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Prospect drive was closed last Sunday, another 11th hour opportunity?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Benzo 1 mo, 3 weeks.

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byogman

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Apr 11 2014 at 12:52pm #

Should’ve reported this one earlier when I saw the end of last week.

Prospect drive in Schenley park, just off Hobart and connecting to the recently partially cleared Pocusset drive trail and Pocusset Street, had the long white Pittsburgh DPW sawhorse barriers saying that the road was closed.

Anyways, I investigated on foot and then on Sunday went again, riding with my daughter. It was awesome. Any way we can have this one candlesticked at Hobart and re-opened de-motorized?

The backwards Z, totally free from cars, would be absolutely incredible.

Also, anyone let me know if there’s more clearing work happening on Pocusset Drive Trail. Won’t be able to help for a couple weeks because over Passover, but then should be able to kick in thereafter, and would be very motivated to do so!


jonawebb

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Apr 11 2014 at 1:31pm #

I would contact Lynette Lederman and use all your persuasive skills.
Sorry, the filter here took our her email. It is lynette.lederman@pittsburghpa.gov. She is staff for Corey O’Connor.


Benzo

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Apr 11 2014 at 1:53pm #

I thought I saw they candlesticked the bottom of the trail. I agree, you just need to candlestick the top and get some folks to clear the trail obstructions and it would make an adequate connector.

I wonder if they maybe had plans to improve the surface before putting up candlesticks at the top? Or if they don’t have plans to do anything at all?


jonawebb

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Apr 11 2014 at 2:24pm #

There’s candlesticks at both ends of Pocussett Drive. @by is talking about Prospect Drive.
But I don’t think restricting Prospect to bikes and peds only makes sense. It’s a fine place to ride without restrictions. It’s not like people are speeding to the turnaround. And there’s picnic tables in there, so folks can have cookouts, and getting all the stuff there without a car might be hard. What are they doing to do, use a bike trailer.
OTOH bike lanes would be nice.


Benzo

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Apr 11 2014 at 3:55pm #

My mistake. Yeah, I don’t see a big need to make that area car free, some bike lanes would be nice, but I don’t see a huge need.


byogman

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Apr 11 2014 at 4:09pm #

Makes a bigger difference if you’re talking about absolute noobs and little kids riding.


steevo

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Apr 14 2014 at 7:56am #

It seems like there was tree trimming happening?
The trails in that area should be used for mountain biking and a
pump track should be built there.


byogman

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Apr 14 2014 at 9:25am #

There were definitely some freshly chopped trees.

The trails in Panther Hollow and Bridle Trail are best for mountain bike or at least fat tired commuter when dry-ish.

Poccusset Street and Prospect Drive are road, Pocusset Drive Trail is old road bed and would also be fine for whatever sort of bike. A little more clearing would definitely be desirable to reduce the likelihood of stuff in the spokes.

A pump track at the end of Prospect Drive would add another really cool dimension to the backward Z and cement it the works as a fun all comers mini bike destination.

As with so many other things, it because more than linearly better the more it’s connected to, next step would be calming/separating things on Greenfield Rd and the stupid intersection with Hobart to connect back up to those trails as well as nice zero stress road riding on Circuit and Schenley Drive.

And then, if you can do something with Panther Hollow Rd. (like was just done on Negley Run!) and that stupid interchange by Anderson/Dinosaur playground, and connect up to the Beacon Street bike lanes better, in the western direction connect lower stress to Halket Street, you get a full on cycling paradise and major urban connector that would dovetail perfectly with Forbes/Fifth BRT and bikeway and help cyclists a lot dealing with the greenfield bridge outage.

And then if you can get bike lanes on Greenfield Avenue and/or bike-lift connector up from Saline Street…

Anyways, I get more than a little overeager about this stuff. But it’s good to dream and it’s a good dream.


jonawebb

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Apr 14 2014 at 9:33am #

byogman wrote:There were definitely some freshly chopped trees.

I think there’s some tree disease so they’re cutting down all the trees of a particular type, maybe oaks. It’s a great loss but I don’t think there’s anything else that can be done.
Found it: it’s oak wilt. There were public meetings about it a while ago. http://www.wqed.org/birdblog/2014/01/27/schenley-park-oak-wilt-meeting-feb-3/


J Z

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May 22 2014 at 11:17pm #

Came from there earlier, and Pocusset Drive has a tree down near the junction of Prospect Drive. You can shimmy a bike under/over it, but no way around that I could see.


neilmd

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May 23 2014 at 5:45am #

Prospect is a popular hookup spot.

The Hobart Beacon intersection can be hair raising. Cars taking right from beacon often think bikes aren’t actually moving, and I once encountered a car preparing to take a left onto Beacon when I was in the RIGHT lane going down about half way to Bartlett. That buttered my toast… They cut that corner something awful in general.


jonawebb

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May 23 2014 at 7:26am #

“Pocusset Drive has a tree down near the junction of Prospect Drive”
submitted to 311.


byogman

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May 23 2014 at 7:53am #

Definitely the more 311s the better. I think also addressing mail to Lynette Lederman in Corey O Conner’s office and telling what it means to you was a big plus. We had a really nice exchange, when I did that, just nothing definite at the end so that’s why I didn’t update the thread. Super bonus points if you know folks on Pocusset Drive who’d write, too.


Swalfoort

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May 23 2014 at 9:00am #

Hmm, Green Lanes Candidate? (That would mean a cycletrack/separated bike lane, not just green paint.)

Pocusset Drive Trail along Prospect, and then via Hobart to Murray? Or beyond?

I have not checked the geography or roadway geography. Just thinking aloud at the moment.

P.S. I should know this, but apparently don’t: What’s a pump track?


byogman

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May 23 2014 at 9:52am #

There is zero value to Prospect Drive as a motorway. It literally connects to nothing. There should be no motor vehicle traffic to separate yourself from!

It’s true that at one point there was contemplation of putting a park building there, some storage facility that presumably would get utterly negligible traffic to/from. That hasn’t come to pass… if it does having a gate in the middle, candlesticks to cover the rest sounds perfectly reasonable/appropriate. In the meantime? Candlesticks over the the whole entrance is my vote.

Without Pocusset Trail Drive, this matters only so much because it doesn’t connect to anything for us either. While not reopen to anything officially right now it ~might~ with enough friendly nagging on our part be cleared/opened for non-motorized use and then you get a backward Z climbing from the greenfield bridge to squirrel hill with zero stress.

Finishing the job to get to the heart of squirrel hill on Hobart is probably not the way to go. It’s a perfectly fine street east of wightman, but west of wightman the cars are still expecting to fly, there’s no space for infrastructure. Thankfully, there’s a reasonable alternate anyway. Make a left on Guarino, left on murdoch and immediate right onto the beacon street bike lanes.

For a new cyclist merging onto Hobart and making the immediate left onto Guarino would be quite intimidating. There should be speed humps to make cars cresting the hump with limited visibility slow the bleep down. I have the same complaint for drivers rounding the inside bend of Beacon street.

It wouldn’t serve me as well, but if there’s no trail forthcoming across the field serving as a nice connector to Bartlett playground and points beyond and direct to the endpoint of the bike lanes, the most logical place to put that bit of traffic calming is not at the bend, but instead east my house approaching Murdoch. This would support making this backward Z as a bidirectional low stress connector (you would also have to make the little elbox of Guarino signed for counterflow bike traffic).

Not that there’s any equivalent level of stress going down as up, I imagine it wouldn’t get used nearly as much going down, but it would be nice to make the system more discoverable to have a symmetrical option. Also, it’s a benefit for considering the backward Z as a recreation facility for kids riding, for which it was awesome during that brief, beautiful, treeless time on Poccuset Trail. That’s what I wrote to Lynnette Lederman about. The pump track (the humped sort of track you ride bmx bikes around) is a nice idea to make it a full on bike recreational amenity.

There are simpler approaches and approaches that would work far better from a transportation standpoint, especially while the greenfield bridge is out.

However, they require actual space taken from motorists and I imagine higher cost and more political considerations as a result. I don’t expect to see them happening. And inasmuch as kids, interested but concerned riders, and recreational riders all want some of the same things this serves pretty well.

Your vision may vary, though I hope that by presenting mine and I think it’s logic some others might jump on and endorse the whole of it. Connections in western squirrel hill, earnest letters, these do the most. But even basic 311s are really good. Let’s all agree to just get that stupid tree out of the way for starters!


Vannevar

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May 23 2014 at 5:46pm #

Echoing Swalfort – I know there is a PumpTrack at WheelMill, but what is a Pump Track (serious question) TIA!


rice rocket

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May 23 2014 at 8:22pm #

Pump tracks are flowy trails that have moguls and other features that let you to carry speed by just “pumping” the bars.

Like this:

Maybe less farming though.


Benzo

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May 30 2014 at 9:55am #

I rode through here yesterday, and I can report that the Pocusset drive trail is totally clear except the one large log blocking it at the entrance. Not an easy go around at the moment though. It’s just awkward to try and hop over the tree right now.

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