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High Bushes Obscuring View At Jail Trail Exit(Grant and First Ave)?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  mjacobPGH 1 yr, 2 mos.

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mjacobPGH

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Aug 4 2013 at 2:41pm #

Hi all, I frequently use the Jail Trail to commute to work and the one thing that has always bothered me are these bushes along the sidewalk. While they are not extremely high, they do enough to obscure a drivers view. This is just asking for trouble considering the Jail Trail is probably one of the most frequented bike routes in the city AND cars are allowed to turn on red at this intersection and of course many of them do not stop in doing so. I have come close to being hit by a car doing this when I had the right of way to cross the intersection and join up with traffic on Grant Street. I’m assuming I should call 3-1-1 but I was hoping to get some other people involved in voicing this concern so that it carries more weight. Here’s the streetview of the intersection(hope I can link it properly) https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Boulevard+of+the+Allies,+Pittsburgh,+PA&hl=en&ll=40.436187,-79.998922&spn=0.001888,0.00327&sll=41.117935,-77.604698&sspn=5.412206,13.392334&oq=blvd+&t=h&hnear=Boulevard+of+the+Allies,+Pittsburgh,+Pennsylvania&z=19&layer=c&cbll=40.436336,-79.998811&panoid=FZP74fVCcTK2dpzhE9q4Gw&cbp=12,110.37,,0,9.5

If that doesn’t work it’s the corner of Grant and First Avenue. Even if they removed that last portion of bushes it would be a hugh improvement.


paulheckbert

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Aug 4 2013 at 8:34pm #

Those bushes don’t look so bad in that StreetView picture, but I guess those photos are a little deceiving since a StreetView camera is about 8.5 feet above the pavement while a driver’s eye is only about 3.5 feet up. Also, are the bushes the same height & density as in the StreetView picture or have they grown? Can someone get a current photo?


mjacobPGH

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Aug 4 2013 at 8:55pm #

Exactly, the streetview is far above what it would look like from an actual driver’s perspective. The bushes are definitely thicker now than they appear in that photo. I’ll attempt to grab an updated pic soon. Personally, I just find it surprising to have these at the exit of one the most used bike trails in the city in conjunction with allowing drivers who are coming off the highway to turn on red. I believe the turn on red is allowed to reduce congestion which is fine but just get rid of some of the bushes because this is an accident waiting to happen(if it hasn’t already).


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 5 2013 at 12:06pm #

Really, that light needs a modification to have a fifth entry point, i.e., bikes coming off the trail.

What would this sort of thing cost, who would pay for it, and can Bike-Pgh be of any help here, whether financial, engineering, lobbying, negotiating, financing an engineering study, whatever?

I’ve had a couple of close calls here myself, not knowing when and how to get onto Grant Street from the trail.


helen s

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Aug 5 2013 at 12:55pm #

If the cars turning right off of Grant would stop when they do not have a green turn arrow, it would be a lot better. I am not sure they would be looking for you coming off of the sidewalk onto “their” road even if the bushes were removed.
I am often tempted to get off my bike and s…l…o…w…l…y walk my bike across when the walk signal is on just to make them stop before turning. I suspect they would stop for a person on foot.


mjacobPGH

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Aug 5 2013 at 1:49pm #

I usually go up to First and Grant and wait until Grant has the red light. Then, I wait until there are no cars coming on First and hop onto Grant. Regardless, there are a lot of cars that just fly around that corner. I have had to sit at this junction of roads in rush hour and it is not good so I can understand why they allow the turn on red but it seems negligent to obscure the view of the exit to one of the most used bike trails in the city.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 5 2013 at 2:44pm #

One of the close calls I had was doing just what you suggested. I almost got creamed by someone coming down Grant from Blvd of the Allies, making a left onto First, apparently on a green arrow.

Edit: When I said a fifth entry point, a couple posts above, I meant a fourth. Two directions on Grant, one on First, and from the trail.

I am reminded that less than a quarter mile from my house, a private driveway has its own cycle on a traffic signal. [StreetView] Note the signal to the immediate right of the “No turn on red” sign. A sensor in the pavement at the end of the driveway automatically trips the light.


mjacobPGH

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Aug 5 2013 at 3:39pm #

Wow, must be nice to have a your own personal traffic light. I’ll call/e-maill 3-1-1 about this intersection. I hope others do, as well.


Steven

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Aug 5 2013 at 8:22pm #

Some photos taken today.

Notice the dark car behind the bush. The bushes closest to the intersection are a bit taller than the other bushes, and make it pretty hard to see the driver. A shorter cyclist would be completely hidden, I think.

The above photo was taken from the yellow strip shown in the second photo.

I’m going to send 311 the first photo and ask them to trim the bushes.

Long-term, a well-positioned button to trigger a green-for-bikes light and a no-turn-on-red light-up sign is probably the way to go. But I think modifying the light is the sort of crazy-expensive project that Bike Pgh will need to lead (and I’m guessing it’s on their radar already).


Ahlir

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Aug 5 2013 at 8:32pm #

Maybe we could have one of those magnetic sensors that would cause a “no right turn” (preferably flashing) when a bike shows up). At the very least a long pedestrian light.

If traffic is light I will use that intersection, otherwise I use the path to Smithfield… it’s not that much of a detour and it feels much less complicated. In the other direction the lights work out right, so as long as you’re coming down the left lane there are no visibility or getting-in-the-way issues.

One a different note:
This evening I way going south on Wightman just past Beacon, from a light change. Maybe 1/3 up the block I hear a hoooonk behind me. I move left to take the lane (of course). Next, I hear a maybe polite beep-beep. I stay in the lane and get to my left turn (the next block, Hobart). The car rushes by. Had there been a red light (and he car had stopped) I would probably tried to have a chat (yes, I know, iffy).


pbeaves

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Aug 5 2013 at 10:28pm #

there’s a good chance those bushes are on the property of PNC, the building is their Firstside location.
It seems reasonably feasible to write a sensibly phrased letter to the building manager explaining the issue and simple suggestions of reducing the height of the bushes.
They may not even be aware that there is an issue, therefore they would have no current need to trim their hedges.


mjacobPGH

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Aug 6 2013 at 8:58am #

Sorry for the poor MS Paint picture, but I’m working with some old computers at work. Regardless, that is the view I took today from a car on Grant in the middle lane(which could also be merging into the right turn lane), you can only imagine that it is even worse the closer you are to the bushes.


Marko82

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Aug 6 2013 at 9:40am #

It would be nice to have a “watch for bikes” sign or something there too. But the real solution is a bike-cycle added to the traffic light sequence.


Steven

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Aug 6 2013 at 10:16am #

@mjacobPGH, to post a picture you have to use the URL of the image only, not the page that it’s on. Like this:

For imgur, one way is to click “Get embed codes”, then “HTML Image (websites & blogs)”. Click the Copy button, then paste it right into a message on this board.


mjacobPGH

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Aug 6 2013 at 10:26am #

Yea, I’m new to this BikePGH forum format if you couldn’t tell haha

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