BikePGH!

I love seeing so many people on the trails, but… (suggestions?)

This topic contains 98 replies, has 31 voices, and was last updated by  RustyRed 9 mos.

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sarah_q

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Jul 2 2013 at 6:31pm #

Yep, had a solid run on the trails this morning and most of the cyclists who passed me I knew — I love the pgh cycling community. Plus I actually noticed that sign!!

I heard back from the FoRF contact Scott recommended. He said, “You are right about the increased usage and need for lines and signage. We actually are working with a funder now to secure the resources for both of those items. We hope to know soon.”


Ahlir

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Jul 2 2013 at 8:02pm #

This is probably a (terribly) wrong way to address this issue, but remember that drivers tend to ignore speed limits. In fact it seems to be socially acceptable to cruise at least maybe 5mph over the limit. I’m told that law enforcement won’t pay attention to you if you’re driving only that much over the limit.

Life’s like that. Why should life on the trails be any different?

But the heck with the bikes; right now it’s way more important to get the cars moving closer to their assigned speed limits.
I can probably live with cars doing +5mph (especially if and when the city speed limits ever go down to 20mph) but it’s scary when they’re doing +20mph (like on the Homestead Greys).

It feels like a waste of effort to worry about bike trail speeds when the real problem are car speeds on roads.


Ahlir

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Jul 2 2013 at 8:16pm #

RE the rules placard at the east end of the EFT. I went by there today, looked for it and (finally) noticed it. I now know why I never saw it.

It’s really not placed that well, next to that historical marker thingie and the clean up you dog poop sign. It would have been much more noticeable a dozen metres down the trail, by itself. (As would the dog poop sign for that matter.)

It’s also too small to read if you’re already in motion. On highways the signs are really big because people are moving fast but still have to be able to read them. The same should go for bike signs. The current sign seems to assume stationary readers (or people ambling along at dog-walker speeds).

I’m pretty sure specs exist for readability at different speeds. (It’s the kind of stuff those traffic engineer people do for a living.) Wouldn’t that be the right way to do it? Oh, and I would recommend the 15mph lettering size.


Steven

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Jul 3 2013 at 3:05am #

I’m told that law enforcement won’t pay attention to you if you’re driving only that much over the limit.

It’s not just that they won’t, by state law, they generally can’t. Title 75 section 3368(c)4:

No person may be convicted upon evidence obtained through the use of devices authorized by paragraphs (2) and (3) [RADAR and VASCAR] unless the speed recorded is six or more miles per hour in excess of the legal speed limit. Furthermore, no person may be convicted upon evidence obtained through the use of devices authorized by paragraph (3) [VASCAR] in an area where the legal speed limit is less than 55 miles per hour if the speed recorded is less than ten miles per hour in excess of the legal speed limit. This paragraph shall not apply to evidence obtained through the use of devices authorized by paragraph (2) or (3) within a school zone or an active work zone.


Italianblend

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Jul 3 2013 at 7:58am #

How about just “stay right, pass left with caution”

There’s no need to post speed limits or waste money on painting lanes. If everyone stays to the right when there is nobody in front of them, there would not be many problems.

Sometimes there’s a walker in the dead center and I wish they would just be a little to the right. That’s all.

And sometimes….I get passed by a polite biker and wish I had thinner wheels and a faster bikeeeeeeeeee.


sarah_q

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Jul 3 2013 at 8:17am #

When I made this thread I was just wondering if there was something that we could do to make the trails safer and more user friendly.

As a result, I learned there already is a speed limit and a sign! Who knew? Also I found out that many cyclists (like drivers) don’t like the idea of speed limits. I am guilty of hauling ass down the jail trail. I am certainly not casting stones.

Center line markings make a huge difference from what I have seen on the Greenway in NYC. I think it’s cool that FotRF are already looking into this. As a nonprofit I assume their funding is from grants/ donations.


Italianblend

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Jul 3 2013 at 8:51am #

I wonder if most cyclists don’t have a speedometer and just go fast and not realize their speed.

When I go on the trails, it’s usually for a workout and I am safe but I do like to pretend I’m in the breakaway trying to escape Peter Sagan and his cronies in green.

I would love if NBC sports would make a cycling app in which they give you commentary while you are riding!


byogman

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Jul 3 2013 at 9:31am #

Ahlir wrote:I’m pretty sure specs exist for readability at different speeds. (It’s the kind of stuff those traffic engineer people do for a living.) Wouldn’t that be the right way to do it? Oh, and I would recommend the 15mph lettering size.

If you’re trying to get a limit sign to read and theoretically have an effect, you’d need the lettering big enough to be readable by those riding the very fastest. So apparently, that’s 30mph plus. You probably would do best just to use the same signs as an roadways for cars. To, ahem, do nothing (I’m opposed to the limit for reasons well hashed out earlier) but at least do nothing with high visibility!


Mikhail

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Jul 3 2013 at 9:43am #

sarah_q wrote:Center line markings make a huge difference from what I have seen on the Greenway in NYC.

They are making huge difference in the separate bike lanes on the River Front (the one that start near Pump House).


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 3 2013 at 12:08pm #

I think we’ve established that the sign at the eastern end of EFT is just about purpose-less. Merely moving it to a few feet toward the city would go a long way to making it visible. Nobody is going to blow past it at 20 mph just a few yards from the lot. Just that it’s positioned right now so that nobody is likely to see it unless looking for it.

I’m also for the “Burma Shave” philosophy of posting signs. Small in size, tiny in information delivery, a regular series that causes you to look for the next one once you’ve processed the first one. Like this sequence:

A guy who drives
..
..
..
A car wide open
..
..
..
Is not thinkin’
..
..
..
He’s just hopin’
..
..
..
Burma-Shave


MichaelArtman

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Jul 3 2013 at 12:59pm #

After riding the river trails yesterday, I think I’m all but convinced the road is a safer option for bikes. The short few miles heading upriver along the North Shore trail felt far more dangerous than the 20+ miles of road riding through the North Hills.

My friend (who was riding in front of me) and I were travelling at a reasonably safe speed along the North Shore, but almost plowed into a group of teens who didn’t look before stepping into our path. At least cars are mildly more predictable in their actions. Sure, there is always the driver that is either ignorant, combatant, or simply irresponsible… But 99 times out of 100 I can make myself visible to cars on the road. Pedestrians however, just simply aren’t used to having to look around in public spaces.

I imagine a painted center line would do wonders for the Jail trail, as well as parts of the South Side trail. But the North Shore trail may be a lost cause through the stadium sections. Too many folks preoccupied with the joy of skyscrapers and waterfowl to consider how unpredictably they are walking. Maybe a full-fledged bike lane through those sections is whats needed. But if thats the answer, it might just make more sense to stay on the road.

Which reminds me – its time to re-up my BikePgh membership. Thanks for improving road conditions, and it might be time to kick some of my money over to Friends of the Riverfront as well.


salty

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Jul 3 2013 at 6:56pm #

Sounds like you’re all prepped for reading “Effective Cycling”…

(ducks)


Vannevar

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Jul 3 2013 at 7:09pm #

Stu, something like this?
From the Baltimore-Annapolis trail.


Ahlir

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Jul 3 2013 at 7:31pm #

It’s silly to think of the North Shore as a bike trail. It’s not. It’s for pedestrians, loafers and for families bicycling with young children. Anything else (like huff’n puff biking) simply has the wrong rhythm and ends up lessening the enjoyment of the scene for others. If you’re going faster than 5-6 mph you probably don’t belong.

Fortunately, cycling that stretch works just fine by street (N Shore Dr — Mazeroski — Gen Robinson — River). Though it would help if the whole thing was sharrowed properly,


bear250220

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Jul 3 2013 at 8:42pm #

from the casino to western pen its not to bad but if you go past the casino its tough going unless its like 6am


pinky

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Jul 4 2013 at 6:45am #

I commute on the North Shore Trail daily between the Casino and 9th St Bridge. On days with baseball games, fireworks, regattas, or country music concerts, I take the road. The speed limits are low and the lights are timed to keep things fairly sane.

Sometimes I find myself wishing for winter or a downpour, so I can get “my” trail back :)


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 4 2013 at 8:33am #

@Vannevar – Yes, precisely.

If they put them on hinges, they’d make a nice hurdle track. Or however you set up hurdles. (You can tell how much track & field I’ve done.)


edmonds59

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Jul 4 2013 at 9:57am #

Love the Burma Shave concept.


RustyRed

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Jul 18 2013 at 3:54pm #

I encountered a salmon pedestrian on a semi-regular basis on the Chateau section of the North Shore trail in the morning and it seems he’s doing it deliberately to intimidate me or to get me to crash.

Guy: short, thin, sleeved arms. His girlfriend has multicolored hair. I’m generally able to ride around him and avoid a confrontation, but one day last week I couldn’t (trail narrowed) and I simply had to stop/yield. If I didn’t have a set of handlebars in his way he’d have bashed a shoulder into me.

I now avoid that area of the trail in the morning because of him.

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