Police using junction hollow as a cut through just because
Another public meeting on “mobility needs and opportunities” in Junction Hollow, brought to you by the folks who just got talked down from writing a grand request to put a motorized bus on a paved trail through the Hollow:
Over the next six months, the City of Pittsburgh and Urban Redevelopment Authority will examine mobility needs and opportunities in conjunction with improvements in Four Mile Run. Join the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure for public meetings to help provide community feedback!
Tuesday, November 14th, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Wednesday, November 15th, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
JCC Pittsburgh -5738 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Go, ask for a legal crossing from Panther Hollow Lake across the RR tracks.
Go, tell them that running a private shuttle bus up and down Junction Hollow would be an unreasonable preemption of valuable park space for private use. Further, the idea of buses sharing a strip of pavement with bicyclists is not workable (bus traffic will inevitably increase). If they can’t avoid creating a shuttle route, (a) it should be up on old Juno St, not down in the valley, and (b) it should be a public shuttle.
Yes, again. Eternal vigilance is required.
Speak early, speak often — to them, not just to ourselves
These are the Squirrel Hill meetings. Look for meetings in other areas (presumably at least Oakland and Greenfield) and post them here too.
Saw this on the Office of Community Affairs FB Page.
It has a timeline associated with it
The City/URA just issued this RFQ for the project. This is an unsettling line in the document:
The regrading and reshaping the contours of Four Mile Run and the hollow due to the Green Infrastructure project will temporarily remove this important bicycle and pedestrian trail. The project necessitates deliberate thinking about where and how the non-motorized trail should be restored in the hollow and what opportunity the facility or other facilities can provide in addressing unmet needs for connectivity and access between southern neighborhoods and Oakland in a sustainable, reliable and accessible way.
Here’s a link to the whole thing
looks like we may need to double down to make sure that the trail isn’t shut down during construction.
Recall: planning meetings for the Junction Hollow shuttle idea are Tuesday (tomorrow) 8am-10, and Weds 6pm-8, at the Squirrel Hill Jewish Community Center. See above http://www.bikepgh.org/message-board/topic/police-using-junction-hollow-as-a-cut-through-just-because/page/10/#post-347917
This afternoon I sent the following email to a bunch of public officials, neighborhood bike/ped committee folks, and a handful of other people involved in the planning. The issue at hand is whether the will close the trail during construction …
I’m writing regarding possible trail closures during construction in Junction Hollow. This is not a hypothetical concern — as noted at the end of this message the RFQ for studying the area clearly anticipates that this will happen.
Let me begin by saying that I strongly support the stormwater project; it is important to the City. That said, the existing trail through Junction Hollow is a major connector, especially for bicycle commuters.
It is a standard requirement for construction projects that they have a plan for Maintenance and Protection of Traffic (MPT). This should keep traffic moving, either through the project area, around the edge of the project area, or on a suitable alternate route. It must keep bicycle and pedestrian traffic moving, not just motor vehicle traffic, and in recent years this has been a normal part of projects in Pittsburgh. Currently, for example, Station Square has signs warning of an upcoming bike trail detour, and the Southern Beltway construction has committed to constructing an alternate temporary alignment for the Montour Trail where construction impacts the trail.
Therefore it is necessary for the Junction Hollow Project to have an MPT that keeps the trail through Junction Hollow open during construction or provides a reasonable detour.
No nearby road appears to present a plausible alternative. Swinburne St is too steep, and it has heavy traffic and no sidewalks. Bates St has no connection to the trail, it is too steep, and it has heavy traffic and sketchy sidewalks. Greenfield avenue is too steep, it has heavy traffic, and it goes the wrong place.
No nearby alternate trail exists.
I only see three options:
- Keep a well-surfaced trail or temporary trail open in the valley of Junction Hollow during construction. This would be the most desirable for the trail users, and it appears to be the simplest option.
- Build a connector from The Run near Proctor’s Garage (Boundary and Naylor) up to the Bridle trail, either restoring the Zigzag Trail that was constructed by the Park in the 1990s or building a trail with a better gradient on some alternate alignment.
- Restore Juno St from its northern end near Panther Hollow Lake to where it used to serve the house that collapsed adjacent to the soccer field and add a ramp down from there to the southern end of Junction Hollow near where the railroad crosses overhead near Proctor’s Garage. This would have the added advantage that it could be part of the “mobility connector” if that connector is determined to be worthwhile.
I note that the URA RFQ for studying this area contains the phrase, “The regrading and reshaping the contours of Four Mile Run and the hollow due to the Green Infrastructure project will temporarily remove this important bicycle and pedestrian trail.” This appears to contradict the letter and the intent of the requirement for an MPT. It certainly prejudges and gives permission for the MPT requirement to be ignored. It is regrettable that this was included in the RFQ.
At the public meeting this morning (there’s another mtg. just like it tomorrow evening) I shared the following:
Junction Hollow Transportation Priorities
- Maintain the bike/ped path thru Junction Hollow during construction. Dirt OK, if temporary.
- We must have a bikable level crossing, bridge, or tunnel for bike/ped access to Panther Hollow Lake to get across the railroad tracks.
- If a shuttle happens, it must be public and have stops for passengers in The Run and Panther Hollow neighborhoods.
- If a shuttle happens, it must be on a road separated from the trail, not shared. Put a low (2-3 foot) fence between shuttle road and any area where kids and dogs will be roaming (trail and soccer fields). Perhaps road should be next to the RR tracks, or on the hillside where old Juno St used to be. Make it single-lane.
- Gates at each end of the bike/ped trail in Junction Hollow should be locked at all times to keep cars off the trail, except in case of emergency. Similar for the shuttle road, to keep private cars off it.
-Paul Heckbert, Edgewood resident
Below are pictures from Tuesday morning’s meeting about Junction Hollow transportation. There’s another meeting this evening. If you want to send comments electronically, use firstname.lastname@example.org . (click for uncropped photos)
Another meeting about this.
Mon-Oakland Mobility Plan: 4 Mile Run Watershed
Please join us to continue the discussion about how to better connect our neighborhoods, and what that connection might look like.
Consider potential alternative connections between Hazelwood, Greenfield, Four Mile Run, and Oakland.
Have an open dialogue about the best way to solve a mobility challenge.
Consider the mobility solutions as they relate to the green infrastructure solutions that have already been proposed.
Provide your feedback on the potential alternatives.
When: January 18, 2018, 5:00 – 8:00pm
5:00- 6:00pm: Open house & one-on-one/small group discussions
– Agency presentation on alternatives
– Neighborhood presentation of principles
– Large group discussion
7:00-8:00pm: Open house & one-on-one/small group discussions
Snacks will be provided. Kids are welcome.
Where: Magee Recreation Center, 745 Greenfield Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Presented By: City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility, PWSA, URA, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
For more information: Visit the Mobility website at https://mon-oaklandmobility.com or contact email@example.com
Would be cool to make an official trail for bike / pedestrian use out of the old sylvan ave right of way which was just dug up for gas line work to connect hazelwood more directly with the run and lower greenfield.
I included Sylvan Ave with a set of concepts for alternatives to running a road through Junction Hollow. Specifically, I pointed out that there has been discussion of a multiuse trail here for some time, and it appears to be wide enough to build a combination “mobility connector” and bike trail, with a barrier separating them.
It appears that the people doing the analysis are giving consideration to alternatives received from outside, including this one.
My set of concepts, which includes 7 design constraints (or guiding principles) is at https://www.dropbox.com/s/gslpiuq8bq3r6jg/4MiRunAlternatives-v4.docx?dl=0
I’m sure you will notice implementation challenges. Remember that these are concepts, not full-up designs, so if you see flaws, try to figure out how to solve them. We’re trying to engage in public discussion about the alternatives, and that includes getting people to find ways to overcome such challenges. So please don’t dis them because they aren’t perfect — remember, we’re trying to collectively improve on the idea of running buses up the middle of Junction Hollow, sharing pavement with the bike trail.
For example, try to figure out how to get a decent bike connection from the Greenfield end of Sylvan to the Saline St cycle track
The design constraints are
- Keep the park as a park
- Improve the bicycle facilities, don’t degrade them
- Don’t sacrifice the neighborhoods
- See how muc improvement could be gained by rerouting current bus routes
- Provede a legal connection across the RR tracks between Junction Hollow and Panther Hollow Lake
- Keep trail open during construction
- Don’t even consider an exclusive private bus or shuttle service
These points are elaborated in the document.
City just sent out an online way to give feedback on the project. Remember: no to sharing the Junction Hollow trail with any motorized vehicles or shuttles. No trail closure during construction. Yes to exploring Port Authority options using existing city streets. Yes to improving the trail connections.
From the City:
Four Mile Run Watershed and Mobility Public Process: Weigh in on the options!
Thanks to everyone who attended the public meeting on January 18th, 2018. Presenters at the meeting included the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, the Hazelwood Initiative, and The Run Resident Action Team. The consultant team from Michael Baker International then presented design alternatives for the route and mode of transportation.
Here’s where you come in: we need your input on the proposed options for the transportation route and potential modes. (Keep in mind this route is intended to provide an alternative to driving a car, and
would service either a Bike Share system, an electric shuttle, or a driverless shuttle.) Click here to view the presentation, and leave a comment on the website, or email 4milerun.mobility@ pittsburghpa.gov with your comments.
Please submit your comments by Wednesday, January 31st so we can share them with the consultant team in time for our next meeting. (Our next meeting is currently scheduled for February 22 — stay tuned for details!)
Thank you for your consideration and for your valuable input in this process.
…..And another meeting about this.
The City will be presenting their preferred alternative about it.
Date: February 20th, 2018
Time: 5-8 PM
Location: Pittsburgh Firefighters Local 1, 120 Flowers Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15207
Register for the meeting here.
The City intends to finalize this process in March.
Here’s our write up about it.
Also, if the weather is decent (ie not raining too hard or icy) I plan on riding to this from Lawrenceville. Will probably take the South Side Trail to Glenwood Bridge to Hazelwood if anyone is interested in meeting up.
Why so late? I understand people have jobs, but can’t some meetings be on a Saturday or before 3:00 PM on a weekday for people who cannot go to meetings at these inconvenient times. Going back to Aspinwall (Really anywhere) from Hazelwood is very difficult as It requires taking a very crowded bus through Oakand stopping at nearly every intersection along the way or climbing the mile-long steep hill known as Hazelwood Ave. and still having to deal with crowded buses in Squirrel Hill and Oakland.
@zz, that time is the one that works best for most people. If they scheduled it before 3 pm on a weekday, or on a Saturday, attendance would be much lower. For the former, because people would be at work and would not be able to take time off for the meeting; for the latter, because people either like to spend their Saturdays doing things that are much more fun than going to a public meeting, or because Saturdays are the time when they can do errands they can’t do during the week.
Any recommendation on how to get to the meeting tonight from the strip district? Is it possible to sneak onto the Hazelwood trail/signature boulevard? Irvine at rush hour sounds terrifying.
From the strip you could take the southside trail, turns in to GAP trail to keystone metals (by the eagle watching area) and then get off the trail after the chicanes and cut up baldwin road and use the sidewalk across the Glenwood bridge to get to Hazelwood.
Something like this:
I’m seeing posts in email, which has a link that brings me here, but i don’t see the messages. In case blind sending works …
Another way to get from the Strip to Hazelwood is to go over the hill to Schenley Park, then over the Greenfield Bridge and down the residential streets of Hazelwood.
@maryshaw – Go to Page 1 of the thread, the most recent posts are showing there instead of page 10. Most likely a temporary forum bug.
don’t have time to write out a review of the meeting, but here’s a thread of me live tweeting it https://twitter.com/BikePGH/status/966089708064428033
On-Demand Shuttle System Envisioned For Four Mile Run Area
They were pretty clear that these would run on a separate track from the existing Junction Hollow trail. where they are proposing the new trail and transit road on Sylvan, it will also be separated, they said mostly 11′ for the transit, and 11′ for the shared trail, with a 2-4′ buffer between that would be either boulders, plants, etc. one interesting item that i found was that they said that bikes would be allowed to use the track for the shuttle as well.
Wait, 11′ for transit? What kind of frequency could you possibly have by essentially limiting yourself to single-track operations?
Have they said yet where capital an operational costs will come from? This isn’t real transit, it’s an AV test track.
They did not say where the cap and op costs would come from. They did say that they would like to make it free for the first 2-5 years, as proof of concept, and then try to integrate it into the connectcard system.
They haven’t said whether it’s AV or human driven. AV they say will be able to provide more frequent service and possibly run 24hrs/day
They are predicting this to be on demand transit. People can call it with their phone, or with kiosks thru the neighborhood.
i am def skeptical, but i also like the idea of throwing out new ideas for AVs that are publicly run, and different than the Uber or the ownership models out there.
I’m certainly not totally convinced that this is the best idea yet – there’s still so many unknowns, but i do appreciate them thinking differently about this very real problem of a huge development that is happening, and if they don’t figure out a transit solution now, then everyone will definitely drive there. It seems that the Port Authority’s hands are tied and aren’t able to be proactive on creating or planning for service unless their numbers pan out.
With that said, i don’t think the City did a convincing job explaining how they could work with the Port Auth to alter or expand existing to handle the same need. I think a lot of people would like to see those proofs.
ok, karina predicted it would cost $2-4M
but then she also showed an image of a car elevator that the shuttles could potentially use to take them from the valley and disembark onto a bridge, like say the Charles Anderson Bridge.
not clear if peds and bikes could use the elevator, but she didn’t say no to it either.
11′ width is up a bit from a meeting last week. The idea is to minimize impact on the park; this would also allow it to be squeezed through tight places. There would be wide spots for passing. The idea is that the vehicles would be talking to each other so they could coordinate passing at the wide spots.
Whether this could work depends on the frequency of the vehicles, which depends on their individual capacity and the overall number of trips at peak times. If the vehicles are spaced far enough apart, this could work (Junction Hollow is about a mile long; at 15mph that would be a 4-minute run). This ignores any boarding stops, but those would provide passing places. An advantage would be making it harder for random cars to use the shuttle road (we already know that signs and gates don’t work).
I had hoped to see traffic and demand estimates at Tuesday’s meeting. I talked to their traffic person and emphaized that we really, really need to see these numbers at the next meeting.
As for the lift from the bottom of The Run up to Swinburne (aka Frazier) Bridge, I think that’s a great idea — but we should press for provisions for bike-ped use. Not only that, but it might enable a trail from the north end of Swinburne Bridge over through the DPW lot to get to the Eliza Furnace Trail without getting mixed up in the Saline/Greenfield/Irvine/Second intersection.
So let’s call it the “mobility lift” or something other than the “car lift”. Someone should also make sure the shuttle vehicles will accept bikes.
My info on the 11′ was from talking to one of the Baker consultants.
What I know as the WVU people mover is elevated on concrete posts; looks like only part of it is elevated but all is on special track.
It’s 8 miles of track with 5 stations. It’s called “Personal Rapid Transit”, which apparently means that it dispatches a car when you go to a station and call for one. It does not appear possible for the transit vehicles to move back and forth to surface streets. So, “on demand” for schedule, not for destination.
I tried to add a photo, but the “add media” mechanism fails.
More info at https://transportation.wvu.edu/prt
- This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by MaryShaw.
Mary is correct. You can watch it of you are on the Mon river trail between Morgantown and star city. Cool to watch. I think it was a late 70s demonstration project.
And of course, WVU’s beloved PRT was so successful that it was replicated in…zero…other places.
Kudos to the city for expanding their thinking on mobility issues, but microtransit isn’t a new idea and it’s likelihood of success is, well, questionable. The population of the catchment area for what could be a proposed route is relatively small, meaning that it won’t appreciably change mode share for people commuting to and from these job hubs. They’ll almost all be coming from somewhere else, where this service would not practically scale. This service will primarily serve trips between the two, projections of which still have yet to publicly materialize.
Trust me, I’m all for experimentation, but this is precisely the type of project you don’t publicly fund. The type of pod vehicles they’re discussing run around $250k each, which means they’ll barely be able to buy vehicles for their low-end cost estimate. This may yet turn out to be worthwhile, but it’s going to be very expensive.
All I want out of this project is a safe, succinct connection between Junction Hollow, the Jail Trail, and Hazelwood Trail/Signature Boulevard that doesn’t involve that nasty chute and its blind corners on second ave.
Bonus points if they can provide a continuous bike facility that isn’t a sharrow from the other side of Junction Hollow to any existing bike lane in Oakland.
The existing trail is undermined as a transportation link because of poor connectivity on either end, lack of lighting, and limited winter maintenance. $2-4 million dollars would go a long way to resolving all of those issues.
I wonder if they are considering pulling the old skybus rolling stock out of storage for this project.
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