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dangerous longitudinal drain grates

This topic contains 244 replies, has 50 voices, and was last updated by  chrishent 4 days, 22 hrs.

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Swalfoort

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Dec 17 2013 at 2:21pm #

Hmm, but why limit it to the City?

Keep it here.

Can anyone create/teach me how to maintain a spreadsheet or documentation process that is publicly accessible online?
A google doc, perhaps?


jonawebb

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Dec 17 2013 at 2:33pm #

The Wiki would be a good spot for that…


salty

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Dec 17 2013 at 7:54pm #

other people probably know how to do this better than I do, but if you put them on a map they can be annotated and exported… like the crash map or ToR map.


buffalo buffalo

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Dec 25 2013 at 1:04am #

Swalfoort wrote:Can anyone create/teach me how to maintain a spreadsheet or documentation process that is publicly accessible online?
A google doc, perhaps?

Look into GD FusionTables, or similar, and see if you can feed one from a form.

Fusion Tables is googledocs’ term for a spreadsheet, specific columns of which are specifically marked as a certain kind of data to be made into a visualization—in this case, geographic data which can be automatically plotted on a map. If you can combine that with a gd form (which automatically feeds into a spreadsheet), you can get a form > ss > map workflow that lets you (or “anyone”) fill out a form and plot these suckers on a map. you could probably also either export the map or the s/s with geocoded locationdata, too.

(there are probably ways to do this in Excel, with MapQuest, etc, but this is the one I’m (semi) familiar with.)


Marko82

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Jan 10 2014 at 8:50pm #

Here’s another lawsuit for ya Stu:

Martin Willett, ?the chief deputy county administrator, was seriously injured in June when the front wheel of his bike got stuck in a “drainage gap” on the Dodge Boulevard Bridge.
http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/high-ranking-pima-administrator-seeks-m-over-bicycle-crash-injuries/article_53bbaae5-9421-59f5-b707-cc093b76697f.html


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 23 2014 at 8:23am #

Yale Cohen dug up some relevant info on this topic worth sharing here. The city published a document in 2005, “Bicycle Facilities Guidelines and Policies”, containing recommendations for storm grates, apparently from PennDOT. See Figure 9.

PDF of the whole document

From Page 19:


Drainage Inlet Grates

Drainage inlet grates should be replaced with bicycle-friendly types. Grates that have bars that are parallel to the direction of travel can trap the wheel of a bicycle. Even grates with diagonal bars can be hazardous to bicyclists. These types of grates can trap a bicycle wheel if, when located on the corner of an intersection, the bars are oriented so that the slots are parallel to the wheel of a turning bicycle. If bicycle-friendly grates cannot be installed in a timely fashion, then steel straps should be welded to the existing drainage inlet grates at 4-inch intervals, center-to-center, perpendicular to the parallel bars. Drainage inlets should also be flush with the pavement surface.

So it would appear this document has been gathering dust on a shelf for nine years. Both the city and PennDOT had the right idea that long ago. It doesn’t take an engineering degree to figure out that the county would similarly be on board.

This message board thread is over five years old, with some of these grates untouched. I continue to be amazed these don’t garner more headlines. What is it really going to take to get the right departments to actually get out there and change these? Do we need a formal inventory? I would sooner spend any taxpayer money to switch out the ones we already know about instead of a formal inventory, and I don’t want to just do the city, just do one of 130+ municipalities at a time.

[That image took maybe 20 minutes to put together in Paint, adapted from here.]


StuInMcCandless

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Mar 20 2014 at 4:56pm #

A real story, with photos.
http://drunkcyclist.com/2007/10/17/my-balls-hurt/


Benzo

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Mar 21 2014 at 9:23am #

Article NSFW btw. OUCH! I’ve had a couple grate crashes, but that takes the cake.


paulheckbert

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Apr 6 2014 at 10:27pm #

6627 Forward Ave, Squirrel Hill on the north side of the road, as you climb the hill:


StuInMcCandless

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Jan 2 2015 at 12:52am #

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205407096247164&set=gm.10152997500454940&type=1

I don’t know if you can see the photo at the link above, but it is a longitudinal grate in a sharrowed bike lane in Boston, MA.

Here is a StreetView of it. It’s about two feet beyond the sharrow at mid-screen.
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3475456,-71.0407707,3a,75y,237.61h,85.13t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sfQIT7L7sdPt88Azh33zYQQ!2e0


paulheckbert

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Jan 19 2015 at 2:20am #

crossing Liberty Ave in Bloomfield at Cedarville St

in Streetview: https://goo.gl/maps/F2LUk

my 38mm tire slipped right in the slots:



StuInMcCandless

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Jan 19 2015 at 9:41am #

Keep ’em coming, folks.

Come to think of it, I probably have one or two on my phone that I never uploaded.

Someone mentioned a map of these at one point. @swalfoort, was that you? (I see the reference at the top of this page. Possibly there was another a few pages back on this thread, but I’m too lazy to look.) Probably we need to get @erok to add a link to it to the top post on the thread, and/or a spreadsheet, a la Tag-o-Rama.


paulheckbert

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Jul 26 2015 at 4:53pm #

Dangerous longitudinal sinkholes?
McKean St & S 2nd St, along the Southside bike trail. (wasn’t this bad a year ago, when Streetview photographed it)


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 26 2015 at 4:58pm #

311 that puppy, if you haven’t already. I like to pose a bike in the picture and tweet it in, via @pgh311, showing proximity to the path of travel.


StuInMcCandless

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Sep 10 2015 at 10:32am #

I still keep finding new ones. There’s a nasty one up in Fineview — I wish I could remember the street corner, but I was on motorcycle, running late for an appointment. It was on the inside of a turn, with diagonal slots lined up with the direction of the turn.

Someplace else I was in the past week, whoever I was with took a photo of his bike with the front wheels buried up to the hubs. Maybe in Presston on Labor Day?

Again, I think there are too many to count, in certain parts of town, in otherwise very chill, bikeable neighborhoods.


paulheckbert

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Sep 10 2015 at 1:43pm #

there was this one, spotted during the Labor Strike Ride: Nichol Ave & Ohio St, McKees Rocks bottoms


Benzo

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Sep 14 2015 at 2:27pm #

Wind Gap Bridge, inbound to chartiers neighborhood.

Anyone know if this is city of Pittsburgh, county, or penndot?


Benzo

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Sep 14 2015 at 2:30pm #

Weird thing is that it’s only this one grate. All the others are diagonal.


buffalo buffalo

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Sep 14 2015 at 3:17pm #

Looks like Windgap Bridge, though not either of the connecting roads, is owned by the County, based on this 2008 document (PDF) suggesting it as one of a number of roads and bridges that should be transferred to the state.


Benzo

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Sep 15 2015 at 11:27am #

Thanks, Sent an email to allegheny county dpw with google map link and image.


StuInMcCandless

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Sep 16 2015 at 3:26am #

Thanks, @Benzo.
I thought that grate sounded familiar. I posted a photo on this thread on April 27, 2011, and a text post on Feb 11, 2011.

Why is it taking years to fix these?


paulheckbert

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Oct 6 2015 at 10:09pm #

Big improvement at McKean St & S 2nd St since July: the broken sawhorse has been replaced. The storm drain sinkhole is unchanged, however.


Benzo

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Oct 7 2015 at 6:53am #

Reply from penndot about my concern about the longitudinal drain grates on 40th street bridge:

Customer concern 20150925-D11-A2PK57 for Benjamin has been closed. Closing Comments: Thank you Benjamin for alerting us to the possible need for bicycle safe grates on the 40th bridge. We are currently looking into the matter and considering possible methods to have the grates retrofitted or replaced. Thank you


JaySherman5000

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Oct 7 2015 at 9:36am #

I rode the Zoom the Tombs route on Sunday:

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2786877

and found a couple of dangerous grates inside Calvary Cemetery. The slots looked big enough to swallow a 700×28. I’m not sure if contacting the cemetery management will go anywhere, but I’ll give it a shot.


buffalo buffalo

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Oct 9 2015 at 5:59pm #

Been having trouble posting…trying again:

View post on imgur.com

Liberty, in front of August Wilson Ctr, between Smithfield & Wm Penn.

[aaaand…of course the damn thing’s getting cut off. i give up…click on it to see the whole thing.]


paulheckbert

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Oct 18 2015 at 9:52pm #

This bridge has a dangerous longitudinal drain grate – tear it down! (photo from yesterday’s bridge-closing party :-)


StuInMcCandless

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Oct 19 2015 at 10:59am #

Back on page 3 of this thread, five years ago, I proposed a way to categorize these. The diagonal ones are Type 3, though where they are placed has a lot to do with how unsafe they are. If your normal path of travel is to cross these without the wheels turned, then it’s not as bad as one in the center of an intersection, like Center at Perry in West View,
or one aligned with sidewalk travelers, like Ellsworth at Bellefont,
both of which exist, unchanged.

I also know of a couple others I haven’t posted here yet. (I really need to go through my phone.)

My greater annoyance is that some of these have been posted for seven years, and still haven’t gotten on anyone’s radar.


paulheckbert

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Nov 6 2015 at 10:13pm #

S 2nd St & McKean St – where old sawhorses go to die.


paulheckbert

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Feb 2 2016 at 11:38pm #

This one could swallow not just a wayward bike tire, but a small child.

Logan St just below Shoup St, Millvale. That’s a Dirty Dozen hill.


chrishent

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Mar 8 2016 at 11:07am #

Went by S 2nd St and McKean yesterday and saw that a new, proper drain grate had been put in where that corner sinkhole is (was?). They still have a sawhorse there, but still, they finally fixed it!


paulheckbert

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Mar 9 2016 at 1:03am #

Yes! Progress! The new storm drain at S 2nd St & McKean St looks like this:


paulheckbert

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Apr 2 2016 at 10:43am #

Doubly dangerous, at Manhattan St and Juniata St, Northside


StuInMcCandless

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Apr 8 2016 at 4:22pm #

“Have you seen me?”

Pittsburgh Water & Sewer wants your input.

Is your street scheduled to be paved? Help us out by #Drainspotting; replacing broken basins before paving starts


Marko82

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Apr 19 2016 at 5:05pm #

WPXI had a story of a woman’s leg getting trapped in a broken longitudinal grate in Hazelwood today, but I can’t find the story on their site. They had to use the jaws-of-life to get the woman’s leg free.
The grate had been reported to 311 at least three times in the past but Alcosan says they have no record of it being reported; the woman was looking at her phone and didn’t notice the grate was broken when she stepped onto it. They also showed another broken grate just up the street from this one.
I think the location was Hazelwood and 2nd ave


Pierce

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Apr 19 2016 at 5:32pm #

http://www.wpxi.com/news/firefighters-use-jaws-of-life-to-free-womans-leg-from-hazelwood-sewer-grate/228374324

Beat me to it Marko!


paulheckbert

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Apr 19 2016 at 8:06pm #

Wow. That was at 2nd Ave & Glenwood Ave, actually (not Hazelwood Ave). The video also shows a second broken drain grate at Glenwood Ave & Gate Lodge Way. This incident gives our efforts new importance!


StuInMcCandless

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Apr 20 2016 at 7:11am #

I just tweeted to the PWSA to ask them to please read this thread.


…and…


StuInMcCandless

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Apr 20 2016 at 8:00am #

The nice folks at PWSA already got back to me and said they will review the thread.

They also asked that anyone noticing a bad grate to please use the 311 form to report it. Select Utility, then Catch Basins, then be very specific about the location.

Form URL: http://pittsburghpa.gov/311/form


paulheckbert

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Apr 25 2016 at 2:40pm #

Welcome to the Convention Center! Do you want me to call an ambulance?
(Penn & 10th)


StuInMcCandless

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Apr 25 2016 at 6:26pm #

Back on Page 3 of this thread, I proposed a category system for these. @ph’s grate is Type 3:
3) Grates … which, by their positioning, are not an immediate danger to travel.

There are thousands of that diagonal type, and while they can clearly eat a wheel, that concern is mitigated somewhat by the tall curb.

I want to get those changed out, too, but I don’t see them as important as the first couple of categories.

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