Opportunity for Input – Pocusset Street in Schenley Park

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andyc
Member
#

I’ve ridden it plenty of times while “closed.” I guess we can’t have our little (somewhat) secret personal streets forever.

Now if there was just a path up from Saline. With the bike lanes on Wightman, that would link south Sq Hill straight to downtown.


byogman
Member
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This is basically what is likely a better functioning (due to visual cues) multi-use path.

I like “Motor free street”. It’s descriptive, has a positive vibe in the words, and projects the idea forward, that there could be two types of streets generally…


WillB
Participant
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How about “bike preserve”, like a nature preserve, but it’s also preserving the the road by eliminating cars


sarapgh2
Participant
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I’m so trying this out this afternoon!


erok
Keymaster
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On the Pocusset Street Preserve, one can see the rare urban creature, “the bicyclist” in its natural habitat.


rice rocket
Participant
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WillB wrote:How about “bike preserve”, like a nature preserve, but it’s also preserving the the road by eliminating cars

So asphalt preserve?


edmonds59
Participant
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“Road nouveau”.


Benzo
Participant
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So when do we get really hard to see (at dusk / night) bollards and gates installed?


erok
Keymaster
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They are apparently going to install the reflective candlesticks, which depending on how it’s done, may not keep everyone out. I’m not sure of the final design, but they really do want to prevent the random a-hole from driving on it.

Also, that area is lit at night with overhead street lights.


erok
Keymaster
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We’re thinking:

“Road Shift”

kinda a play on “Mode Shift”


Marko82
Participant
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@erock, buffalo2 is correct. Boundary street was not just on paper, it used to be open to cars all the way through to the run. It was a family favorite shortcut from 5th ave to 2nd ave. when I was a kid. They then closed the road completely for a decade or two and a scrap yard sprung up in the area that is now the soccer field. The Junction Hollow Trail is right where the old road used to be, and if you look past the weeds on your left (heading toward Oakland) you can still see some of the pavement.

It’s not as cool as making a bike-only street immediately after closing it to cars, but it was a car road converted to a bike trail.

And I think the new term to be used for streets like Pocusset is —Progress!


jonawebb
Participant
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We should come up with a name for the disused road / trail that runs up to Prospect.


erok
Keymaster
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Well, i’m using the term “paper street” in a sense that it was officially taken off the transportation system, not just only existing on paper. There’s several streets at the end of my old street in the Hill where they put jersey barriers up and just let the weeds grow. the pavement is still there, but it’s now a “paper street” that they city still owns. Boundary was probably the same thing, but only after they figured out another use for it was it daylighted.


erok
Keymaster
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maybe paper street is the wrong term


Marko82
Participant
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t?-m?-t? – t?-mä-t?

Whatever you call it, the street is ours!

Edit: It worked in the input box. Grrrrr…


Ahlir
Participant
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I just looked up that stretch of Pocusset on the G -Map: It’s no longer marked as a street! Wow, that was fast.

I remember the road from Pocusset to Prospect from way back when. I would always climb it on my way home from wherever (I then lived in that part of town). Then they closed it. The last time I rode it (a couple of years ago) it had pretty much all but disappeared (and that log across the road was already there). I makes perfect sense to open it up again and make it bike/pedestrian only. It naturally continues the new Pocusset trail into Schenley Park, and maybe gets the bikes off Greenfield Rd.

I hope that the BikePgh is on the case.

Way back when Boundary past Panther Hollow was a gravel road that connected Oakland to the neighborhood under the Parkway. The only thing I seem to remember about it is this one house that had a bunch of vicious dogs chained up in front, barking and straining at their chains as you rode by.


Pseudacris
Participant
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Parkway
Busway

Bikeway!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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How big is that downed tree? How many of us would it take to just pick it up and turn it parallel to the path of travel?


Swalfoort
Participant
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It’s pretty clear that the road/trail in question (between Pocusset and Prospect) is in Schenley Park.

Perhaps a City resident should 3-1-1 a request that it be cleared.

Perhaps this could be taken to Peduto for his consideration in the longer term.

It looks like a great connection to what will be a great BikeStreet – Pocusset.


jonawebb
Participant
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It’s not big at all. I don’t know how hard it would be to move, though, without cutting it first. It would be easy to fix with a chainsaw, and I’ll do it as soon as I get access to my friend’s. But if someone has a chainsaw or even a regular handsaw and is willing to take the time it would be easy to do.


cowchip
Member
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maybe i can help , Is the tree on Pocusset street> need directions


jonawebb
Participant
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@cowchip, here’s a map with the entrances to the abandoned street marked: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=z7mlisqRC7Vg.kuNrCRsa8H4Y
We’re talking about the abandoned street that runs uphill from Pocusset to Prospect. Both entrances are marked by guardrails, which are easy to bike around.
I also made a video of a ride on the street:

You can see the trees there.


steevo
Participant
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The term that I have always used is “ghost road”… not ever are they
actually re purposed but like “dellenbaugh” out in east deer is kept
up by locals and used as a walking trail, even though it is just officially
closed. Topographically very similar to Pocusset….

In regards to the video Jona posted… Make a lot of noise if you are
going up there… In case you dont know, this area is very very very
well known for public gay sex.

Also, I feel that the area to the left of that old road would be a perfect
place for a pump track.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Three trees. The first looks like it will require a saw. The second, if we get two or three people on it, I think can be rotated out of the way without a saw. The third is more a hanging obstruction that can be avoided, but would be better to be cut out of the way so someone doesn’t plow into it at night. A couple of person-hours of work on the trees. Eliminating the brush alongside will be a much larger job.

As to the local two-legged fauna having fun, of whatever gender, … meh … if they’re bothering with each other, they’re not bothering me. Live and let live. If we’re bothering them, they’ll move farther back off the trail.


nothlit
Member
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The abandoned road connecting Pocusset Street to Prospect Drive appears to be known by the city as “Pocussett Drive” (yes, two t’s) according to this topographical map:

http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/cp/maps/topo/2010/TopoColor_054.pdf

I suspect that the original distinction was that the road was intended to bear the “Drive” suffix within Schenley Park and the “Street” suffix for the residential portion outside the park. I’m assuming its original intent was to be a winding, scenic way through the park, similar to Serpentine Drive a little further north. Anyway, I imagine that when the now-overgrown segment from Prospect was closed, the remaining portion still bearing the “Drive” suffix became known as “Street” out of simplicity and/or ignorance.


jonawebb
Participant
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Thanks, @nothlit, good to know.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Awesome! Saves me a trip to the City County Building to research the name! Thanks.


cowchip
Member
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i will try to make it over there as soon as i find time /
thanks for the video


Steven
Participant
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Today’s Roundabout column in the PG has a different take on the situation with the Pocusset Bikeway.

This one slipped by us a while ago but if you were wondering, the Pocusset Street closure at the Greenfield Avenue Bridge in Pittsburgh is indefinite, caused by road stability issues. This is one of those projects that might go forward if the Legislature passes a transportation funding bill.

Hopefully the PG just hasn’t gotten the bikeway memo yet.


byogman
Member
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Based on the public meeting, it’s definitely going to re-open as a bikeway. They couldn’t rule out that they might later close it, sure up the road base to what they’d need to support motor vehicle weight, and change the designation back to roadway.

But it certainly wasn’t put forward as a realistic possibility owing to the cost. That was driven home several times. Also, it would have to go through rounds of public meetings and the overwhelming consensus at the meeting was one in favor of the conversion to a bikeway and general concern about motor vehicle speed and driving habits on Pocusset.

The link to the column seems broken to me, btw, but I wouldn’t be too concerned.


pistat
Participant
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cowchip wrote:i will try to make it over there as soon as i find time /
thanks for the video

If you’re going to be over there sometime soon I could lend a hand and give you that reflective tape. (Just not this weekend.)


Swalfoort
Participant
#

I submitted a request to 311 that the pedestrian/bicycle roadway concept now in place on Pocusset Street be extended to Pocussett Drive, and that the vegetation be cleared.

Here’s the text:

There is an abandoned roadway in Schenley Park that extends from Pocusset Street to Prospect Drive. The name of this roadway was Pocussett Drive at one time.

The surface of this roadway is actually still in very good condition. It is overgrown, and has some fallen trees, but still usable as a pedestrian/bicycle connection.

With the new designation of Pocusset Street as a pedestrian/bicycle roadway, it would be nice to see the City clear some of the vegetation from Pocussett Drive, and create a second pedestrian/bicycle roadway in that location.

Pedestrians and cyclists are currently able to navigate the barriers at the north and south ends of Pocussett Drive, but a small future investment in a more bike friendly barrier design could also be warranted.

I’ll be interested in seeing the City response.


jonawebb
Participant
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Probably you know better than me, but wouldn’t it be good to contact Stephen Patchan and Patrick Hassett on this issue, too?
Oh yeah, and maybe Corey O’Connor.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Jonawebb, yep, I should do that. I’ll do so this evening. I don’t actually know what the story is in the way of a “parks department” in the City. Anyone?


jonawebb
Participant
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Yeah, I’ve sent a message to Corey, too. I’m in his district, of course.


jonawebb
Participant
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Heard back from Corey’s staff — they’re contacting public works. And I talked with Steve Patchan on the Carnegie International bike ride Saturday about this — he said he’d check it out. So maybe something will happen.


Swalfoort
Participant
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I am glad to hear that Corey and Steve are interested.

I got the standard 311 response that they would forward my comment to Public Works.

I’ve not heard anything back from Pat Hassett directly yet, though.


Ahlir
Participant
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Not to be all that negative, but closing the street might simply in anticipation of the bridge rebuilding. The bit I don’t understand as yet is whether there will be room for a bike path past the construction site.

But getting Pocussett re-opened (and assuming that the bridge will incorporate designated bike lanes) will be a major improvement.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Ahlir wrote:Not to be all that negative, but closing the street might simply in anticipation of the bridge rebuilding.

I recall from the public meeting in september that Hassett said there were no plans to reopen pocussett. It’s not just that it can’t handle the level of traffic that was expected while the bridge was out, it can’t really handle any level of heavy-weight traffic. It would require a lot of work to shore up the hillside underneath the road to take any kind of weight, and IIRC DPW doesn’t think it’s worth it.


Ahlir
Participant
#

Post-Gazette headline:
Bicyclists plunge to their death as roadway collapses

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