1, 2003, and Dec. 1, 2015, ignition interlocks stopped more than 78,000 instances of drunk driving in Pennsylvania, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
“The group has pushed since at least 2008 for Pennsylvania to require anyone convicted of drunken driving to use an ignition interlock device.
“‘The proposal allows these offenders to be part of society, drive wherever they want to, but in a safe and sober way,’ said Frank Harris, director of state government affairs for MADD.
“Twenty-five states require ignition interlock for anyone convicted of drunken driving, and two more states have sent bills to enact that requirement to their governors, he said. Deaths from drunken-driving crashes have dropped dramatically in states that require ignition interlock for all offenders, according to MADD.
“Chris Demko, a Lancaster County resident whose 18-year-old daughter, Meredith, was killed by a drunk driver in 2014, is among the grieving parents who advocated for the bill.
“Days after the crash that killed his daughter, Mr. Demko and his wife wrote a letter to their local newspaper to thank the community for its support and to ask for help in passing legislation such as an ignition interlock requirement.
“‘There’s no greater pain than losing a child,’ Mr. Demko said in an interview Monday. ‘We don’t want to see it happen to anybody else.’
“Statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation show 10,288 collisions statewide involving drinking drivers in 2015.”
BTW: “The proposal allows these offenders to be part of society, drive wherever they want to, but in a safe and sober way.” — there’s no justification for taking away a person’s membership in society, i.e., right to drive, just because they got caught driving drunk. What kind of hellish society would we be if we didn’t let every adult participate by driving?
GOVERNOR WOLF ANNOUNCES EIGHTEEN MUNICIPALITIES TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC SAFETY WITH RED LIGHT ENFORCEMENT FUNDS
“Allegheny County: City of Pittsburgh – $295,000 to replace the existing traffic signal at the intersection of Centre Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard and to install ADA curb ramps and curb extensions.”
That’ll be interesting. The worst part of that intersection is the visibility, but it’s not because of parking at the corners … Bigelow drops so dramatically south of there, it’s nearly impossible to see what’s coming up it from the other three sides. The oblique angles don’t help, either.
Maybe with the new signal they can adjust the phasing so drivers aren’t driving at traffic they can’t see simultaneously….
Just as a reference point on this Bike to Work Day:
TRAFFIC ALERT: Drive Times almost an HOUR Inbound Pkwy East due to Serious Crash near Oakland…
WESA story on Bike to Work day
Some businesses eagerly awaiting this Sunday’s OpenStreetsPGH, others not so much, via the Trib:
KDKA: “With new bike lanes everywhere, it was inevitable this event was coming to Pittsburgh: the Underwear Bike Ride.”
Don’t know where Delano’s been, this is at least the fourth year of the underwear ride, if memory serves…
Solar Impulse 2 will be over southern Pittsburgh at 10:30 local (14:30UTC)!. This is a solar-powered plane that is flying around the world.
They made a U-turn and took some pics of our town.
— Bertrand PICCARD (@bertrandpiccard) May 25, 2016
I looked for the plane from out on the balcony, but couldn’t see it without binoculars.
(Covestro, the new name/company for the former material sciences group at Bayer which split off from the company after Bayer decided to focus on life sciences….FYI #CoatingIndustryNerdness)
OTB made GearJunkies list of top US bike cafes
Positive story on this month’s underwear ride (with video)
Underwear Bike Ride Aims To Make City More Bicycle-Friendly, Create Positive Body Image
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh is a bike-friendly town.
And, on Thursday night, some local cyclists were showing some biking love and a whole lot more.
It’s no big deal to see bicyclists in Pittsburgh, but this ride was definitely a head turner.
The Underwear Bike Ride dared hundreds of cyclists to almost bare it all as they made their way from Lawrenceville, to Market Square to the North Side.
“It’s always an amazing time and a way to feel good about myself,” said one participant.
It’s all about having fun, encouraging positive body image and bringing positive attention to Pittsburgh as a bike-friendly city.
“There’s always so much more awareness, and lanes, and city bikes and big strides for bicycles in Pittsburgh,” said another rider.
The Underwear Bike Ride is a monthly ride, starting now and running through October.
Story about green development along Allegheny river
Jay Sukernek, Riverlife’s chief financial officer, said the Army Corps of Engineers issued a draft report recommending the removal of high flood walls between the stadium and bridge and restoration of the riverbank to a natural, gradual slope.
Bike lanes and a road diet in South Park
From the WPXI traffic Twitter:
“Bicyclist Struck Open Car Door in Schenley Park. Avoid Area North/Northwest of Phipps..”
What a bizarre way to express that someone in a car struck a bicyclist by opening the door.
I mean, I assuming this was NOT a case of the car door sitting opened for while before the cyclist hit it. Which is possible but unlikely, indeed.
Good phrasing, that.
“Child on tricycle struck car bumper.”
“Bystander threw self in path of bullet.”
“Protester smashes baton with head.”
Someone on twitter who claims to be a friend of the cyclist, claims that a car turned in to the cyclists path, and that the cyclist is fine.
@WPXITraffic That's not what happened. Don't report false info, a car turned in front of him. He's totally fine and people are overreacting.
— Zhaleh Marie (@zhaleh_marie) June 1, 2016
On the Corps of Engineers plan to restore the North Shore, reconstructing the wetland, which is here: http://www.lrp.usace.army.mil/Portals/72/docs/ProjectReviewPlans/N%20Shore%20Riverfront%20DPR%20MSC%20Approved%20for%20Release.pdf?ver=2016-05-24-161651-743
They are inviting comment. There is a lot of interesting info in the PDF on the North Shore. It looks like they are planning to keep the trails but make them “soft.”
Oh, I’m very concerned about ‘soft’ trails here.
Look how much more useful the north shore trail between 40th and stadiums became after the trail became tar/chip and got rid of the puddly mess that preceded it. Try riding on the GAP in march during the freeze thaw cycles, it’s not a positive experience.
For the amount of year round traffic this trail receives, and it’s use as a needed TRANSPORTATION connection, not just recreation space, it deserves to remain paved (though porous paving materials could be an option?)
I didn’t read enough of the PDF to find out exactly what they mean by this. But this is exactly the sort of thing that should get sent to them during the public comment period.
In the ACOE document, it’s curious that they never define “soft trail”. The first mention is where they say the recommended plan would involve “removing invasive species, re-grading existing high riverbanks to more natural banks that will restore a portion of the riparian corridor, and construction of compatible recreation features including interpretive signs and soft trails.”
Later they speak of “river access via soft trail systems that stem from the main trail”. My guess is that “soft” is a euphemism for “dirt”, and “soft trail systems that stem from the main trail” means dirt spur off the asphalt Chateau trail, leading to the water.
These ACOE people need a lesson in how to write clearly with minimal jargon and acronyms (MJAA).
Neither that 69 page ACOE document nor the PG article gave it, but the link for comment on this North Shore landscaping project is: http://www.riverlifepgh.org/blog/army_corps_study_recommends_north_shore_ecosystem_restoration/
PAT is putting up schedules & kiosks:
via reddit and the Trib: AC DPW installing new traffic signals at the south end of the Rankin Bridge (at Eighth/River/whatever 837 is called there).
Hays Woods property to be “donated”, set to become the City’s largest park:
If Hays becomes a park, I really hope the city makes a decent bike/ped route to get to it from the other side of the river.
Can’t wait to see the grand opening of the “Hays Park”. I hope this will make Pittsburgh known as the “City of Parks” instead of “City of Rivers (and Traffic Jam)”. Now if they can install bicycle infrastructures connecting nearby bike trails and neighborhoods, such as Hazelwood and the future Almono, it would be perfect!
Hays Woods would be awesome if connected to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail system. It isn’t far from the hot metal bridge so it would be accessible to a ton of people via bike if connected to the the river trail.
Similarly, a connection to the Glenwood bridge and then connecting that bridge to the duck hollow trail would open up a world of possibilities.
^I’m selfish. I would like to see a rail crossing at Becks run road with a trail connecting Hays Woods via Susquehanna street. Then we could widen the sidewalk along becks run to become a bi-directional multi-use trail into the South Hills.
Widening the sidewalk right now is a nonstarter because there is no safe way to use East Carson street at this point, and the cost of bridging the RR tracks is way too expensive.
But now that there is going to be a city park (BIGGER than Frick) this connection might make sense to more people, and would have the additional benefit of bringing people to the park while not adding car traffic.
How about showing some love for us SouthHillers.
As I’ve too often said, spend the proper amount of money to do the right thing. A big honking bridge over the RR tracks — hell, extend the same bridge over Carson itself — to take people straight from trail to park, would be well received now and thought indispensable in the future.
You should not have to take your life into your hands to cross a deadly road or an illegal rail crossing just to get to a park.
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