BikePGH!

Another PENDOT Fail

This topic contains 22 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe 11 mos, 3 weeks.

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Marko82

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Aug 28 2013 at 11:22am #

Heath’s Run Bridge (by the zoo)

“Another community member raised concerns about bike lanes, which state Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, acknowledged won’t be included on the new bridge.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/transportation/penndot-planning-to-replace-butler-street-span-in-pittsburgh-701005/#ixzz2dHUMjM9d


Mick

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Aug 28 2013 at 12:03pm #

Just curious.

At one point they were talking about making a trail rom up by Hampton St or Chislett St down to that area? Then maybe under the bridge to a trail by the river?

I forget the details. Is this still on?

In any case, a new bridge in that location should have bike lanes.


Vannevar

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Aug 28 2013 at 12:12pm #

Every new bridge should have a bike lane.


Lou M.

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Aug 28 2013 at 1:29pm #

Mick, yes on that path, but I don’t believe they have the funding yet for that portion.

I have heard that Ferlo has not been very fond of bike lanes in candid conversations with those close to me.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 28 2013 at 1:30pm #

There are so many alternatives for people coming from either side of the Highland Park Bridge, you see.


Benzo

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Aug 28 2013 at 1:30pm #

Lou M. wrote:I have heard that Ferlo has not been very fond of bike lanes in candid conversations with those close to me.

I might not be very fond of voting for senator ferlo in the future.


screbner

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Aug 28 2013 at 8:59pm #

+1 on that. Legally, as a four-lane road, wouldn’t taking the right lane make it a bike lane?


gg

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Aug 28 2013 at 9:09pm #

That little area sucks on a bike. There is no room at all. It f’n sucks. Figures our backasswards POS morons will just build some f’n garbage. Gee thanks. My vote goes for a NO when your term is up. Can’t do anything about the idiot PennDot morons though. They are here to say and milk us all for everything we have.


Pierce

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Aug 29 2013 at 12:55am #

I’d be interested to know why a bike lane won’t be included. What’s the reason not to? I was also pretty annoyed when they rebuilt the mega-Rankin bridge, but left a tiny pedestrian sidewalk with no separated bike lanes


Lenk42602

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Aug 29 2013 at 7:23am #

Pierce wrote:I’d be interested to know why a bike lane won’t be included. What’s the reason not to?

my guess is due to the following:

The Zoo has been planning for this reroute since 2002.
The top two officials at the Zoo are the primary designers and champions of this project.
Penn Dot is primarily leaning on their input for design and planning as the Zoo currently creates MAJOR traffic issues on the week ends. Traffic will back up over the highland park bridge while folks wait to get in.
The Zoo Inc., owns the land (parking lot) that the planned temporary re-route will pass through. Very close partnership has been established with zoo officials and Penndot.

Simply put, there is currently no representation for cyclists, as the zoo officials are not the most bicycle-aware folks in the city..

The CEO of the Zoo? We already know her, BTW.

One more thing –

That parking lot was originally a landfill long, long ago – underneath the asphalt is several feet of fly ash. This stuff is very hard to contain once airborne….


JaySherman5000

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Aug 29 2013 at 10:02am #

Lenk42602 wrote:

The top two officials at the Zoo are the primary designers and champions of this project.
Penn Dot is primarily leaning on their input for design and planning as the Zoo currently creates MAJOR traffic issues on the week ends. Traffic will back up over the highland park bridge while folks wait to get in.

Very close partnership has been established with zoo officials and Penndot.

Simply put, there is currently no representation for cyclists, as the zoo officials are not the most bicycle-aware folks in the city..

What is your source for this information? Has anyone tried to contact “zoo officials” to express concern over the new plan? If they do have as much leverage as you say over this project, why has no one tried to make them aware of cyclists’ needs in that area over the last TEN YEARS that the project has been planned?

I fully believe that PennDOT turned a deaf ear to cyclists in this case, given their history of doing so, but I think it’s irresponsible to throw accusations around at other organizations without giving any sources of information.


Lenk42602

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Aug 29 2013 at 10:32am #

My source is first hand, from working there for 17 years up to 2008. Over the course of that time, I was directly involved with other major construction projects there as well as the long term, 20 year strategic planning committee for the Zoo’s future direction. This was a collaborative effort among the Zoo’s board of directors, Zoo officials, as well as several long term subcontracting partners. The plan’s development was the result of several years of collaboration and meetings.

Are you asking me personally if anyone has contacted zoo reps on cyclists behalf? Perhaps you should ask Scott or Lou or the other ambassadors of Bike Pgh?

Certainly might be worth the effort.

There are no accusations in my post. There are no “connotations” either. It is what it is. Back when the heth’s run bridge project was put on the table in 2002, Pittsburgh’s cycling infrastructure was no where near where it is now. That’s back before we had the oval, when guys like me were down in the zoo parking lot Wednesday night where the crit races were held.

Any more questions?

Peace.


JaySherman5000

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Aug 29 2013 at 10:34am #

During your tenure with the zoo, did you ever express that cyclists might need a bike lane on the replacement bridge that was being planned?


JaySherman5000

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Aug 29 2013 at 10:47am #

@Lenk42602: I guess my point here is not to be inflammatory, but just to investigate why and how, over the span of a decade-long project, the zoo people involved would remain ignorant of cyclists’ existence. This of course, during a 10 year stretch in which cycling has enjoyed a boom-time here in PGH.

The simplest answer seems to be that it’s most likely PennDOT’s fault that no bike infrastructure is being included, just as in other PennDOT projects. This is somewhat counter to your first post which seemed to suggest that it was entirely the ignorance on the part of the zoo that allowed us to be overlooked in this project. I hope that explains my initial response.


Pierce

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Aug 29 2013 at 11:10am #

Since when do private enterprises influence whether or not a bridge gets bike lanes? I’m not talking about the re-routing, I’m talking about the permanent bridge that’s going to be stuck there another what, sixty, eighty years? This is what I was thinking for Rankin too. It seems like they’re designing infrastructure for ten years ago, not ten, twenty, thirty years from now when I’m going to guess they’ll be even more cycling for a variety of reasons


Swalfoort

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Aug 29 2013 at 11:20am #

The process by which a state or local roadway project advances through the problem identification, concept design, funding and preliminary design stages is a complex one, often beset with fits and starts and new priorities emerge, funding levels change, etc.

While not addressing this bridge in specific, we did talk about the processes (and timeframes) that can be used to influence the design of any specific roadway or bridge project at the last meeting of the SPC Ped/Bike Advisory Committee.

In looking forward, I provided a list of the projects that are currently on the regional Transportation Improvement Program (meaning there is funding in place, and they will be moving forward in the next 4 years) but they were still in the “preliminary engineering” or study phases, meaning that design could still be influenced. There were about 75 projects on the list.

I think this will link you to the entire list of “influenceable” projects:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AuKuhMYkKPOAdG9ub3lNYTJ0S21ibWNyUlJqX2JfRGc&output=html


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 29 2013 at 12:15pm #

I think it all comes down to, we need to get busy writing.

Sara, are there any additional public input sessions planned?

Do we have bike counts for along here?


jonawebb

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Aug 29 2013 at 12:19pm #

Related, this showed up on Twitter: http://penndotstc.metroquest.com/
You can tell PennDOT what your transit priorities are. And they will, of course, listen.


Swalfoort

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Aug 29 2013 at 1:21pm #

@Stu – no bike counts in that immediate area. That doesn’t mean that we couldn’t do some, of course. It just has not been a priority area yet.

As for opportunities for comment, consider the door sort of open.

Everyone, please look at that list of “planned” projects, and let me know of any particular projects that need ped/bike accommodation, and why.

(Yes, I know, they all do. But a better response is “Bridge A , because…..” It just carries more weight. Believe me on that.)

The Ped/Bike Committee meets again in October. At that time it would be conceivable that a list of “ped/bike priority concerns” could be presented to PennDOT (and our City and County partners who are also involved in roadway and bridge improvements).

So, take a look at the 75 projects on the list. Let me know why some are more in need of ped/bike accommodation than others. Maybe we can make that happen. Thanks.


Swalfoort

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Aug 29 2013 at 1:26pm #

Also, I just took a closer look at the link Jonawebb posted.

It’s a good one, or could be.

It will reach the highest levels of transportation decision makers in the State, at least in theory.

The site asks for your opinions on a number of “priority” issues, and permit you to add your own recommendations. So, on Page 2, for example, you can identify ped/bike safety as one of your top three concerns/priorities. You could also “write in” a recommendation like “better driver education” or something.

Use that link. It might help shape perception at the highest levels.


RustyRed

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Aug 29 2013 at 2:13pm #

jonawebb wrote:Related, this showed up on Twitter: http://penndotstc.metroquest.com/
You can tell PennDOT what your transit priorities are. And they will, of course, listen.

It’s good to see how PED/BIKE concerns are ranking in the survey.


HiddenVariable

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Aug 29 2013 at 2:22pm #

@Swalfoort, @jonawebb: would you consider starting another thread, if this survey is potentially that important? it would be great to get everyone involved, which seems less likely to happen with this link buried in this thread.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Aug 30 2013 at 6:35am #

The “City of Pittsburgh Allegheny Riverfront Vision” Plan features a bike/ped trail that appears to extend past the Highland Park Bridge (see page 23 of PDF).

http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/specialprojects/alleghenyriverfront/allegheny_riverfront_vision_plan.pdf

I know it’s a “vision”, etc., etc., but it is on paper.

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