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Open house tonight: Connecting Pittsburgh to the Montour Trail

This topic contains 21 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  reddan 10 mos.

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Lou F.

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Jun 19 2013 at 12:14pm #

Just want to make sure folks on the board heard about this meeting tonight!

Open House preview of the plans for the Ohio Riverfront trail segment that will connect the Three Rivers Heritage Trail to the Montour Trail in Coraopolis! Tonight June 19, 2013 at 6pm until 8pm in the Stowe Township Municipal Building 555 Broadway Ave, McKees Rocks, PA 15136

Hosted by Friends of the Riverfront, Allegheny County, and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.


edmonds59

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Jun 19 2013 at 12:50pm #

http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/ohio-river-trail-public-forum/#post-275569

I’ll be there. :)


Benzo

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Jun 19 2013 at 2:42pm #

Could this be a way better connection to the montour trail and to the west end than the proposed changes to west carson st? I hope so!

Had I known earlier, I might have made it. Apparently I wasn’t on the friends of the riverfront mailing list despite being a member.


Steven

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Jun 19 2013 at 3:37pm #

I think it includes the proposed changes to West Carson (i.e. sharrows, not even bike lanes). Not a trail, just a signed on-road connector.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 19 2013 at 3:42pm #

I plan to attend, though I may be coming by motorcycle. *gasp*


Marko82

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Jun 19 2013 at 8:30pm #

About 25 of us from the Wed. night PMTCC ride stopped by to show support for the project. We couldn’t stay long, but hopefully it made an impression – I noticed a few of the suits took out cameras while we were there.


Swalfoort

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Jun 19 2013 at 8:35pm #

Oh, you were noticed! It was great to see you all there. Thanks for wandering out that way. On the way home from the meeting I ran into a solo MTCC rider on McKee Rocks Bridge and Rte. 65 with an apparent mechanical issue. Thought he might have been part of your group, but he said no. Hope someone was able to help him out….he refused (or at least discouraged) my offer of assistance.

It was SO cool to be at the meeting, and watch you all walk in. You definitely made an impression!


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 19 2013 at 9:06pm #

I have a good feeling about the plan. This was the first of its type that I recall attending since the Millvale-Harrison plan was made public in 2010. I liked the format: Start about 15 minutes after the advertised time, a 15-minute presentation, then free-for-all milling about, people talking to one another and presenters while looking at the pictures and maps on the easels.

It was good getting to connect a face, name and message board handle — @Benzo.

Props to the organizers. I wasn’t expecting sandwiches and bagels.

Prior to the meeting, someone asked me about routing a trail extension on the north shore of the river beyond the old jail. Frankly, I don’t see how. Even if you could get past Alcosan, there’s no easy way to get across several very active railroad tracks. But that was outside the scope of this meeting, which was specifically about getting from Station Square to Cpls and the Montour Trail.


byogman

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Jun 20 2013 at 3:26pm #

Kills me I couldn’t make this one.

So, to confirm, these folks aren’t talking about sharrows on Carson; they’re talking sense, right? Would love to hear a little more about the content of the meeting.


Marko82

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Jun 20 2013 at 4:08pm #

Beaver Street not wide enough for proposed bike lane, Sewickley officials say

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yoursewickley/yoursewickleymore/4197379-74/bike-beaver-sewickley#ixzz2WnDpr7Gj
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook


edmonds59

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Jun 20 2013 at 4:44pm #

from “Beaver Street not wide enough for proposed bike lane, Sewickley officials say”:

“Until that time, parking is a premium,” he said.

“We just don’t have that luxury to give up parking spaces on Beaver at this time.”

You don’t suppose any Sewickley residents could get to those businesses BY BIKE?!? GAH. headslap, headslap, headslap…

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yoursewickley/yoursewickleymore/4197379-74/bike-beaver-sewickley#ixzz2WnMaiCQG
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook


Steven

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Jun 20 2013 at 10:37pm #

In my experience just walking around there, traffic on Beaver Street through Sewickley isn’t going very fast, and there’s not a lot of it. (It’s posted as 25 mph, and cars seem to go no faster.) It’s also pretty flat. It seems like it would be really nice for biking as-is, with the feel of a street like Ellsworth (though I’ve never biked in Sewickley).

There are also parts of Beaver Street just east and west of downtown where the road narrows, and there’s no parking and no room for more than the two narrow driving lanes there now. Bikes wouldn’t be able to stay in a bike lane all that long anyway.

So it’s not obvious to me Beaver Street would benefit much from bike lanes instead of sharrows. In fact, replacing on-street parking with bike lanes could even make things worse, if it results in faster traffic. There are plenty of streets that could benefit from bike lanes, but maybe not this one.


Marko82

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Jun 21 2013 at 6:46am #

^ You are correct, Beaver street is very pleasant to bike on as-is. The only thing is I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone biking on it (other than the people biking with me). Maybe sharrows would help, but it seems like a bike lane would encourage people to give it a try. It’s very flat down that way – well if you don’t turn away from the river anyway.

*“We just don’t have that luxury to give up parking spaces on Beaver at this time.”*

Has anyone ever done a study on the length of time that cyclist spend in a shopping district vs. those that arrive by car? It seems to me that a cyclist probably takes their time and goes to multiple stores since they had to put effort into getting there, where a car shopper is more likely to just pop into one store and leave since they are worried about feeding a parking meter. Huge generalization I’m sure, but it would be a great argument for cycling infrastructure in these small towns.


Benzo

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Jun 21 2013 at 7:09am #

byogman wrote:So, to confirm, these folks aren’t talking about sharrows on Carson; they’re talking sense, right? Would love to hear a little more about the content of the meeting.

These folks are recommending alternatives to just simply giving a road diet and adding sharrows on carson. However, there needs to be a) money to finance the alternate plan, which includes an overhang over the railroad track on the river side to accommodate either 1 bike lane (and sharrow on the downhill wall side) or a 2 way cycletrack. This will cost millions. b) political will to influence penndot to allow the alternative to happen.

Hopefully, they will put their proposals online soon and we can post a link here.


edmonds59

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Jun 21 2013 at 7:58am #

Sam Thomas of Friends of the Riverfront sent me links to the report materials. Note: the “Full Report” is a big ass file.
I want to say that Mackin Engineering did a great job with the study. Members of the study team rode the West Carson corridor. On bikes. Which I take to be major progress for a traffic engineering firm. Bob Genter (sp?) of Mackin “Gets It”. Kudos.

“Please find a link to the final Pittsburgh to Coraopolis Feasibility report here:

http://www.friendsoftheriverfront.org/misc_docs/FULL%20Final%20Report_061913.pdf

Here is a link to the powerpoint presentation from last night: http://www.friendsoftheriverfront.org/misc_docs/Open%20House%20Presentation.pdf

These links are all available on the Trail Status page at http://www.friendsoftheriverfront.org.

Thanks again. Don’t hesitate to contact us with question or comments.

Sincerely,

Friends of the Riverfront, Allegheny County, and Pennsylvania Environmental Council.”


jonawebb

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Jun 21 2013 at 11:40am #

From the presentation:

Yay!


Benzo

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Jun 21 2013 at 11:51am #

jonawebb wrote:From the presentation:

Yay!

This would be nice. It would also be nice if they could make it a ramp that was ridable with one or two switchbacks to connect to the bridge. They don’t have a lot of width to work with, but there is a bit of length. I’m thinking like the ramps up to the 7th st bridge from the downtown side of the trail.


Mikhail

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Jun 21 2013 at 1:45pm #

I have one question… On those separated&protected tracks — who and how is going to remove snow?


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 22 2013 at 1:12pm #

Nobody, until we demand it be done, like on the Jail Trail.


Steven

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Jun 23 2013 at 4:19am #

Mackin’s work is very impressive, but I’m not sure about one part.

Do we really need both a sidewalk and a bike path throughout, in such a tight corridor? Why not a simple multi-use path instead, like on lots of the Three Rivers trails?

Consider the section from the West End Bridge to the Corliss tunnel. PennDOT is planning to have two 14′ shared lanes, a 10′ turning lane, and a 5′ sidewalk. Total 43′ wide not including barriers.

Mackin proposes two 12′ lanes for cars, a 10′ turning lane, a 12′ two-way bike lane, and a 5′ sidewalk. To fit all this, they say to build a new cantilevered surface that sticks out over the railroad’s right of way. Total 51′. See page 52 of their Final Report (figure 3).

As I see it, this section could work fine with no cantilevering, if you use a MUP. First, the only possibile left turns in this section are the West Busway and the Corliss Tunnel. In the former area, there’s now an extra-wide shoulder south of the road, perhaps 8′ wide. Shift the 14′ lanes PennDOT wants 5′ south, reducing the width of the shoulder there. Now there’s room to expand the 5′ sidewalk into a 10′ multi-use path. Before and after the busway entrance, remove the excess lane, and there’s plenty of room for a wide multi-use path.

Just east of the Corliss tunnel, the left turn lane would seem to require cantilevering, but right at the tunnel there’s a sort of sidewalk on both sides, to let pedestrians exiting the tunnel cross Route 51. I think you might be able to redesign the area to eliminate the tiny bit of sidewalk to the south and use the space to expand the sidewalk on the north into a MUP. (Further west, Mackin suggests eliminating the second westbound lane entirely, and points out it was out due to construction for a year recently, and presumably nothing bad happened. Works for me.)

The idea of having a 10′ MUP instead of the more elaborate infrastructure in the images above is to make something that’s much safer than what we have now, yet cheap enough we could perhaps get it in a reasonable amount of time. I’m guessing this whole section could be done with little more than shifting the jersey barriers, repaving the new MUP, and repainting lanes.


buffalo buffalo

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Jun 24 2013 at 12:10pm #

Marko82 wrote:Has anyone ever done a study on the length of time that cyclist spend in a shopping district vs. those that arrive by car?

I think the story was that cyclists per visit may spend less, but over time in aggregate cyclists spend more than those who drive. There were a couple different stories last year & earlier this year…

the major issue i have with riding Sewickley is the getting there. (Well, that and the usual massively-out-of-place feeling i get any time I’m somewhere the median monthly income approaches my annual salary…)
I have no interest in riding 51 or 65, which seems to leave… Mt Nebo to Blackburn? Did that once, about three or four years ago–that’s the road I hit 42+ mph on a massive Giant hybrid on. Not sure I need to do that again…


reddan

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Jun 24 2013 at 1:17pm #

I have no interest in riding 51 or 65, which seems to leave… Mt Nebo to Blackburn? Did that once, about three or four years ago–that’s the road I hit 42+ mph on a massive Giant hybrid on. Not sure I need to do that again…

[Best route to Brighton Heights]->McKees Rocks Bridge->51->Neville island->51->Sewickley Bridge is decent, for the most part.
Alternatively, any one of the bajillion ways through the North Hills out towards the Red Belt, then over the ridge directly to Sewickley, or around the ridge to Ambridge then back to Sewickley via Beaver, are pretty much all fun.

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