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Tues, July 19: IMPORTANT public meeting about Forbes Ave lane diet/bike lanes

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erok

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Jul 14 2011 at 5:37pm #

Show your support at this important Public Meeting for the Forbes Ave bike lane project

Carnegie Mellon University is currently embarking on updating their Master Plan. Master Plans typically cover everything from what new buildings they want to build to transportation issues, and will help the University set its goals for the next 10 years.

One of the earliest projects that they are interested in advancing is a “lane diet” on Forbes Ave, through their campus. Many of our readers may remember an earlier public meeting about this, and thanks to your large turnout and support, the project moved forward. Since then, BikePGH has been working with CMU to turn this project into a reality.

CMU is interested in slowing down traffic through the campus, providing a safer passage for their students to cross Forbes Ave on foot, as well as make it easier to get around campus by bike. The plan is to remove one lane in each direction, from Margaret Morrison St to Craig St. The lanes will be turned into bike lanes that will connect to the existing Forbes Ave bike lanes starting at Margaret Morrison and continuing up to Squirrel Hill.

According to CMU’s director of design, Bob Reppe, their planners ran models that indicated traffic flow would not be impeded after the planned traffic enhancements. These enhancements include the timing of traffic lights and going from four lanes to two, causing motorists to make fewer lane changes which currently slows traffic on the four-lane road.

This makes sense too, considering Forbes Ave is reduced to one lane in each direction at Margaret Morrison already, with no significant traffic problems.

More specifics about the proposal are listed in this article by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

We need you at the Public Meeting, Tuesday July 19

Any proposal that will significantly change things brings the naysayers. This is no different and there will most likely be some passionate backlash against this lane reduction. If you want to see this type of improvement for Forbes Ave, and the City at large, you must show up to show your support.

Here are the details:

Tuesday, July 19th

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

University Center, Connan Room (The big building off of Forbes next to the lawn)

Parking will be available in the East Campus Garage on Forbes Avenue. Bike racks are available.

Here is a blog post to forward around and “like” on Facebook

http://bike-pgh.org/blog/2011/07/14/important-public-meeting-on-proposed-forbes-ave-lane-diet-and-bike-lanes-tues-719/


Swalfoort

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Jul 14 2011 at 5:46pm #

I’ve got it on my calendar…


Mary

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Jul 14 2011 at 6:03pm #

Nate & I will be there. (He’ll know about it as soon as he checks his Google calendar.)

In addition to attending the meeting, is there a way to submit comments in writing?


bikeygirl

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Jul 14 2011 at 6:06pm #

It’s on!


rsprake

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Jul 14 2011 at 6:07pm #

I won’t be in town but love that this is moving forward. Is there any other way for me to send my support?


salty

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Jul 14 2011 at 6:18pm #

+1 – I really want to go to this because I think it would be awesome but I can’t make it.


erok

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Jul 14 2011 at 6:20pm #

Good question. Not sure yet. I’ll try to find out.


mr marvelous

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Jul 14 2011 at 6:32pm #

If I can’t make it Ill send Mrs marvelous in my place. I feel this is important because it a road both her and I frequent.


Mary

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Jul 14 2011 at 6:43pm #

Erok, do you know how much weight Carnegie Mellon is putting on community input v. university input?

A lot of the Bike PGH crowd is connected to CMU in one way or another (faculty, staff, students, alums). I wonder if it’s worth it for the people with CMU connections to somehow make that obvious at the meeting. That way CMU will know support is coming from within its own ranks.


erok

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Jul 14 2011 at 6:57pm #

I’m sure both. It seems that CMU is very supportive of this project. This meeting is to outreach to the neighborhood partners and community.


HiddenVariable

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Jul 14 2011 at 8:16pm #

glad to see this is moving forward. the road is far too wide, especially considering the amount of people crossing it at any given moment. i’ve been working at cmu for a while now, and that’s one thing that really sticks out to me. i will plan to attend.


sloaps

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Jul 14 2011 at 8:20pm #

We can has a boulevard with vegetation separating motor vehicle traffic from a bike/pedestrian curb lane? Like the Dutch, but black and gold because we’re not Dutch.


HiddenVariable

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Jul 14 2011 at 8:25pm #

We can has a boulevard with vegetation separating motor vehicle traffic from a bike/pedestrian curb lane? Like the Dutch, but black and gold because we’re not Dutch.

that might be nice, but i think it would be very inconvenient near morewood. i work in newell simon, so i’m always turning onto or from morewood and into or out of the gates driveway. i wouldn’t want to have to stay in the bike lane all the way to the light or something.


sloaps

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Jul 14 2011 at 8:28pm #

So rolled curb and scruffy pavers, then?


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 14 2011 at 11:24pm #

Whatever is figured out, the end result should be something people here and far can point to 18 months after they leave CMU/Pittsburgh and say “Yeah, do that. After some initial, anticipated hand wringing and gritted teeth, turns out it worked out well for everyone!”

Myself, I’m already double booked that evening, so I cannot attend.


Pierce

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Jul 14 2011 at 11:27pm #

Wait, will this be Pittsburgh’s first protected bike lane?


boostuv

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Jul 14 2011 at 11:37pm #

It wont be protected, at least thats what I got from the explanation above. Would be nice to see more bike lanes around Oakland though.


bikeygirl

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Jul 15 2011 at 12:23am #

I would really love to see protected bike lines between Oakland and Downtown via Forbes and Fifth Avenue…. sharing the road cars-bikes, and pedestrians, while uniting the two worlds that are Oakland and Downtown, and all while hopefully invigorating the Lower Hill neighborhood….


boostuv

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Jul 15 2011 at 1:38am #

@ Bikeygirl I really dont see that happening with such easy access to the jail trail from Oakland.


bikeygirl

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Jul 15 2011 at 2:10am #

The Jail Trail is great -don’t get me wrong!!! I love it!!!! But it does-add extra mileague if you are trying to do trips between them, or through them. Plus, the Jail Trail is not such a direct access to Oakland ((specially now that the trail won’t connect at Bates St))……. I’ve actually been doing my own exploring, going fown Forbes, and let me tell you: not bad, faster, more direct. Sure, a bike-lane would be neccesary, along with some figuring-out around the Birghminham Bridge area, but other than that, PRIME to commute….

Is just a thought, but I really think that if something like that would happen, more commuting to work could happen…..


erok

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Jul 15 2011 at 3:54am #

this will just be paint. other ideas aren’t off the table, it’s just that it’s something that can be done relatively quick-like with the idea that it could be changed in the future once all of the issues are figured out and people get comfortable with the idea.


erok

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Jul 15 2011 at 3:56am #

a lane reduction is going to be hard enough for many people to swallow, and i think once they realize that the world didn’t end and carmegeddon didn’t happen, then we’ll see.


Kordite

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Jul 15 2011 at 2:16pm #

It’s too bad that California’s “Carmageddeon” highway closing didn’t happen a few weeks ago instead of happening this weekend. Studies have shown that when a road is closed it takes a week or so of chaos for drivers to sort things out and get back to normal traffic levels. The same thing is true for bike lanes. Remove a lane of traffic and the drivers go wild but, after a week, traffic levels return to previous levels or even improve.

We may be hearing from the drivers at this meeting horror stories based on California’s first week. We need to find examples from subsequent weeks. DC’s PA avenue experienced this, right? They took away traffic lanes. Put in bike lanes. After things calmed down overall traffic speed improved.

Need to find the statistics.


erok

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Jul 15 2011 at 2:42pm #

Although it’s not the best analogy, carmegeddeon didn’t happen on East Liberty Blvd. There was no doubt some adjustment time, but the traffic, even during rush hour isn’t bad.


ieverhart

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Jul 15 2011 at 3:19pm #

(specially now that the trail won’t connect at Bates St))

Is this really true?

FRUSTRATION


erok

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Jul 15 2011 at 3:21pm #

No, they are enhancing the entrance to make it an actual entrance, and apparently lighting it even.

where did you hear of this?


ieverhart

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Jul 15 2011 at 3:28pm #

No, they are enhancing the entrance to make it an actual entrance, and apparently lighting it even.

Whew! That’s more like it.


erok

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Jul 15 2011 at 3:31pm #

(specially now that the trail won’t connect at Bates St))

Ok, just got the low down on this. There is some truth to this.

They will be improving the access to the trail down here so that it is ADA compliant. It may or may not be lighted. So technically, no you will not be able to access the trail from Bates street. Instead, you will go down Bates, under the new bridge, then make the right (technically on Second Ave) to the ramp that will take you to the trail there. this will also be the last piece of construction on the project, so when you see the bridge just about done, with no ramp, this is apparently why.


Mick

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Jul 15 2011 at 5:24pm #

Hmmm… Seems to me that all it would have taken to get the old Bates St Acess ADA compliant would be pave it (and do more curb cuts on that area of Bates, which should be done anyhow). Am I missing something?

I really liked the Bates St entrance from zipping over to the southside and avoiding the lights.

Going down to the Bates-2nd light, then turning the wrong way to climb back up to the trail seems like a step in the wrong direction.


erok

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Jul 15 2011 at 8:18pm #

i think it’s all of 30 ft further. from what i understand, the entrance is just on the other side of the bridge from where it was.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Jul 16 2011 at 4:13pm #

+1 bikeygirl’s idea. If you think of the Jail Trail as bypassing neighborhoods, it’s kind of like a big highway bypassing little towns.

Having cycling infrastructure connect downtown and Oakland via surface streets could also potentially benefit the neighborhoods in between. (Disclaimer: I am not an urban planner, and I have no data or studies to cite to support these opinions. I guess I just like the sound of her idea.)


Lyle

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Jul 16 2011 at 5:42pm #

Why is a bike lane necessary? Forbes is pretty manageable except for the bit at the merge with the Blvd and the Parkway but some speed reduction work – grooving the pavement, for instance, or a little enforcement — to get the motorists down to something near the posted speed limit, would be a lot better than trying to ride in a little lane next to speeding motorists.


scott

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Jul 16 2011 at 5:57pm #

1. That’s not true. It doesn’t seem manageable to the 50 percent of the population who wants to ride but doesn’t feel safe.

2. A road diet will calm speeding traffic

3. The land (edit) “lane” will have a significant buffer separating moving cars from the bikes more than just a (single) painted line.

Lyle, I’ve said this many times, but with all due respect, you are not the user we’re trying to attract (the 1-6 percent who are either fearless or merely confident and enthused).


sloaps

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Jul 16 2011 at 6:12pm #

Lyle, pause and reflect on the following:

WWBBD

Infrastructure for you, Aaron and everyone in between. ^_^


edmonds59

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Jul 17 2011 at 11:15am #

Lyle I think the point is, maybe this is not the location that most needs traffic calming and a bike lane, BUT if you can get a major city entity like CMU to want to do this in their front yard, then this is where you do it. Like Mr. Penalosa said, get some pilot projects done by any means necessary. Then maybe places like Pitt will want this through Oakland, and CCAC on the North side, etc.


erok

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Jul 17 2011 at 1:55pm #

grooving the pavement

i love the idea of this – unless i live near it. this was brought up before, but thrown out the window because of how loud they can be. this might be one of the first “excuses” i’ve heard for why they can’t do something that i might actually agree with. but point taken, traffic needs to slow down there.


scott

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Jul 18 2011 at 11:51am #

“Lyle I think the point is, maybe this is not the location that most needs traffic calming and a bike lane,”

Remember there have been a number of crashes, especially with pedestrians along this stretch. At least one resulted in a student losing her life. I would argue that this IS one of the streets most in need of traffic calming in the city.


HiddenVariable

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Jul 18 2011 at 3:53pm #

the interchange on forbes may as well be a highway. the reason it’s treated as such is because there is nothing there but roads. if there was a reason for pedestrians to be in that area, the cars might slow themselves down.

and i think the only thing that will get them to respect bikes in that stretch is to have more bikes there.


Mick

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Jul 18 2011 at 4:15pm #

@lyle Forbes is pretty manageable except for the bit at the merge with the Blvd and the Parkway but some speed reduction work – grooving the pavement, for instance, or a little enforcement — to get the motorists down to something near the posted speed limit, would be a lot better than trying to ride in a little lane next to speeding motorists.

Lyle is right about Forbe’s intersection with the Parkway & Blvd. Speed limit 25, average speed over 50. Only one house near there. Rumble strips would be a nice idea.

I pass by there every day. Although the cars are scary fast and close, I’ve never been honked at or harassed there. That’s surprising given the parkway-like nature of the road there.

Changes at CMU are particularly important for pedestrians and more novice bikers – and there plenty of both around there.


erok

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Jul 18 2011 at 4:26pm #

mick, there’s the whole neighborhood of Oak Cliff there. I lived within earshot of the parkway and the BOA, and there are rumble strips in the shoulder that people would hit and it sucks. i would say that i was a good quarter mile away, and it sounded like it was in my room at times.

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