Improving safety along Penn Ave. in Point breeze

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zzwergel
Member
#

The posted speed limit on Penn Ave from East Liberty Blvd. to Peebles St. is 35 Mph. There are two traffic lanes in each direction which exceeds this speed limit by quite a bit. I think many things can be done to make this road safer because it is passing through a residential neighborhood that possibly has many children playing outdoors as well as bus stops. Here is a list of things that can be done to make this road much safer to all users.

  • Reduce the speed limit to 25 MPH.
  • Widen each sidewalk by 1 Ft. 6 In.
  • Reconfigure lanes. From left to right looking East.
    • Westbound bike lane
    • 2 Ft. buffer zone
    • Westbound car lane
    • Center turning lane
    • Eastbound car lane
    • 2 Ft. buffer zone
    • Bike lane
    • 3 Ft. buffer zone
    •  parking lane (if space permits)
  • Install BMUFL signs near signalized intersections (5th Ave., Dallas Ave., Homewood Ave., and Braddock Ave.)
  • Include exclusive pedestrian interval (Barnes dance) at Negley Ave., Centre Ave., 5th Ave., and Homewood Ave.
  • Include Protected left from Southbound 5th Ave. to Eastbound Penn Ave. and from Eastbound Penn Ave. to Northbound Dallas Ave., Homewood Ave., and Braddock Ave.

Save the Hamilton-Dallas-Thomas-Lexington-Meade route for cyclists who are uncomfortable with Penn Ave. as Penn Ave provides a more direct link between East End neighborhoods and the Eastern suburbs. Penn Ave. also doesn’t have any stop signs!

  • This topic was modified 1 year ago by  zzwergel.
  • This topic was modified 1 year ago by  zzwergel.
  • This topic was modified 1 year ago by  zzwergel.

zzwergel
Member
#

Today, I rode this section on the sidewalk. There are many signs that say “Watch for bicyclists” on them. Should these signs be replaced with BMUFL signs? Also, Why do motorists like to speed so much on that stretch of Penn Ave. given all of those houses that potentially have children in them? Their not going to get to where they are going any faster by speeding and they are endangering the lives of countless people including children and the elderly.

The reason I care is because of the alternatives include:

  • Hamilton Ave. from East Liberty Blvd. to Braddock Ave.
    • Hamilton Ave. has a stop sign at every non-signalized intersection east of Dallas Ave.
    • Some people might not be comfortable going through Homewood.
  • Reynolds St. from Beechwood Blvd. to Homewood Ave., Meade St. to Braddock Ave.
    • Reynolds St. has a very steep hill just after the Point Breeze business district followed by a traffic light at Dallas Ave. as well as many stop signs.
  • Hamilton Ave. to Dallas Ave., Thomas Blvd. to Lexington St., Meade St. to Braddock Ave.
    • Dallas Ave. has a moderately steep hill coming out of Homewood.
    • Some people might not be comfortable going through Homewood.
    • Thomas Blvd. has stop signs at all non-signalized intersections.
  • Penn Ave. sidewalk
    • Sidewalks are narrow with little room to maneuver around pedestrians.
    • Sidewalks may be blocked with parked cars and/or garbage cans.
    • Questionable legality at eastern end of this section.
    • High possibility of right hook, left cross, and T-bone collisions.
    • Uneven sidewalk surface due to tree roots and cracked slabs.

Here is video of Penn Ave. through Point Breeze:


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Z, you place a lot of faith in signs. Don’t. Universally ignored.

What will help is speed cameras. Eventually.


Ornoth
Member
#

Seconded.

In hopes to improve cycling safety, cycling advocates put a great deal of faith in (1) signage, (2) passing new legislation, and (3) the amorphous concept of “education”. In my experience, none of those effectively improve rider and pedestrian safety.

What works, then? Implementing improved accommodative roadway design has measurable effect on user behavior.

And I theorize that actually enforcing the laws currently on the books–with meaningful penalties for violators–would also produce demonstrable behavioral changes. However, cyclists in the US are at a systemic disadvantage in the eyes of police, lawyers, judges, and jurists.

But that’s a much broader topic than your Point Breeze issue, so I’ll shut up. TLDR: I concur with Stu’s more concise opinion.


Eric
Member
#

Where is the legislation at this point re: local police getting radar and laser?  My remembrance was that last year it already passed the PA senate and was waiting to be taken up by the PA House, and that maybe this was the furthest it ever advanced, and that it had to be passed by 12-31-2018 for it not to die like it has all the other previous years. The PA senate bill was sponsored by my State Senator, who lost in the primary, so I’m guessing that since the main supporter is gone it’ll be an uphill climb to get it passed again come 2019.

I’m assuming that since I haven’t heard anything else that it’s in the same situation? I did a quick search on the google and the last news article I saw was from spring 2018.

I’m also assuming that since the R’s are afraid that they will have their asses handed to them and since they control bother chambers of the PA legislature that they certainly won’t take this up in the PA House before election day.

 

Also, where are we with the Speed cameras?  I don’t think they’re legal in PA, right?

I know there’s some red-light camera law that actually was passed that certain cities in PA can use, but I also recall the regulations and backlash being so onerous that maybe no one uses them except for maybe philly?


zzwergel
Member
#

@stu,

What about paint?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Paint: Trivially better than signs, and only when the sun’s out and the street clear of snow, mud, leaves.

Back to politics for a minute. True, I’d give the radar legislation only a small chance of passage this year, and only in a lame-duck session. Don’t hold your breath.

Next year, regardless of who succeeds Senator Vulakovich, we might be OK in the Senate. The man who won the R primary is Jeremy Shafer, who formed the Walk//Bike Ross group that I’m a member of. The D is a woman who bikes. But the bigger concern is flipping House District 28. Emily Skopov has an uphill battle against Mike Turzai, and every race against him usually fails by a 65-35 margin. You can expect his gang to drop a shitton of money if her campaign looks like it has teeth. Turzai, if re-elected, will block any legislation that helps us.


zzwergel
Member
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Why are signs ignored? Ignoring signs is breaking the law and could have serious consequences which sould include jail time.


zzwergel
Member
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Ornoth,

Given that the section of Penn Ave. in question has two lanes in each direction, The lanes closest to the center of the road are there so slower vehicles can be passed. Any vehicle, including bicycles, which is moving vastly under the speed limit should stay in the rightmost lane and only move left if the lane is only for right turns or prior to turning left. I know why the two lanes exist despite not having a driver’s license. People who have a driver’s license should be more likely to know the purpose of the two lanes than someone who doesn’t like myself. Why can’t someone driving a car trying to pass a bicycle in this situation simply occupy the entire passing lane until they pass the cyclist? They have to change lanes to pass a bus letting people on and off.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Z: Human nature. You can’t fight it. Thumbnail guess, fewer than half will follow signs on first reading.

You don’t drive a car. I do. It’s difficult to drive even a tick or two above the speed limit on any two-lane street around here without getting a chain of cars on your butt. Near universal.

Signs aren’t your answer.


zzwergel
Member
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Human nature. Is it because they want to get through the next traffic light on green without stopping? Why are signs erected in the first place if they are so ineffective?

Someone told me he got a speeding ticket in Penn Hills by a Penn Hills police officer. If Penn Hills police can write speeding tickets, Pittsburgh police can write speeding tickets as well.

  • This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by  zzwergel.

zzwergel
Member
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If nothing can be done to Penn Ave., then may I suggest replacing all the four-way stops along Thomas Blvd. with roundabouts? I believe that three-way and four-way stop signs are a cyclist’s arch nemesis, especially if they occur at every intersection along a given road. Here is video of the entire length of Thomas Blvd. from Lexington St. to 5th Ave.

Don’t even get me started about the stop signs on Smallman St.

  • This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by  zzwergel.

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