BikePGH!

Where do we most need another bike lane?

This topic contains 61 replies, has 31 voices, and was last updated by  WillB 1 yr, 2 mos.

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StuInMcCandless

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Feb 13 2013 at 4:38am #

The thread about Nick getting squeezed by a cop on Wilkins made me wonder, where do we most need a new bike lane?


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 13 2013 at 4:46am #

So, to copy the comment I made in that thread:

Judging by the description of this street, it sounds like a real priority for the cycling community is to remove on-street parking on one side of Wilkins, esp between Fifth and the top of the hill.

Really gotta ask the question, if you live in that part of the city, what do you need a car for, anyway? Where would you drive TO that the only way there is by car? That could be its own thread, too, but I’ll leave it here, as it’s close enough to this topic. Just that when people start screaming about losing their parking, that question does need to be asked.


pinky

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Feb 13 2013 at 7:54am #

Thinking about bike lanes, I wonder how much of it is an “If you build it, they will come” thing. I would do quite a bit to get some more reasonable infrastructure on West Carson between the West End Circle and Ft Pitt Bridge – even basic traffic calming or speed enforcement. But I suspect it will be many moons before anything in the western part of the city sees attention for nonmotored vehicles and pedestrians.


jonawebb

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Feb 13 2013 at 7:56am #

Honestly, even though I live in Squirrel Hill and am downtown not that often, the real need is downtown. There should be a safe way to get from the Eliza Furnace trail to the rest of downtown. So say down Grant or Smithfield or something like that.
Wilkins is a problem but there are alternatives, just not very good ones. Downtown, there’s no safe way to get around at all.


tetris_draftsman

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Feb 13 2013 at 8:02am #

Negley Run from Washington up to East Liberty Blvd mainly up the hill but down too. There is no need for two car lanes and it could use paved so after the paving just repaint for bike lane.

I do like the idea of a good way to get from Station Square to the West End Circle.


Jacob McCrea

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Feb 13 2013 at 9:07am #

The 10th Street Bridge, then along Second Avenue to downtown.


zjc2a

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Feb 13 2013 at 9:20am #

I like the idea of Negley Run, but with Negley Run once you get to Washington BLVD it does not seem it would be safe to ride there.

I would like to see complete access to Downtown from E. Liberty. I woul love to see downtown get some bike lanes as well, Smithfield makes sense to me. Is there anyway to get from Mt. Washington to downtown by bike safely?

I would also like to see bike lanes down Highland Ave. and Penn Circle if they ever complete changing it to two lanes. This would make a great commercial corridor for bikes and connect to the new developments planned there and should be plenty of space.

I feel like Pittsburgh is not moving fast enough with bike lanes. Memphis is making national headlines with bike infrastructure, spending now more than PGH. I know people running this site have done great things in PGH, but I am just a little disappointed in the powers that be in their priorities.


edmonds59

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Feb 13 2013 at 9:21am #

I beg to differ a bit about downtown, I actually feel relatively safe there, short of being on a trail. Motor vehicle speeds are low, blocks are short and stop lights are frequent. I bomb around town all the time on my goofy little folder and usually don’t even bother with a helmet (gasp – nobody go there, this isn’t the thread).
OT but, downtown needs it’s own unique approach, not simply bike lanes – max speed needs to be posted at 20 mph throughout, all the 4 lanes, Boulevard, Liberty, Fort Pitt, etc. need to be narrowed down to 2 lanes max., maybe 3 with turning lanes. Curbs need to be eliminated and replaced with bollards, sidewalks need to be pushed out, where parallel parking is kept, the paving needs to look like the sidewalk not the roadway. Also more bus only lanes, hopefully BRT. Market Square is fantastic, Grant is grudgingly getting there. At every possible opportunity single occupant motor vehicle need to be made to feel like interlopers. It needs to be taken back to a pedestrian friendly environment, wherein bikes will be accommodated (see “Amsterdam”). I am not sure if this is a rant or a vision, same difference.
Where we do need bike lanes, I am not the one to address that, but I think the Bike Pgh! long range plan deals with that.
Though as long a we are blue-sky thinking, 1600 West Carson needs to be freaking demolished and a park put in place, with a trail connection to the West End and onward out to Coraopolis, to connect to trails on into Ohio. We will not actually have a Golden Triangle as long as that blot on the downtown rivers stands.
Apologies to everyone for my windy rant this a.m.


edmonds59

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Feb 13 2013 at 9:29am #

Also, specifically regarding Mt. Washington to town;
For neophytes or the cautious I highly recommend putting a bike on the incline to Sta Square to the Smithfield St bridge, up or down. There is no shame in that, that’s why it’s available.


byogman

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Feb 13 2013 at 10:24am #

We haven’t directly connected Oakland and downtown. So while tons of people make that trek every day and there are plenty of ways to do it, population density tells me that best bang for the buck is to make a less stupid one.

I mean, compare going from say, 5th and Bellafield down to steel plaza directly vs. EFT. 2.7 miles vs. 5.3 or 4.1 depending on use of Boundary or Bates to get to EFT. These are all small numbers but the routes right now are a bit convoluted and 50-100% longer than they ought to be. Major deterrent.

The easy less stupid option a lane right of the 5th avenue bus lane from Moutrie up to Craft or a little past. There’s enough room to push the lanes over to make it happen and you don’t have to do as much as in most places since there’s no door zone to contend with. Also, cut out the (not all that heavily used) street parking and make a lane going the other way from Moutrie up to Jumonville or a little past. Hardly ideal, I think the cycletrack is definitely the way to make adoption really happen, but you could at least get lanes on the uphills pretty easily.

I mean, I guess theoretically we’re getting something better… maybe? But is this really happening, and if so, when!?


jonawebb

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Feb 13 2013 at 10:34am #

@byogman, Some of the plans for the BRT include a bike lane, which would connect Oakland and Downtown as well as can be expected.


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 13 2013 at 10:51am #

So, basically, put the whole damn city on a road diet. Works for me. Ditto anything that has multiple lanes, and I am specifically thinking about McKnight and Perry. There just isn’t any need for a six-lane road in the suburbs, and Perry does just fine where it’s one lane each direction between West View and the hamlet of Perrysville. Anyplace it goes to four lanes, it becomes a speedway.


Elmo

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Feb 13 2013 at 11:01am #

Downtown could use some serious help, I agree. It’s where the most commuters are during the week, and there’s not much infrastructure to support it.

Problem is, streets are quite narrow and there isn’t much room for give, outside of changing the flow of traffic, which is more long term.

I would like to see sharrows on Smallman in the strip. I commute that way an awful lot, and see quite a lot of cyclists. The road is pretty wide and accommodating, but I think sharrows would do wonders.


jonawebb

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Feb 13 2013 at 11:10am #

@stu, downtown, at least, I see it not so much as a road diet as a parking diet. There is plenty of space for bike lanes once you remove the on-street parking. Straphanger claims that if you do it gradually the businesses don’t complain too much — the increase in cyclists makes up for the loss of parked customers.


Erica

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Feb 13 2013 at 11:13am #

this is just me being selfish, but I really think we need one going uphill on penn ave in Lawrenceville. Ever since the yoga studio opened, the shoulder is always packed (I find myself complaining that cars are parking in the parking lane quite often lately)


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 13 2013 at 11:15am #

Fourth Avenue, downtown, is an example of where bikes and cars get along pretty well, I think. There is parking on one side, and traffic speeds are such that I do not feel threatened riding it. My usual path is from Market St/Sq up to Grant. Enough lights that cars don’t get moving that fast. There are buses, but usually they have to stop for riders. It’s even slightly uphill, which seems not to be a problem.

One thing that makes it nice is that there is no right-side parking, so it’s easier to deal with doors. Yes there is a left-side door potential, but in practice that hasn’t been a problem.

I will occasionally invoke an Idaho Red at Wm Penn Way.

If all the other streets in town could act like this, I think we’d be fine.


rsprake

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Feb 13 2013 at 12:27pm #

Penn Ave through the Strip needs a diet. Let Liberty Ave be the busy street and give Penn Ave to the local traffic. They could keep it one way and install a two way cycle track or make it two way and make it a “bike boulevard” where through traffic is forced on to Smallman or Liberty and bikes continue through. :)


tetris_draftsman

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Feb 13 2013 at 2:24pm #

zjc2a

Once you get down to Washington if you are going to the Bud Harris oval the best way is to hop the center median and then the curb on the far side to get into the grass. From there go onto the side access road that goes from the mock fire building to the police station.
If they put in bike lanes on Negley run it would nice if they did some type of ramped access and small section of path through the grass to get to the access road.

I would imagine during the summer there is a minmum of 100 trips per week up and down Negley run by cyclists(based on the amount of times I go down and the people I know that use the Bud Harris oval a lot too).


Brent

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Feb 13 2013 at 2:28pm #

I absolutely agree with Jacob: 10th Street Bridge, and 2nd Avenue to downtown. It can be especially scary going from downtown to 10th Street going up the hill in front of the jail. Also while we’re at it could we also make a connection from the Elizah Furnace Trail to 10th Street Bridge. I’ve thought about this many times: what if we could make a trail to cut through the parking lot, with a switchback up the slope that’s just on the downtown side of 10th Street Bridge.

Also, I agree with Edmonds about downtown. I am pretty comfortable riding together with low-speed traffic there. It could be better but I think there are other areas where bike lanes would be more of a priority.

For me, one such area is Greenfield Avenue, at least the uphill side. I would like to see a bike lane installed there sometime before the Greenfield Bridge is demolished. Once that link to Oakland/Schenley Park is gone, the best route from Oakland to Greenfield will be Junction Hollow Trail to Greenfield Ave. Maybe this would provide an extra incentive for the city to put a lane in there now.


jonawebb

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Feb 13 2013 at 2:30pm #

I ride all the time in conditions I’d guess a lot of people would think of as scary and so I rarely feel unsafe downtown but when I talk about the need for safe routes I’m thinking of the office worker who thinks about commuting by bike, say from the Eliza Furnace Trail parking lot, but who can’t stomach riding from the end of EFT to work. Sure, we’re all comfortable riding in traffic, taking the lane and so on, and so might the office worker after a few weeks, but without a bike lane a lot of folks will just keep driving their cars.


byogman

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Feb 13 2013 at 3:08pm #

I would love to see an uphill lane on Greenfield avenue, basically any heavily used downhill without an uphill lane really ought to get one whenever possible.


Elmo

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Feb 13 2013 at 3:12pm #

Would definitely agree with Greenfield. There is a parking lane that is sparingly used. Have sharrows going down and a lane going up.

That would change my commute dramatically.


rsprake

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Feb 13 2013 at 3:20pm #

Agree with Greenfield Ave, especially at the beginning of the climb where it’s really steep and the traffic is faster.


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 13 2013 at 3:23pm #

Not that it’s anyone’s priority, but the steepest part of Federal Street is completely ass-backwards. Downhill has 2/3 of the street width. Uphill has barely space for a car, let alone a bike lane.


Marko82

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Feb 13 2013 at 3:25pm #

+1 Greenfield, bikelane uphill / sharrows down

As an aside, since bikelanes & sharrows cost money for engineering studies etc., it would almost be as effective to just paint a white lane marker on some streets without the “official” status of bike lane. I believe if you painted a white lane 12 feet from the center line on Greenfield you would show CARs where they should be, and the shoulder would become a defacto bike lane. I think this is true on many wider-than-one-lane-but-not-wide-enough-for-two-lanes roads.


flyS564

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Feb 13 2013 at 3:44pm #

I get frustrated riding from Bakery Square to East Liberty/Bloomfield/Lawrenceville. I think they’re doing something there though but getting from Bksq to Lawrenceville going up Penn without merging with cars coming around Penn Circle would be nice.

No one knows how to treat Penn Ave from Penwood down to Trenton ave or wherever the lanes are painted in either direction. 1/2 of all people treat it as one lane, 1/2 treat it as two lanes. Add a bike lane to get us to the side streets safely.


Elmo

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Feb 13 2013 at 4:13pm #

@marko Problem with that on Greenfield is you’d have to move the lane divider. Right now there is much more room downhill because that’s the side with the parking lane.


Marko82

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Feb 13 2013 at 4:31pm #

^ Ok, maybe there is more to it in this case, but if it saves an engineering study somewhere else it might be something to consider.


Pierce

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Feb 13 2013 at 4:36pm #

I’d also disagree that the parking on Greenfield isn’t used. Church (and residents to a less degree) uses it by Haldane, residents use it at the bottom.


steevo

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Feb 13 2013 at 5:29pm #

There is not a single bridge with a bike lane in the city. There are 2 ped
bridges….
40th street could really use one. The sidewalk is not rideable.
62nd street as well.


salty

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Feb 13 2013 at 5:47pm #

There is a bridge with a bike lane – Millvale Ave. between Shadyside and Bloomfield. And, I think Hot Metal has to count.

But, I completely agree about 40 SB, and HPB as well.


Mikhail

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Feb 13 2013 at 5:52pm #

I think Steevo meant Dequesne bridge and HMB as two pedestrian bridges.


Steven

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Feb 13 2013 at 6:15pm #

The Birmingham Bridge also has bike lanes.


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 13 2013 at 7:57pm #

Well, now that you mention bridges, one that’s particularly difficult to use is the Gerst Way bridge connecting East Street and Howard Street over I-279. It’s basically a pedestrian bridge. Yes, you can take a bike on it, but if you’re coming down East and want to use that bridge, you have to come to a complete stop — in traffic — dismount, and carry your bike up a 6″ curb. There is no feasible way of doing it on wheels. I’ve tried it.

Never mind all the glass and crap on the bridge itself and approaches; that’s everywhere.

All I’m asking for is a tiny curb cut on the upstream side of that snippet of sidewalk.


bear250220

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Feb 13 2013 at 9:39pm #

id like one from the point to the jail trail


Lou M.

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Feb 14 2013 at 6:48am #

Negley. From Stanton to at least Friendship Avenue.


stefb

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Feb 14 2013 at 7:54am #

I want separated bike lanes everywhere. I think a LOT more people would bike if they had that barrier between them and traffic.


steevo

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Feb 14 2013 at 8:45am #

Oh yeah. Forgot about Birmingham…. I only use HMB.


Brent

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Feb 14 2013 at 8:46am #

For downtown, I could maybe see the need for a few more bike lanes so new bike riders coming off the trails can get close enough to their destination to walk the remainder of the way. Another issue is that there needs to be some work done to improve the connections from the Elizah Furnace Trail to downtown.

On Greenfield Avenue, I do realize there are some people who park there and I know that anytime you remove parking spaces it can be a big deal and prevent things from getting done. I’ve designed this bike lane in my head hundreds of times (every time I ride up the sidewalk). I think the bike lane could end near the top of the hill by the church, so those parking spaces would remain.

There are a few residents who park lower down the hill, just above the Swineburn Bridge, who I think would need to be accommodated somehow. Greenfield Avenue is the only parking available for them. Maybe for a short stretch there could be a bump-out of the road to provide a few spaces, just enough for the residents. Of course this would cost a bit of money but I don’t see another way.

And at the bottom of the hill the road seems to narrow enough that there is not enough space for a parking lane, which is why there are cars constantly parked halfway up on the sidewalk. I don’t know that it really gets narrower, but it feels that way. I think some of these cars are from the auto service shops. The solution would be to go ahead and restripe the road with an uphill bike lane and aggressively ticket/tow the sidewalk parkers. Otherwise I’m just not sure what else to do with those cars, there’s no space down there.


scott

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Feb 14 2013 at 11:22am #

You have an opportunity to prioritize bike projects. Comments can be made through the end of the month. Just got word that over 160 comments have already been made. Hopefully many of them are in favor of the bike/ped projects, but only you can help make sure that is a reality.

http://www.planpgh.com/movepgh/projects

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