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A Different Idea….

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JaySherman5000

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Aug 6 2013 at 2:57pm #

ericf wrote:I guess I just don’t get it. ‘Nuff said. Seems like some of you want everything without giving anything…

Road bans are already in place, on every interstate highway.

Exactly, we’ve already given up so much by giving the speeding, drunken, murdering motorists their own exclusives roadways, so why give anymore? I’m glad you finally caught on and joined the right team!


edmonds59

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Aug 6 2013 at 2:59pm #

re: “Seems like some of you want everything without giving anything in return.”
Since, over decades, trillions of dollars of infrastructure have been built with little to no consideration to cycling infrastructure, I don’t find it necessary to start looking for things to give up in order to have current needs met.


jonawebb

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Aug 6 2013 at 3:26pm #

@mikhail I would totally believe 25 mph.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Aug 6 2013 at 3:57pm #

Well that was fun.


Mikhail

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Aug 6 2013 at 10:19pm #

OK, some photos.

Today I use my car to go to TeamDecaf ride. I rode from home and while I was in Mt. Lebanon I saw this gentlemen on a bike. So I started to take pictures of him and my speedometer.

This is just past cemetery at the boundary of Mt. Lebanon.

And then when we hit West Liberty going down:

Actually he was running away from me just coasting. He turned right at the intersection.

Now I tried something today. From Highland Park down Highland Ave up to Bryant Str since there is a stop sign and I have to start breaking about 20 yards before it. If I accelerate to 15 mph and then assume aerodynamic position then my maximum speed is:

Marko saw it. :)


salty

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Aug 6 2013 at 11:59pm #

As a “person of mass” myself I empirically know Mikhail is correct – I coast past tons of people going downhill, and in turn I’ve had tandems blow by me as if I were standing still. Since I dropped out of physics as a freshman I won’t take that route, but I believe the bit about cross-section not increasing in proportion to mass. I’m sure it’s not the bike

When I rode home down Steuben St. past 79 (which is not particularly steep, just long) I would regularly hit 45, although the peak was not much higher, probably 46-47. You cannot do useful pedaling at those speeds without a huge gear (I had 50×12 and that was only good to 40 at most). I’ve never tried coasting all the way down One Wild but I can believe 35 easy. quizbot lost a bet to me about doing 40 down Liberty (probably not smart). I bet I could also hit 45 down Negley if someone would stop traffic at the bottom so I don’t die.


salty

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Aug 7 2013 at 12:02am #

Back on topic, I’m completely against forcing cyclists onto the sidewalk and particularly downhill it’s a terrible idea. Negley Run should have bike lanes and there should be a way to get to the oval without having to deal with the idiots who treat the entirety of Washington Blvd as a highway/speedway.


Drewbacca

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Aug 7 2013 at 12:59am #

salty wrote:As a “person of mass” myself I empirically know Mikhail is correct

I never objected to this… my objection was that one-wild-place isn’t a good decent for reaching that speed without the aid of pedaling. Perhaps going into it with momentum? I wouldn’t have doubted the speed if we were talking about W.Lib. in the first place. Either way, I was just having fun with the claim; apologies to the OP.


jonawebb

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Aug 7 2013 at 7:40am #

One Wild Place is a 4.5% grade overall (from the top near the reservoir to the bottom). Using Mikhail’s weight and the defaults otherwise http://www.gribble.org/cycling/power_v_speed.html estimates a terminal speed without pedaling of just under 35 mph. So, nah…


Mikhail

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Aug 7 2013 at 8:02am #

jonawebb wrote:One Wild Place is a 4.5% grade overall (from the top near the reservoir to the bottom). Using Mikhail’s weight and the defaults otherwise http://www.gribble.org/cycling/power_v_speed.html estimates a terminal speed without pedaling of just under 35 mph. So, nah…

Well, Highland Ave from park down to Tazza (Bryant) is about 4-5%. And 32.1 pretty easily achievable. If someone could block intersection so I should not break, I think 34+ is not a problem.

BTW, West Liberty is about 4-5%. Just long enough.

I looked at the calculator. My weight is 250. My bike is 18. Two bottle of water is 5. Extra stuff in my saddle bag — 3. Some extra stuff in my pockets — 2. Total around 278. I put -4.5%. Left all other numbers intact. With 1 watt of power speed shown is 35.49.


ericf

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Aug 7 2013 at 8:04am #

The reason I started this thread has nothing to do with riding in the left lane, or how fast one goes down a hill. I picked One Wilde Place and Negley Run in particular because I travel them regularly, and as Salty indicated there is no good way to get to the oval from the East End. It would be nice if casual cyclists could bike to the oval and watch the races. The only non-road way I know is MTB or hike a bike through the woods to the park.
I understand banning bikes from the road really isn’t correct or necessary so I will drop it.
That said, I have taken a closer look at Negley Run, what would it take to get the existing sidewalk widened, painted green and signed up? Then cyclists could easily use the crosswalk at the bottom and, with the addition of a few yards of path, have access to the oval from the bike lane on ELB without using the road.


JaySherman5000

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Aug 7 2013 at 9:51am #

ericf wrote:…as Salty indicated there is no good way to get to the oval from the East End.

What’s wrong with just descending down Washington from Penn & 5th? It’s a nice downhill, so you can probably maintain close to the speed limit, and as long as you signal your turn ahead of time, it’s never been a problem for me. On the way back, just practicing good vehicular cycling keeps me feeling safe, and the more cyclists that take the road, the more drivers will expect to see us. It’s win-win.


Mikhail

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Aug 7 2013 at 10:01am #

ericf, sometime ago we discussed how to get to the Oval without hitting Negley Run and Washington. One of the proposed solutions is https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=203486699788212250094.0004c6e2caf3c839aafcb&msa=0 — doable on a road bike if there is no rain (I did it).


Steven

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Aug 7 2013 at 10:18am #

The city’s old East End Loop bike plan includes widening the sidewalk on Negley Run into a multi-use path.

The trail status page at Friends of the Riverfront still mentions this plan, though it’s been saying “Additional information will be posted shortly” for a long, long time. I’m assuming the Negley Run bike path remains part of the plan.


salty

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Aug 7 2013 at 10:53am #

There’s nothing wrong with going down Washington Blvd at all – aside from all the cars driving 20 over the speed limit, running down cyclists, etc. http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/05/30/hit-and-run-injures-2-bicyclists-in-highland-park/


joanne

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Aug 7 2013 at 6:32pm #

They could easily just make Negley Run two lanes for autos, with bike lanes on either side in the current car lanes. There is no way that road should be four lanes–I drive it every morning in rush hour and it’s mostly empty. And with only two automobile lanes to maintain, maybe the city could afford to keep the road surface in better shape.


ericf

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Aug 8 2013 at 5:47am #

+1 joanne

@steven
Thank you for the links, looks like a nice plan. Has anything been done on it since the Murphy administration (2005)?

Either one of these solutions would make a huge improvement to cycling safety in the East End, how do we make it happen?

@JaySherman5000
Taking the idea of visibility in a slightly different direction, with the above mentioned improvements, the oval could become an epicenter. With the high volume of car traffic, it would stand as a shining example of proper cycling infrastructure.


Benzo

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Aug 8 2013 at 6:56am #

I wonder what happens to plans like these when administrations change. Like Active Allegheny

I guess now the city is running with Move PGH as part of Plan PGH.

While I’m dumping links, I reference this thing a bit sometimes.
SPC Draft Bike Suitability Route Maps


JaySherman5000

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Aug 8 2013 at 8:16am #

@ericf: how, exactly, would removing bikes from the road make us more visible to drivers on the road? If we’re not on the road, drivers don’t see us, and they will remain unaware of how to handle an interaction with a cyclist. The more cyclists there are ACTUALLY ON THE ROAD, the more likely drivers are to encounter one and learn how to properly handle the situation.

Your proposal makes as much sense as smoking your way thin and lacks a basic understanding of infrastructure and traffic control. The problem (i.e. biggest safety hazard) on the roads you mention is the large number of scofflaw motorists that disregard all speed limits and basic common sense. Removing their ability to do so via a road diet and law enforcement would do far more to improve safety than would removing the safest group of law-abiding users from the roadway. Please just stop bumping your troll thread. You’ll never convince a message board full of avid cyclists that they should give up their right to use the roads that they pay for. If you do somehow manage to win cyclists over to your side, you should consider a career in politics.

And with that, I bid you farewell. As always, YMMV, IANAL, FOMF, & EAD.


ericf

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Aug 8 2013 at 9:25am #

@benzo,
Any idea how or who came up with the road ratings on the sustainability maps?


ericf

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Aug 8 2013 at 9:54am #

@JaySherman5000
I don’t understand why you keep referring to this as trolling, I think we are suffering from the shortcomings of internet communication. Back a few posts,

ericf wrote:I understand banning bikes from the road really isn’t correct or necessary so I will drop it.

I am not trying to convince cyclists to give up the road. I never claimed to have any understanding of infrastructure or traffic control, not even anywhere near my field.

If you would like to bomb down Washington Boulevard in an attempt to educate drivers, I wish you luck. I think at best you will succeed in pissing off whatever drivers are in proximity to you at the time.


Steven

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Aug 8 2013 at 9:56am #

ericf wrote:Has anything been done on it since the Murphy administration (2005)?

Since then, they’ve built the Nine Mile Run Trail proposed in item 1 and the Penn Avenue bike path in item 4. I think they’ve also signed Reynolds for bikes as in item 3 since then. The proposed shared sidewalk on East Liberty Blvd in item 4 were built as bike lanes instead.

I think there’s some kind of (mountain bike?) trail in Highland Park now (near the bottom of One Wild Place?) that might match up to item 7, but I don’t know much about it.

And the plan for that still-upcoming Butler Street Bridge replacement project mentioned in item 8 did include some trails, I think, the last time the PG reported on it.

So basically, they’ve done 1-4. I’m not aware of anything else yet for items 5-9 in the list.

ericf wrote:Either one of these solutions would make a huge improvement to cycling safety in the East End, how do we make it happen?

Friends of the Riverfront says they’re working on it. Maybe ask them how you can best help. Volunteer, donate, pester officials, etc.


jonawebb

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Aug 8 2013 at 10:12am #

@ericf, I don’t think you’ll be able to get cyclists here to agree to give up the road by arguing with them. However, if someday there is good cycling infrastructure, and a lot of riders using it, I think people here will go along with leaving some roads to cars. There will be grumbling, and some folks will probably never give in (and end up getting ticketed) but most will go along. A culture shift like that is happening in NYC right now.
But we’re a long ways away from that point here in Pgh. We’re just barely (but much faster, lately, thanks to Pgh, BikePgh and other organizations) getting to the point where you can ride on lanes (not even protected lanes, just paint) from one part of the city to another. So, naturally, people don’t want to give up their right to the road.


Mikhail

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Aug 8 2013 at 10:48am #

jonawebb wrote:However, if someday there is good cycling infrastructure, and a lot of riders using it, I think people here will go along with leaving some roads to cars.

Any reason why? I understand freeways with limited access. I don’t understand why in a city we need to have a separate infrastructure for cars. City is designed for people. Pedestrians, runners-joggers, bicyclist, buses, light rails vehicles, cars all equal partners. Moreover, pedestrians and joggers should have highest priority then bicyclist then cars in terms that could exist slightly separated but as soon as pedestrian needs to cross (probably not everywhere but at designated crossings) car or bicycle path the last two should yield or stop. The same rule for cars-bicycles.


jonawebb

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Aug 8 2013 at 11:08am #

@Mikhail, safety, mainly. Bicycles are different enough from cars so it makes sense to have separate infrastructure for each, in high traffic areas. Just like there is separate infrastructure for transit and pedestrians.


reddan

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Aug 8 2013 at 11:32am #

I’m definitely on-board with infrastructure reserved for specific forms of transit, where it makes sense; but I prefer an additive approach over a zero-sum “gain a lane, lose a road” one.

Much like building a new highway (in theory!) provides an opportunity for motorized traffic to travel more efficiently, building separate bike paths meets the same need. However, building a new highway rarely includes a provision that you’re no longer allowed to use existing infrastructure; it’s an additional option, not a mandated replacement.

I’d also argue that well-designed infrastructure sells itself; if you need to force people to use it, the design is likely fundamentally flawed, or at least not actually focused on the needs of the intended users.


jonawebb

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Aug 8 2013 at 11:58am #

@reddan I’m trying to wrap my head around what you’re suggesting. You know that infrastructure for, say, transit is dedicated, right? We don’t let motorists use the East Busway. And they aren’t supposed to drive in bike lanes. So maybe what you’re discussing is the difference between “new” and “existing” infrastructure. “Existing” infrastructure is what everyone is allowed to use, “new” infrastructure is OK to restrict. But what about when the city re-signed lanes downtown to make bus lanes? Was that new or existing? And when they repave a street they can draw lanes wherever they want, so is it all new?
The point is, there’s only so much space to go around for transit of all types, and in heavy traffic areas it works better if road users that are very different have their own dedicated infrastructure, instead of having to share and getting in each other’s way.


ericf

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Aug 8 2013 at 12:09pm #

Again, just to be clear, I am not suggesting that we give up the road. It was just a bad idea that I have given up on. I added that as a suggestion, because in the end of it all, there is a negotiation going on to get this stuff done.(behind closed doors of course)
Looking at the links provided by@Benzo and @steven, there are some great plans out there, but they are not high enough priority for those that make the decisions.
I am surprised that there is not one “master plan”, the fragmentation is another hindrance to getting things done.


Steven

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Aug 8 2013 at 12:46pm #

I agree with Reddan. When the Jail Trail opened, they didn’t prohibit bikes on Second Avenue. The Jail Trail got most of the bike traffic in that corridor on its own merits. That’s how it should work.

@Ericf: Yes, it’s not encouraging that the city has prioritized work like improving Negley Run for bikes into the “15-20 years from now” category (according to MovePGH). Sure, there’s only so much they can do each year, but still.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 8 2013 at 12:52pm #

@ericf Any idea how or who came up with the road ratings on the sustainability maps?

That would be a question @swalfoort can answer. She’s on here fairly often. Sara?


WillB

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Aug 8 2013 at 12:59pm #

@Steven and @ericf, I was actually pleasantly surprised to see how much of MovePGH had bike infrastructure in the high priority 1-5 year category.


reddan

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Aug 8 2013 at 1:03pm #

The point is, there’s only so much space to go around for transit of all types, and in heavy traffic areas it works better if road users that are very different have their own dedicated infrastructure, instead of having to share and getting in each other’s way.

In a limited-space environment (e.g. 5th Ave downtown), you have less room for dedicated infrastructure, so a focus on sharing is more important. In an area with more space (e.g. northern side of the Mon near town), you can support dedicated infrastructure like highways(376) and MUPS(Jail Trail), in addition to shared infrastructure like Second Ave.

So, what I’m saying is, put in the dedicated stuff where there’s room(and value, and budget), but never forget that the vast majority of travel for all modes of transport in the city (other than rail, obviously) will of necessity be in a shared environment.


jonawebb

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Aug 8 2013 at 1:09pm #

@Steven, yeah, but we didn’t let cars drive on the Jail Trail, which was OK because it was “new”. So now that West Carson, say, is shut down, when it is opened up again two years from now is it “new” or “existing”? Most folks expect it to go back to auto use. But if we think of it as “new” we could dedicate it to public transit or bikes, right? Or would it be OK to have a dedicated and protected cycletrack and a dedicated auto lane?
The distinction between new and existing infrastructure is arbitrary and misleading, especially in a city as old as Pittsburgh. Every road downtown was at one point existing infrastructure for a different use. What we really have to do is decide how we should use the space we have available for transit. “Existing” uses shouldn’t have priority.


reddan

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Aug 8 2013 at 1:26pm #

If I ruled the world, West Carson would be very high on my list as a good place for a protected parallel cycletrack or MUP.

Few intersections mean few opportunities for turning traffic to interfere with through traffic and vice-versa; most cyclists who are willing to ride in that corridor now would be delighted to have their own roadway, and a lot of cyclists who wouldn’t ride on it now would be able to safely hop on and go. Perfect for a bike highway, and exactly what I mean by infrastructure that sells itself.


gg

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Aug 9 2013 at 7:27am #

ericf wrote:I expected but don’t understand the negative response. Maybe this isn’t creative thinking, just common sense thinking. If you offer me a protected multi-use path in exchange for a dangerous street, I will take it every time.

During my trip to Boulder a while back, there were countless “multi-use paths” all over the place. The infrastructure is amazing out there and it is a cycling mecca, so I do feel your suggestion should be looked at closely. A goal would be to get more people cycling and if more people feel they can travel safely on a bike, then more would leave cars at home. Once people start cycling and feeling comfortable, I suspect they would prefer to ride a bike. As it is right now, Pittsburgh is a very tough place to cycle, BUT it is certainly better than years ago.

One Wild Place could be an example to use. The sidewalk in the bottom section is in horrible condition, but very wide, so it would be pretty easy to use that as a multi use path. Not to mention it isn’t used by pedestrians all that much. I ride on that road almost every day and I do indeed use the sidewalk on the upper half when I get to that parking lot on the right riding up the hill. That is where the road gets narrow. I have been riding it for over a year and encountered about two people that entire time on that sidewalk, so I feel I am just enjoying a little safer section by taking the sidewalk. When I do encounter people on a sidewalk I give them the right away in full and if that means I have to stop, I would. I think the idea of multi-use paths is something to be considered, but I don’t know of many places around that it would work. On the other hand, I haven’t been looking that closely.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 9 2013 at 7:58am #

Some of the pushback against any cycling infrastructure is how much it costs. We’ve already seen this at the federal and state levels in that bike/ped projects are among the first to be lopped off when budgets are being finalized. Never mind that one big road project costs more than all the imagined bike projects, not just those that are shovel ready.

What I would like to see, now that a lot of this infrastructure is getting put in place, is some real data of what these projects costs. It would further help if it included some cost analysis, i.e., what were alternatives going to cost? Thus armed, we can go to the decision makers and say “They did this here and here, and it cost X and Y. We’re asking for the same at similar cost, and the alternative is to spend whatever-much-more.”


ericf

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Aug 9 2013 at 8:13am #

@StuInMcCandless
You hit the nail on the head and, in the same swift move, pushed me right back onto that third rail.
Currently in PA, ATV’s are required to have plates and proof of liability insurance if ridden on land not owned by the operator. If we do the same for bicycles, could that money be used to fund these projects?


reddan

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Aug 9 2013 at 8:25am #

Currently in PA, ATV’s are required to have plates and proof of liability insurance if ridden on land not owned by the operator. If we do the same for bicycles, could that money be used to fund these projects?

Multiply number of bicycles that will be registered by the plate and registration fees. Let’s say, in Allegheny County, 10,000 bicycles at $25/year (pulling numbers out of my butt). Gross revenue is $250,000…subtract administration costs (at least a couple full-time positions) and enforcement costs, and you won’t have enough left to do more than install a few toaster racks. If you’re lucky.

Also, bear in mind that “proof of liability insurance” does not produce revenue for the state, so I’m not sure why you feel that it would help raise money to fund projects.


jonawebb

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Aug 9 2013 at 8:46am #

Yeah, registration fees for cars don’t pay for roads, either. Most of the money comes from general revenue, with about a third from the gas tax.
Maybe we can get cyclists to pay a tax on Gatorade (jk).
Anyway, with any road project, cycling infrastructure is a relatively small component, if it is figured in from the start. But if there’s no state law requiring it, it won’t be figured in, and we won’t get it. So what we really need is a law requiring cycling infrastructure on any new roads or major road improvements. It is a terrible shame that the Boulevard of the Allies reconstruction didn’t include a cyclepath, and that the Carson Street work now starting won’t.


Marko82

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Aug 9 2013 at 9:01am #

In a-different-idea theme… I would still like to have one of these (plus a helmet cam)

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