The single largest obstacle to doing anything here is convincing PennDOT to reduce traffic flow significantly, in any manner. Traffic circle, bump-outs, single lane each way, 25 mph, whatever. None of it is going to happen if PennDOT insists on maintaining traffic flow.
This is really the same argument as on West Carson. Dinosaur era thinking, based on some agreed-upon standard of how stuff has to be done, as defined in a different age.
I almost found myself repeating the rage I felt from a couple weeks ago about the Mon-Fayette thing, whose approvals date to processes and traffic counts from the early 1980s with projections to what they thought traffic demand would be, 15 years out.
Correction: The second “Hamilton” in my post above should have been “(S/N) Homestead”.
Mead is not that wide and it’s currently a ~quiet residential street. Putting bikes on it would crowd it for everyone. Thomas is quite wide and is better able to accommodate multiple modes. Once you get to Dallas (going west) there’s no compelling reason to continue on to 5th. Up to Reynolds will get you to points Shadyside and Oakland, down to Homewood will get you to East Liberty, Highland Pk., etc.
Yes, it’s a detour. Are you in that much of a hurry? Pedal faster.
Meade to Lexington is not trafficky and striping could start at Brushton and even Trenton (for that matter Trenton-South Ave make for a decent continuation into Wilkinsburg). Current low traffic on Meade means it could be one-wayed between Lexington and Brushton to make more room for bike lanes.
These are (to me) low-impact solutions that can be put into place with minimal infrastructure changes. Why not just do it?
Irrespective of any of the above, traffic laws on Penn are not being enforced. This has to be fixed. Now. Why is the city denying itself this guaranteed income stream? Why does it find it acceptable to risk killing more, and more, cyclists?
The more I think about it, the more careful I would be about doing something [edit; on Penn] that might motivate shortcutting drivers over onto Thomas, without also doing something on Thomas that would constrain that.
You would think Penndot would want to do something to reduce drivers killing other drivers, apart from cyclists and pedestrians. It’s as though they have some number of traffic fatalities in mind that is somehow inevitable and beyond which they have no control.
The thing that I don’t get is that Penn Avenue is, for the most part, a two lane road. In Garfield, Bloomfield, East Liberty and in Wilkinsburg it is two lanes and it only opens up around Bakery Square through Point Breeze to the Railroad Bridge in Wilkinsburg. I think that a HUGE part of the congestion on Penn is from drivers having to allow people to merge when it returns to one lane. I think that if everyone was in a straight line, waiting their turn, with turn lanes at intersections, you wouldn’t see much of a difference in traffic flow. Penn and 5th is a horrible intersection and I almost got killed by a reckless driver last week coming off of the bike trail across from Bakery Square.