BikePGH!

Ugh… WESA suggests "short cuts" for automobiles to take

This topic contains 22 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Mick 7 mos, 3 weeks.

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Drewbacca

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Mar 27 2014 at 11:11pm #

http://wesa.fm/post/how-find-pittsburghs-warp-pipes-and-beat-citys-traffic-choke-points?

This doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that needs to be encouraged. It looks like WESA might have some drivers who wait until the last minute to leave for work.


Steven

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Mar 28 2014 at 3:12am #

Thanks for posting this. I sent the author an email in response:

I was dismayed by some points in your recent ‘Warp Pipes’ article:

1. Your Yellow Path sends motorists along Gold Way, the city’s first “Bike Boulevard”, where the city is actively trying to discourage cars from cutting through, due to resident complaints and close calls. People who look for “shortcuts” like this often speed through them, endangering the many pedestrians and cyclists who use this road (which has no sidewalk). Encouraging more motorists to take this route as a shortcut, when the city is actively working to prevent this for safety reasons, seems ill-considered.

2. You say your Brown Path parallels something called “Hollow Trail”. No, your Brown Path takes motorists along a street that leads to the Junction Hollow Trail. Stating it’s parallel suggests trail users have an alternative to using the street, but that’s incorrect.

On the other hand, I agree with your promotion of the Wabash Tunnel, a severely underused connection.


edmonds59

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Mar 28 2014 at 5:15am #

^Good call.


steevo

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Mar 28 2014 at 7:15am #

What is up with the trend of “media” simply copying twitter or reddit
conversations and putting them into paragraphs and calling them
content? Its so annoying. Does nobody think anymore?


RoadKillen

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Mar 28 2014 at 8:00am #

I know of very few Pittsburghers who don’t know about these shortcuts. It is annoying that WESA is pointing them out. Half the fun of a shortcut is finding it yourself.


jonawebb

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Mar 28 2014 at 8:28am #

Only old-time hackers will get this, but someone once said to me that “driving in Pittsburgh is like programming in Unix: everyone has their own way of doing something, and is very proud of it.”


CPollack

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Mar 28 2014 at 6:04pm #

Someone on Facebook posted this link last night. Gold Way needs to just outright be bikes only..Like Pocusset.


rice rocket

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Mar 28 2014 at 8:58pm #

Good thing no one reads WESA.


salty

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Mar 28 2014 at 10:05pm #

Great letter, Steven.

BTW, I wonder if there have been any studies done on traffic volume on Boundary since they took the trestle out?

Also, not sure I’d seen this article before: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/columnists/2013/12/01/It-s-right-time-to-learn-this-Polish-Hill-shortcut/stories/201312010056

I agree there should be bigger (and more) bumps. I think people flying through the S is the biggest problem, and there are no bumps there. Probably worried some jagoff will crash and blame it on the bumps.


Drewbacca

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Mar 28 2014 at 10:33pm #

rice rocket wrote:Good thing no one reads WESA.

Perhaps, but NPR shared the link which reached a wide audience on FB.


Drewbacca

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Mar 28 2014 at 10:34pm #

Steven wrote:Thanks for posting this. I sent the author an email in response:

Thanks. Great response!


rice rocket

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Mar 29 2014 at 2:06am #

Drewbacca wrote:
Perhaps, but NPR shared the link which reached a wide audience on FB.

Still a very targeted audience though:

Hipsters living in the city who are too passive to even consider a rogue move like taking a shortcut, or don’t own cars anyways…or left wing suburban folk who sit on freeways to commute to their desk job, neither of which are causing a menace on Gold Way.

;)


Steven

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Mar 29 2014 at 2:10am #

Thanks! Wish I’d seen that PG article first though. Instead of merely mentioning “close calls”, I could have cited those comments that report multiple serious accidents, regular parked vehicle damage, etc.

I’ve had no response from the WESA writer so far.


Ahlir

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Mar 29 2014 at 1:58pm #

think people flying through the S is the biggest problem, and there are no bumps there.

I agree.
My own fantasies include:

1) Stop signs at either end (ideally with one of those camera thingies); 20mph limit.

2) Narrow Gold to one lane and have bike lanes on either side. Stop lights at the ends to meter car traffic in each direction.

3) Bike-only trail from around the bridge to the dead-end on Melwood, i.e. (re)create the missing link.


salty

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Mar 29 2014 at 2:45pm #

My fantasy is a motorized bollard like I saw in the Netherlands. Blocks car traffic from using it as a thru street, but bikes can pass. Residents have some way of lowering it (I’m not sure how exactly – some kind of garage door opener type device?)

I’d imagine it’s expensive and managing the openers would be a pain, but it is a fantasy after all…


rice rocket

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Mar 29 2014 at 3:17pm #

Yeah I don’t think publicly funded, exclusive access roadways will fly in Pittsburgh, or anywhere in this country (unless you got some good lobbying dollars and can pork barrel it in to some other bill).


StuInMcCandless

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Mar 29 2014 at 6:31pm #

All of this is too short-sighted. As I’ve been saying for years, work on making cars unnecessary. Make it possible NOT to drive.

A car in Oakland or downtown is a liability, not an asset. Leave the damn thing home.

* Make all the steps usable.
* Make transit travel an order of magnitude easier to figure out.
* Make the streets so un-scary that any 8-year-old can ride a bike from A to B and any parent of an 8-year-old will let^H^H^H encourage the 8-year-old ride a bike from A to B.
* Fix all the sidewalks.

Most of that list is low-cost, fairly minor construction projects. Figuring out bike lanes or whatever might run into some engineering work. Figuring out transit tools will run into some I.T. costs. But all of it is far, far less than the cost of road construction.


Drewbacca

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Mar 29 2014 at 8:29pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:All of this is too short-sighted. As I’ve been saying for years, work on making cars unnecessary. Make it possible NOT to drive.

Stu, I think you would be happier living in Vancouver, BC.

I think you hit the nail on the head. We need to create possibilities for the less passionate to follow.


Benzo

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Mar 31 2014 at 9:26am #

For making transit easier to use:

* add more bus shelters and maintain existing ones, to keep people dry while waiting for the bus. PUT TRANSIT MAPS / SCHEDULES ON THEM.

* Deploy the connect card website to add value, buy monthly passes, check balances.

* GPS tracking of buses with arrival times – Chicago has this right http://www.ctabustracker.com/

Even the pitt shuttles do this well. http://www.pittshuttle.com/


ajbooth

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Mar 31 2014 at 12:12pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:* Make all the steps usable.
* Make transit travel an order of magnitude easier to figure out.
* Make the streets so un-scary that any 8-year-old can ride a bike from A to B and any parent of an 8-year-old will let^H^H^H encourage the 8-year-old ride a bike from A to B.
* Fix all the sidewalks.

I just returned from a week in London on business, and I must agree with all of this. Cycles are welcome, prevalent, and respected in London. Transit is so easy to figure out that this London first timer was able to use the Underground to get around simply by following signs. Airport to the hotel was a train ride and four Underground rides, all very clearly marked.

Hell, I even saw bike racks at an outdoor train station with a structure built to cover the bikes!!


ajbooth

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Mar 31 2014 at 12:13pm #


StuInMcCandless

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Apr 1 2014 at 4:47am #

Some of that is coming.
* Adding fare to a ConnectCard online should be available later this year.
* GPS tracking of vehicles is vveerryy sslloowwllyy being rolled out. I know it’s off-the-shelf technology that’s been available for over 15 years, but the transit industry is only now getting it. (Thanks a friggin’ lot, patent troll ArrivalStar.)

A large number of bus shelters are neither owned nor sited by Port Authority; some are not even at bus stops. Also, the city, not PAT, gets to say where the bus stops are.

But you are right on the money about posting schedules.

I’ll add another perennial irritation: The black hole of transit complaints. Of course, half to 3/4 of complaints are directly or indirectly related to lack of proper information, so they should solve the info problem concurrent with this.


Mick

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Apr 1 2014 at 12:21pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:The black hole of transit complaints.

+1

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