Police using junction hollow as a cut through just because
Good question! Is there an improvement to the chute planned with this?
erok’s twitter thread and all the other info I can find doesn’t touch on the Jail Trail > Junction Hollow connection.
I can’t see how there’s any possibility of improvement to the chute without major work. The problem is the railroad track above. A more direct connection to EFT means either a bridge up from Saline, which would be prohibitively expensive as well as involving an absurd climb and descent, or an at-grade crossing, which is prohibited by Federal inclinations, or a modification to connect the trail to PHT by staying on the eastern side of the tracks underneath the Parkway bridge over Swinburne (which would involve modification of the retaining wall of the bridge under the interstate), or an entirely different route from the Almono development, staying between the tracks and Irvine St. (I think the last is the most practical.) Or Stu’s suspended cycle ring.
If somebody comes up with a practical plan to get rid of the chute, you’re going to hear about it well in advance, because it will cost a lot of money. My own guess is that the most likely good result is for the chute to become less important once there’s a more direct route downtown, if the BRT is built.
They really didn’t get into that level of detail at the meeting. there were plenty of short connections that they just scribbled a line saying that they’d like to connect.
it looks like the presentation has been posted on http://mon-oaklandmobility.com/public-meetings but i can’t access it for some reason. will look into it.
it’s definitely up now. don’t know why i was having trouble.
here’s slide 19
also, slide 10 was interesting to me. we worked with the Oakland Green team to develop a concept to extend the Junction Hollow Trail along the tracks next to Neville to CMU’s parking lot, and then into bike lanes for the rest of the climb to 5th Ave. It appears that this also made the proposal, at least conceptually.
@jonawebb, how about a tunnel from Saline to the parking lot? Said tunnel wouldn’t have to be too wide. I’ve seen these put in under fairly active railroad lines, and are very simple. It could work here …
so they are taking comments on the plan until March 6th. Please consider submitting all of these comments!
@chrishent, I didn’t remember about the tunnel, though I think it’s been mentioned before. I could see it working.
Tunnel is the right solution, provided that UPMC and the railroad go along with it…
If the money is there the tunnel can go all the way to the trailhead, preserving that precious parking space.
Slide 19 is fascinating.
It implies an extension of Sylvan along its original (currently abandoned) alignment all the way to Hazelwood (Ave). That would be totally awesome. Is this an actual plan? That would give us a (literally sylvan) way to get around Irvine (assuming the Almono options would not be bike-only).
If you believe the Google property lines, there’s maybe 10ft of space on the Greenfield uphill side to widen the street enough to accommodate bikes (though it’s not so bad right now for experienced bikers).
I’ve talked to Corey O’Connor several times about Sylvan Ave. He has repeatedly assured me that city council has money budgeted and set aside for turning that into a proper bike/ped path.
It implies an extension of Sylvan along its original (currently abandoned) alignment all the way to Hazelwood (Ave). That would be totally awesome. Is this an actual plan?
Yes this is in the plan. This would also be the corridor for the microtransit. Their sketches imply that this would be a bit more “shared” than the segment in Junction Hollow, but honestly, I’m ok with how they at least represented it with a more natural separation of boulders, plants, trees, but the devil is in the details, right? A consultant said it would be an 11′ trail with an 11′ microtransit. Once Sylvan turns back into an actual street, it would be a share the road situation. One kinda goofy thing (but my mind is open) was that they wanted to put bike share stations in the middle of the woods, at the places where they would create some sort of connection to the neighborhoods that are adjacent to Sylvan.
Funky Dung: that’s good to know, thanks for that.
Autonomous shuttles to begin testing on sharing the midtown greenway bike/ped path in Minneapolis
this article has more info
This is the first of several reactions to last week’s meeting about the 4 mile run plan. I’m separating comments on different topics.
East Side Connector Trail
The Jan 18 public meeting on 4 Mile Run presented an alternative that ran from Boundary St south of the RR bridge (Proctor’s garage) up to the Bridle Trail and then via the Bridle trail to Anderson Playground and the cycle track there. This was deemed not acceptable for cars but fine for bikes and pedestrian. This was still on the overview map Feb 20 but not in the details discussed there. I would post an image of this plan, but the “add media” button still isn’t working for me. [Edit: found the image at slide 4 of http://mon-oaklandmobility.com/public-meetings ]
We should ask them to build this trail as part of the project. First, it would be a very useful addition to the trail system, as it would connect the bottom of Junction Hollow with Oakland (via Anderson Playground and the cycle track), with upper Squirrel Hill (ditto, plus Schenley Drive), and with lower Squirrel Hill (via Greenfield and Pocusset Trail)
Second, it would provide a viable detour in the event that Junction Hollow had to be closed during construction — it gets to pretty much everywhere people actually want to go from Neville St & Fifth
Your action: When you fill in comments on the public meeting at http://mon-oaklandmobility.com/public-meetings tell them that this connector is important and might be a viable detour if one is needed
- This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by MaryShaw. Reason: added pointer to the image I couldn't upload
More reaction to Feb 20 4 mile run (Mon-Oakland Mobility) meeting …
Connection into Oakland
We need a good connection from the top of Junction Hollow Trail into Oakland.
OPDC did a study a couple of years ago that advocated, in effect, extending Junction Hollow Trail alongside the RR to where the RR crosses Boundary/Neville, then up Neville to Fifth. Neville is very narrow in this area, so that part might have to be shared lanes at least partway.
I noted at the Feb 20 meeting, and the consultants added this to the map, that there is an opportunity for a good connection into Oakland along Joncaire St. That’s the Belgian block street that runs from Boundary up to the bike lanes on Bouquet St. Joncaire has houses on the south side, nothing but trees on the north side (except for the bottom of the steps. The north-side sidewalk could be widened and paved to accommodate bicycle traffic. A cycle track would be nice — there’s a perfectly find sidewalk on the other side for pedestrians, and there looks like enough width at the bottom to have a separate path for people using the steps. It would be ok to have joint bike/ped use, as I doubt that there’s much pedestrian use.
Your action: When you fill in comments on the public meeting at http://mon-oaklandmobility.com/public-meetings ask them to widen and pave the sidewalk on the north side of Joncaire to provide a bicycle connection to the Bouquet St bike lanes.
More reaction to Feb 20 4 mile run (Mon-Oakland Mobility) meeting …
Alternative to the 2nd Avenue Chute
One of the ideas floated at the meeting was to keep the mobility shuttles out of the Greenfield/Irvine/Saline/2ndAv intersection by constructing an elevator at the north end of the Frazier St (better known as Swinburne) Bridge (slides 12 and 20 of presentation). This is a great idea, whose greatness will be even greater if they arrange the elevator so it will accept bikes and peds. Not only will that allow bikes to get to Sylvan without navigating that intersection and climbing Greenfield, but it also gets everything up to an elevation that allows connection to the Eliza Furnace trailhead by going past the DPW garage — thereby giving us an alternative to the Chute.
I remember walking this with Richard Meritzer back when he was still the bike/ped guy for the city. If you go back on the DPW lot to the big bins where they store salt, you can look pretty directly over to Swinburne St just before the bridge. We couldn’t take the idea any further at the time because we couldn’t figure out what to do when you get to Swinburne. The new proposal answers that: take the elevator down!
Your action: When you fill in comments on the public meeting at http://mon-oaklandmobility.com/public-meetings ask them to (1) make provisions for the elevator to carry bicyclists and pedestrians and (2) to make the connection shown on slide 20 to connect the bike/ped trail directly to Eliza Furnace Trail via the DPW garage.
More reaction to Feb 20 4 mile run (Mon-Oakland Mobility) meeting …
Mixing Shuttles with Bicyclists and Pedestrians
The most obvious descriptions of the shuttles appear to accept the strongly-expressed position of the bicycling community that shuttle vehicles should not be mixed in with bicyclists and pedestrians. The once exception that I recall from the meeting is that it was suggested that bicyclists who wanted to use the shuttle road instead of the trail would be permitted to do so, apparently with the idea that some bicyclists want to go 15mph and that would be fine (someone from the audience suggested the shuttles should be allowed to run faster)
By the way, there seems to be a “bikes go 15mph” meme floating about. Please slay it when you see it. Serious road riders on flats or downhills go faster. Uphill, not so much. But the vast Rest of Us, about 80% of the trail users, only see 15mph rarely on downhills. Imagining that the average bike speed is 15mph is not compatible with getting more people on bikes, especially families.
Without traffic estimates, we don’t know how many shuttles will be running, but based on the Smart Cities proposal https://cms.dot.gov/sites/dot. gov/files/docs/Pittsburgh-SCC- Technical-Application.pdf it could be very high (I’ll spare you the details, since those estimates may no longer be good). There will be pressure to increase the frequency as traffic goes up, and likely the vehicles sizes as well. We really, really need to push back hard against mixing this traffic.
In particular, we’ve heard some teasers about using the shuttle system to provide access to SouthSide Works. That would be great, in principle, but when I asked about running these 15mph, max 25mph shuttles on 2nd Avenue with its prevailing speeds somewhere north of the 35mph limit, the response was hem-hawing about how that wasn’t really compatible and … [no real answer] … How, then, would these shuttle vehicles reach SouthSide Works? There’s a very tempting piece of pavement nearby .. surely no one would think about routing these vehicles down Eliza Furnace Trail and over the bike/ped bridge? Would they? Then, as long as they’re on the trail, why not down to First Ave to connect to the “T”. Nip this one in the bud, folks
Your action: When you fill in comments on the public meeting at http://mon-oaklandmobility.com/public-meetings tell them (a) do not mix shuttle vehicles (autonomous or otherwise) with the normal routes for bike/ped traffic, (b) get some realistic estimates of traffic and demand, and (c) don’t even consider adding shuttle vehicles to existing bike/ped trails
Last message re Feb 20 4 mile run (Mon-Oakland Mobility) meeting …
A Few Other Things
Connections between low trails and high places
Many of the slides have notional green lines connecting low trails with streets much higher up. I’ve asked the consultants to consult with Bike Pgh about making these practical — how long and steep a stairway with a runnel can be without discouraging people from using it, how wide the turns in switchbacks need to be.
This was one of the design concepts I provided in January; I discussed these on this thread on 1/11/2018 at 9:39pm. The document is at https://www.dropbox.com/s/gslpiuq8bq3r6jg/4MiRunAlternatives-v4.docx?dl=0 and extensive discussion of Sylvan Aveshows up in the presentation at slides 22-25. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to suggest this. I bring it up here for two reasons: (a) There was earlier discussion about whether it was real, and it’s certainly in the plan. (b) They did take my January suggestions seriously — most of those ideas show up now in one way or another. So we have recent tangible evidence that it is actually worth making comments when invited to.
Your action: Do send in comments on the public meeting at http://mon-oaklandmobility.com/public-meetings They are taking comments seriously. This is our chance to be heard, and numbers of comments matter. Don’t assume someone else will do it.
I’m done now. Thanks for listening
Thanks for all the info MaryShaw, and I like the way you laid out the argument & actions. I’ll be adding my 2-cents to their comments section.
Brian O’Neill: It’s a tricky little route from riverside tech to Oakland
Lots of spin in this article. Plus some misdirection.
“move at a quiet pace, like a bicycle” pushes the misleading meme that bicycles go 15mph. Sure, many go that fast downhill. But the intended beneficiaries are not all fit, fast, and young. Most of the bicyclists going through those communities are going much slower than 15mph. Plus, bikes are a lot smaller. Remember, lots of the residents of Hazelwood don’t have cars. Part of this story is that they’ll commute by bike. Most of those commuters won’t be going 15mph.
“likened it to the smart elevators in skyscrapers, such as One Oxford Centre, where only carded employees can ride, and elevators can sort the riders by floors” teeters on the edge of going back to the private shuttle. I get it as a solution to the Run, sort of, but what stops people at other stops from making their own special pleadings?
“could carry 15 passengers”: They were down to 10 for a while, the poster at the recent meeting said 15. For intuition, compare the dimensions on the poster (6.5′ wide, 13′ long, 8.5′ high) to a more familiar vehicle, the full-size Chevy van (plumber’s van). The shuttle is about the same width as the van, a foot and a half taller, 5′ shorter, about the same weight
I’m not sure who you’re implying is responsible for the “spin” and “misdirection”, but you’re misinterpreting some pretty common planner-speak from Director Ricks with the whole bicycles-go-15mph “meme”.
While apparently easy to misinterpret, Director Ricks saying these vehicles would “move at a very human speed at a very human scale” is not meant to be taken literally. Planners use this terminology to imply speeds at which all modes are compatible together due to being slow enough – really, close enough – in speed to one another that decisions can be made, conflicts can be avoided, and crashes that do happen are not severe. Taken literally, this would mean that not even bikes and pedestrians would be compatible in the same space.
The 15mph speeds and “human scaled” language are taken almost directly from successful European street design practices like the woonerf.
I was suggesting that the article doesn’t match what I’ve seen at the meetings. It was not directed at Ms Ricks; I have been generally impressed with her responsiveness and directness.
Specifically with respect to the 15mph, I could live with the interpretation that it’s meant to mean “at human scale and mingling safely with cyclists and pedestrians”. However, the plan also projects some travel times between Hazelwood and Oakland, which must be predicated on some actual average speed, plus time for passenger boarding at stops. We don’t know that number. The discussion of the shuttle refers to an operating speed of 15mph and uses bicyclists as a comparison; in addition there was a question at the Feb 20 meeting about why not run the shuttles faster than 15 mph. So, you can’t have it both ways. If what is really intended is “shuttle runs no faster than 15 mph and slows down when it’s around other trail users to match their speeds” that should be made explicit, along with the average speed that’s being used for travel time estimates.
Bicycle and pedestrian traffic mix successfully when the users are accommodating to each other — cyclists slow to not much faster than walking pace and announce themselves when passing, pedestrians shift from 4-abreast to 2-abreast when cyclists approach and refrain from darting back and forth unpredictably, dog-walkers keep the dogs on short leashes rather than the long retractables that can stretch invisibly across the trail. If you follow discussions about trails, you’ll see that friction arises when these accommodations are neglected. None of these users are encases in closed vehicles, so they can use voice to communicate (except for the trail users whose headphones prevent them from hearing, which is also regarded as antisocial). I don’t rule out the possibility that the shuttle vehicles could run slowly enough to make this work, but if they’re also supposed to be making the run in less than X minutes then there’s a conflict of requirements. They’re also vastly larger than the other trail users — a bicyclist with bicycle isn’t more than twice as large as a pedestrian, but one of these shuttles is 6.5’x13’x8.5′
Today is the deadline for submitting comments on the Four Mile Run development, aka the Mon-Oakland Mobility Plan.
Please send comments — suggestions about what might matter to you are in the thread above. Even if it’s just a couple of lines mentioning things like keeping some reasonable route open throughout construction, getting a legal connection across the RR at Panther Hollow Lake, keeping shuttle traffic separate from bike/ped traffic, go ahead and send it. You don’t need to say anything new. Numbers matter.
The public presentations and a comment form are at http://mon-oaklandmobility.com/public-meetings
This page also says you can email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
I sent elaborations of all the points I made here a few days ago.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by MaryShaw. Reason: fixed typo
Thanks for the reminder!
I submitted comments in favor of keeping the park as a park. If a road has to happen, make the road secondary with preservation of the park as the priority. Nobody will herald Pittsburgh for eliminating park space. Not now, not in a decade or a century. However, our increasingly linked system of river front trails, urban parks and bikeways is already an economic driver.
Nobody will write articles praising Pittsburgh for adding more roads. But we’re already seeing amazing press for an admittedly still incomplete trail system. That’s what will make Pittsburgh a thriving city for the next generation.
The city has plans for a futuristic transit connector between Oakland and Hazelwood but residents of Four Mile Run fear disruption to their neighborhood
here’s the latest update. haven’t even read the article yet
excerpts of that article relating to the bike trail & shuttle:
“a low-speed, on-call shuttle system between Hazelwood and Oakland that would pass through Junction Hollow on a new, separate path … new trails 20 feet wide for bicycles and the low-speed shuttle and 10 feet wide for pedestrians will be installed.
The so-called micro-shuttle — about the size of a compact car with space for 11 to 15 standing passengers — would follow a 3-mile path and get residents to doctors’ offices and other Oakland sites in 20 to 25 minutes.
… she doesn’t understand why the system is being developed separately from Port Authority’s bus service in that area.”
Putting shuttles on the same road with cyclists could be a mistake. The shuttle road and the bike trail need to be physically separated, with bollards, a curb, or a median. The article speaks of a combined shuttle and bike road 20 feet wide. If there is no physical separation (just a painted line, say) parents with small kids learning to cycle won’t want to take their kids on this road, for fear that they could stray and get hit by a shuttle, which would probably be moving at 25 mph or more.
1. If it is 20 ft wide cars will love.to try and use it as a cut through
2. Peds will end up on it too, or bikes will end upon the peds trail…
Will the shuttles be flooring it when they see an opening to pass a cyclist that is pedaling uphill at less than 10 MPH?
It’s strange that there is some foregone conclusion in all of these articles that Hazelwood needs to have a more direct connection to Oakland. Are there going to be so many people in Hazelwood that want to go wherever this thing goes in Oakland on a regular basis to justify this? Why don’t the shuttles just take Bates like the rest of the cars/trucks/shuttles that want to get from 2nd Ave. to Oakland? It’s only like a half mile down the street from Junction Hollow.
Well, the next public meeting is scheduled on this:
Hello and happy spring!
Thank you for continuing to stay engaged in the public process regarding the improvements in Four Mile Run. The Mon-Oakland Mobility study is wrapping up and PWSA is now moving into the next phase of design for the stormwater improvements in Four Mile Run. On May 22, 2018, we will host a joint meeting to share the findings of the mobility study and layout the next steps in the final engineering of the PWSA project. This meeting will be hosted jointly by DOMI, the URA, PWSA and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC). During this meeting, PWSA will introduce the consultant team that has been selected to do the final engineering for the green infrastructure project in Four Mile Run. This PWSA project builds on the Green First Plan, and is a continuation of the Four Mile Run preliminary design work that was produced by PPC and its partners.
At the last Mon-Oakland Mobility Study meeting on Feb. 20, 2018, we proposed a recommended alignment for the new micro-transit connection, and collected final feedback regarding its alignment and operations. Since then, our engineering team has been working out the details of how this proposed connection will work, including ridership calculations, cost implications, and other operations issues. Since the last public meeting, we have also met with the five local core community groups most impacted by the project to share how the design has evolved and solicit feedback. We are now finalizing the investigations that are part of this scope, and will share the final findings of this study at the next public meeting.
Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Location: International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
(300 Saline St, Pittsburgh, PA 15207)
Thank you for your participation, hope to see you there!
Community Projects Manager
Is there any chance of the Hazelwood trail finally getting finished as part of this Almono development stuff?
EDIT: also I forgot that meeting in the run was today. I’m sure by the time someone reads this it’ll be over. Any news?
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by neiltron.
Meeting was this evening.
They are serious about reviving old Sylvan Ave as a side-by-side-with separation route with bike/ped trail on one side and shuttle on the other side.
I asked specifically about the 20′ bit in the P-G article. In most places, the shuttle road will be 8-10′ wide (one lane) with places for up-bound and down-bound shuttles to pass each other. It will mostly be separated from the ~12?-ft bike/ped path. In some squeeze points the two will be side by side, hence ~20′, but separated. For example, the bit on Saline St near Greenfield has to run them side by side, using space currently occupied by sidewalk, cycle track, maybe a foot or so out of the hillside, maybe a foot or so out of the traffic lanes. Not mingled. So the P-G description is a bit confused.
Other comments of interest: RR crossing at Panther Hollow Lake is still in play. A bridge would need 22′ clearance, which is awfully high, CSX approval of a level crossing is problematic (but might be under discussion). It sounded like the best bet was that PWSA would like to tunnel under the RR so the flow from P-H lake to the daylighted stream doesn’t go through a pipe. If they do, the trail could go with it.
Shuttle is 11-15 passengers, electric, maybe (maybe not) autonomous. Some cities have experience with autonomous shuttles like these in traffic-free zones. However the route they plan extends into Hazelwood/Hazelwood Green at one end and up Neville and Joncaire at the other end. It is less clear that the autonomous vehicles will play nice with the mixed traffic on those open streets (especially the neighborhood streets where kids play).
One new thing is that they’re talking about clouds of bikeshare e-bikes near the shuttle routes so people can get uphill into the neighborhoods (and presumably back down again). In discussion with HealthyRide.
They offered some traffic estimates, but they were much lower than the Smart Cities estimates, I think because they didn’t consider the ~400 spaces in the UPMC lot at the Swinburne St trailhead. These might be good estimates for Day 1, but I was disappointed that they didn’t offer any numbers about growth. This is important because they bear on the total capacity of the system.
Frazier (Swinburne) St bridge is due for rehab or replacement. So is Anderson Bridge (entering Schenley Park on the Blvd Allies. Contract for design alternatives (repair vs replace) for Anderson has been let. However that’s a historic bridge and will require many discussions, signoffs, permits. So Frazier (Swinburne) may actually happen first. They’re still talking about a vehicle lift to connect the shuttle from bridge level to trail level; I reminded them that bikes will need this too. The vehicle lift is important because it gets shuttle and bike traffic from Sylvan to Junction Hollow without running it through the Greenfield/Saline/Irvine/2nd mess — but it will be part of the bridge renovation
Residents of The Run are really concerned that the mobility plans are delaying the stormwater fixes. PWSA says no, they’re proceeding. I think they have a deadline to show that this approach works.
I wonder if the bridges need to be 22 feet high to allow double-decker cars. IE the discussion in Westpark about redoing the bridges there
@edronline — Yes, double-decker cars were cited as the reason for the high clearance.
In previous discussions on this topic, people have asked whether the existing tunnel provides that much clearance. The response is that it doesn’t matter, they don’t want to add additional clearance impediments.
Nice write up Mary. Here’s our twitter thread, with some images of the slides and displays.
Some things I’ll add to Mary’s comments:
- They are taking input on whether to light the Junction Hollow Trail, and what kind of lights (overhead, bollard, glowing trail surface)
- They are taking input on what kind of trail surface we may want. lots of options. i’ll post a pic
- I talked to them afterward and Justing Miller from DOMI said in summary: the intention is to keep the trail open during construction. There may be times that they will need to do a brief closure, like if they need to move a ton of dirt or if they need to tear down the overhead Anderson bridge. It could also be a temporary, rough trail at times, but they want to do what they can to maintain the existing trail as much as possible during construction.
Here’s the image of the trail surfaces. I strongly suggest that people email them and recommend some sort of lighting on the trail, as well as what type of trail surface is best.
Comments can be sent to: email@example.com
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