PG: Plan for Bus Rapid Transit system takes next step forward

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zzwergel
Member
#

In the mean time, while buses have to use the same lanes on 5th Ave, does anyone have some advice on how to avoid having to do what I did in this video?

Watch this until the 9 minute mark.

 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  zzwergel. Reason: Add video link
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  zzwergel. Reason: Add time point to watch until

chrishent
Member
#

@zzwergel, dude, no. Just no.

There was absolutely no reason why you should have gone in between the two lanes to get ahead of that SUV and that bus. All so you could get a small jump on them, before they passed you again. And no, passing them on the right isn’t the solution, either.

Stay behind the bus. Yes, sometimes it’s frustrating to keep catching up with it, but why pass it when it will clearly overtake you less than half a block later? Unless you have the legs to pass the bus and get some serious distance between you two, then don’t bother passing it. The less a bus passes you, the better.


RustyRed
Member
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Jebus. Lane splitting. It’s dangerous AND ILLEGAL.

ZZ, Why are you lane-splitting with a 18 ton vehicle in their blind spot? I cringed watching this.

 

Don’t f with busses.

 

Stay behind the bus! What did you gain by jumping in front of that bus (other than a close pass?)?

lane splitting is illegal in every state except California.

Is Lane Splitting Legal In Pennsylvania?


Marko82
Participant
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Please, please, please take the safe cycling class that Bike Pgh offers. 

City Cycling

You are operating your bicycle in a very dangerous fashion and are going to get hurt or worse.

As a cyclists you are required to follow all of the normal rules of the road.  You are not doing this.  It is hard enough dealing with cars when you are doing everything right; Sir, you are not doing everything right.

 


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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This goes with the comment I left on your Fifth Ave at Washington Blvd video about inviting being squeezed into the left door zone.

I gotta wonder. Between wondering about biking on busways, freeway Bigelow, lane splitting here, and jousting with buses unnecessarily, are you really trying to get yourself killed?

Watch videos by Colleen (RustyRed), myself, Vannevar, Dino, and others. We’re trying to show how to ride just about anywhere and be safe doing it. For me, rolling video is my way to show that I am beyond reproach in case of trouble. I’ve been called out for doing something questionable, or downright stupid, and from that, learned to change my behavior accordingly.

It’s expected you would do likewise.


zzwergel
Member
#

I wanted to get past that bus because it was holding me back by stopping at nearly every corner on 5th Ave all the way to Downtown. @stuinmccandless, Is there a time and place (Downtown, Oakland, Lawrenceville, Aspinwall, etc)  in which we can meet up so we can discuss this?

What exactly is lane splitting?

Should I remove this video?

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  zzwergel. Reason: Add qusetions and change period to question mark

RustyRed
Member
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What exactly is lane splitting?

This is lane splitting:

 

You’re trying to cram 3 vehicles into two lanes. The SUV and the bus aren’t expecting you to be there. Be predictable.

 

I wanted to get past that bus because it was holding me back.

 

Just don’t. You won’t gain anything. You didn’t gain anything, that bus passed you after you cut in front of it. Just wait a few seconds.


chrishent
Member
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@zzwergel, again, yes, sometimes you get stuck behind the bus, and it’s a little annoying, but it’s safer. The only people that could pass a bus are those that have the legs to accelerate, pass, and stay away (ie. ride at 25-35 mph for several minutes) from motor vehicles that make frequent stops (buses, vans, etc). The majority of cyclists can’t do this, so in that case, the safest thing to do is to ride behind the bus.

strongly support @marko82‘s recommendation that you take a city cycling class offered by BikePGH. Lane splitting is only one of the things you did wrong in that video. You clearly do not know how to ride safely on city streets.

If you wish to continue this discussion, please create a separate forum topic. This topic is for the bus rapid transit system and related infrastructure.


Eric
Member
#

the only time I’ve ever gone past a bus has been on a road with a LOT of traffic during a time of peak traffic — Negley, Centre.  Then you can get past a bus (when it is pulled over and discharging/taking on passengers) and have no risk of being passed by it again.

As I’m old and fat, I often do enjoy the rest being stuck behind a bus.

It also helps to know the busroutes in your head, so you know when they’re going to turn.  this helps me think about how long i’ll be stuck behind the bus.

 

Changing the narrative, why electric buses for the brt. What is their range vs diesel?  And I’m assuming this is electric like big batteries on the bus, not electric like Cambridge ma or our t overhead wires?

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Eric.

zzwergel
Member
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@edronline: From what I hear, the electric buses can make two round trips between charges. In the future, I might be even better once battery technology has progressed to a point.

Also, Now I get the idea of lane splitting. Essentially, do not ride between any vehicle and the lane separating line.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  zzwergel.

Eric
Member
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that’s not a lot of trips. Not sure how they’re going to do this, especially with buses scheduled to leave every 3-5 minutes during rush hour. Also takes a long time to charge, even with current “fast” charging.

Also, cautionary note on infrastructure projects that use federal funds (pretty much all of them) and the proposed budget–

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Eric.

Marko82
Participant
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Battery electric buses can be charged via induction charging while loading/unloading.

https://goo.gl/maps/Nk4Hz8F7vvx

I’m not sure if this is what is being proposed, but it could be why the price tag for project seems high to some (comments on PG).


Eric
Member
#

Wrong link but you’re looking for my tag, I see. Warm. Getting warmer.

Maybe this was the link?
http://w3.siemens.com/topics/global/en/electromobility/pages/charging-ebuses.aspx?ismobile=true

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Eric.

paulheckbert
Keymaster
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For those that didn’t see the presentation at http://www.portauthority.org/paac/CompanyInfoProjects/BRT.aspx, here are a few maps and pictures. The most popular combination of routes was the “2 branches” option:

2branches_schematic

which has a Squirrel Hill branch that follows Forbes and then Murray, and a Highland Park branch that follows Fifth and then Highland. As shown in the schematic map, the BRT buses would be in bus-only lanes from roughly the Cathedral of Learning west.

2branches_map

In Oakland option 2, Fifth Ave becomes westbound-only for motor vehicles (no contraflow bus lane), with a bidirectional protected bike lane, and Forbes stays eastbound-only. Red means bus-only lane, green means bike lane.

oakland_opt2

fifth_ave_opt2


Marko82
Participant
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@edronline,  a great big oops on my behalf!

 


Mikhail
Member
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I wanted to get past that bus because it was holding me back by stopping at nearly every corner on 5th Ave all the way to Downtown.

 

It’s not a bus, it’s a “traffic lights” as a system. You use traffic lights to pass bus many times. Otherwise I don’t think it would be possible. So skip one green light, wait extra minute and no bus confusion anymore.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Mikhail.

zzwergel
Member
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@mikhail, I am opening a new thread about bus passing.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  zzwergel.

Steven
Participant
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FWIW, at the meeting one of the reps suggested to me they might convert the triangular park at the corner of Liberty and Fifth Avenues into a bus-charging facility. They want some way to charge buses downtown.

Perhaps they’d have more luck with getting federal funding in the next four years if they proposed high-tech buses that burned American coal. (The high-tech part would be getting the buses to reject any coal that’s not 100% American.)


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Changing the narrative, why electric buses for the brt.

Per the presentations, in order to reduce the point-source pollution (i.e., tailpipe emissions) produced by the individual vehicles in the city neighborhoods.  As both Philadelphia and LA have demonstrated recently, the question of how the batteries will be charged is not without its own pitfalls, however…

 


NMR
Member
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at the meeting one of the reps suggested to me they might convert the triangular park at the corner of Liberty and Fifth Avenues into a bus-charging facility. They want some way to charge buses downtown.

If only there were 28 acres of undeveloped land within two block of the route.

 

Not that simple, of course, but the triangle parcel you mention is very nicely done and a well-used refuge for folks downtown.  Would be a shame to lose it, especially with Market Square merchants shooting themselves in the foot a block away.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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chrishent
Member
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Not to mention that the triangle parcel, or at least some portion of it, is private property. There are multiple signs on the sidewalk that indicate this. Does PNC own this? Or the Downtown Partnership?


Steven
Participant
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I think PNC bought that parcel to use as a construction staging area for the adjacent PNC building, then made it into a park when they finished. I guess they might have sold it later, though.

I agree that it’s a nice park, and it seems there are better places for a charging facility right on that route. I expect they’ll pick someplace else once they get to actually engineering all this. Some of their maps show bus stop locations as big circles over a multi-block area, meaning “put a stop here someplace”. Others seem to show actual bus stop locations, but those are just guesses, as nobody’s actually gone block by block yet to get some idea of where the shelters will actually fit, where property owners are willing to sell a slice of their property to make room, and all that.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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The two parcels that make up the ‘Triangle Park’, 1-D-153 (501 Market) and 1-D-156 (507 Market), are both classed as “VACANT COMMERCIAL LAND” and are both owned by PNC affiliate “THREE PNC TRIANGLE LLC”, having been transferred from other PNC entities in 2015, according to the County’s Real-Estate Portal.


erok
Keymaster
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We worked with City Planning to mock up what BRT could look like in Uptown.


erok
Keymaster
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jonawebb
Participant
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That’s extremely cool. Did you get any reaction from residents?


erok
Keymaster
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I personally wasn’t hanging out there during the day, but they did get some residents to help paint it. They also had a display up to collect feedback.


chrishent
Member
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Per an email from PAT, the full BRT option has been selected and funding will be sought for it:

After careful consideration and review of public input, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) option that connects Downtown Pittsburgh with Uptown, Oakland, and Wilkinsburg via the East Busway, and includes branches to Squirrel Hill and Highland Park has been selected as the Locally Preferred Alternative for which funding will be sought.

As the longest and most comprehensive option, the selection of the “Core+2” option will link more than 30,000 people across 24 neighborhoods via rapid, frequent, and more reliable service that’s as fast and comfortable as light rail, but could be built much sooner and at a fraction of the cost.

Details such as funding sources and transit station locations will be addressed in coming months as planning for the rapid network continues.

“Thank you to the many residents, organizations and stakeholders that came out to the public meetings to share their thoughts on the proposed routes,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “This is just the first in many other decisions that will need to be made to move this project forward, but we’re delighted that we were able to reach consensus on the locally preferred alternative. We look forward to the continued engagement of the community as we move through the additional steps to make the BRT a reality.”

The locally preferred alternative incorporates input from thousands of community members and stakeholders over several years, including more than 2,500 responses in March and April alone. The public also preferred dedicated bus lanes on Forbes Avenue outbound and Fifth Avenue inbound over the other Oakland alignment option.

In addition to enhancing public transit, this BRT project has the potential to unlock development and contribute to neighborhood growth and link residents to job centers, educational opportunities, medical services, and cultural attractions.

“The positive impact of this project will be felt for decades,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “As I said from the outset, I only wish we could expand it even farther.”

The BRT’s route and street alignment were the first steps of a broad public process. Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, Port Authority, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority will continue to engage the public through workshops and discussion groups beginning in June.

An environmental review process and preliminary engineering will be completed this summer before submitting the application for federal funding this fall. The project’s current estimated capital cost is $233 million.

 


zzwergel
Member
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Great!

Will Fifth Ave. in Oakland get a Bike path as a replacement for the current contraflow bus lane?

Will eastbound buses use a dedicated bus lane on Forbes Ave. at least to Bellefield Ave. Westbound buses in dedicated lane on hospital side of Fifth Ave?


Eric
Member
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buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Next meeting: two weeks from Wednesday, 6/28, at Carlow University, West Oakland. Hope your work schedule has a late start option, meeting will run from 8:30 to 10 am.


zzwergel
Member
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I’m rarely even awake before 9:30 AM.


zzwergel
Member
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@Buffalo, @erok,

Isn’t that a DZBL (Door Zone Bike Lane)?


erok
Keymaster
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Actually, the Port Authority is hosting a series of public meetings, so pick the one that works best.

The purpose of this meeting is to:

  • Update you on the status of BRT planning.
  • Answer your questions about the planning process.
  • Collect your input on station placement and street design.

For more information on BRT, Click Here.

  • Oakland – 6/19 at 6:30pm-8:00pm, Oakland Career Center, 294 Semple Street, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • Uptown – 6/20 at 6:30pm-8:00pm, NeighborWorks WPA, 710 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1000
  • Squirrel Hill/Greenfield – 6/27 at 6:30pm-8:00pm, JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, 5738 Forbes Avenue
  • Oakland – 6/28 at 8:30am-10am, Kresge Center, 5th Floor, University Commons Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Avenue
  • Downtown – 6/28 at 6:30pm-8:00pm, Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue

erok
Keymaster
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The door zone has that buffer in it. In real life, they are proposing that the “blue” in the mockup will be a planting of some sort to help manage stormwater


zzwergel
Member
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If I go to any meeting at 6:30 PM, I will be stuck on a crowded, slow, and relatively infrequent 75 Ellsworth bus back to Aspinwall. Not all of those buses even go to Aspinwall. From Downtown, I would have to take either a slow and crowded 91 Butler Street, or an infrequent (Once every 50-60 minutes) 1 Freeport Road bus back to Aspinwall. I cannot attend any of these. They are either too early or too late.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  zzwergel.

zzwergel
Member
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@erok,

Is the buffer zone 3 Ft?


erok
Keymaster
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I believe the bike lanes would be 6′ and the buffer is 3′


erok
Keymaster
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I went to the meeting in Oakland last night. Nothing new on the “big picture” front, but there is a good opportunity to provide more feedback and get into more of the details of the project in terms of intersections, bus stops, etc.

Port Authority Plans Series of Bus Rapid Transit Outreach Events

There’s another one tonite in Uptown

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