Survey: Connecting Downtown and the East End with Bus Rapid Transit, Bike Lanes

Fifth Avenue in Oakland BRT Concept

Proposed Bus Rapid Transit looks to envision new ways to travel between downtown and the East End

The City of Pittsburgh, Port Authority and Allegheny County are looking to dramatically change the transportation system between the East End and Downtown. There is a proposal on the table to turn many of the existing bus lines that currently go through Oakland and Uptown into Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). In short, BRT is an enhanced bus line often including such amenities as dedicated bus lanes (getting the buses out of traffic), signal prioritization, raised platforms for easier boarding, and a branded look and feel. BRT aims to mimic the subway experience as much as possible, while keeping it on a paved street, within the street grid.

The team proposed four incrementally extensive route options, each with two different alignment choices. The plan could change transportation as we know it in the central part of the City by bringing efficient bus service, that is not stuck in traffic, directly to Pittsburgh’s densest neighborhoods and connecting these residents to the city’s largest job and entertainment centers. Additionally, the BRT will directly connect to the light rail system to the South of the City as well as to the East Busway and points east.

Bike Lanes and Complete Streets

In order to make this whole thing work, the team included bike lanes in each alignment. Currently, the corridor is dangerous and lacks bike lanes, despite running through several Universities. From what we’ve seen, the alignment that seems most promising includes an outbound bus lane on Forbes Ave, an inbound bus lane on Fifth Ave, while converting the existing contra-flow bus lane on Fifth Ave into a 2-way bike lane. From Oakland the bike lanes would continue inbound along Fifth Ave, where they would split into one way pairs, with each bike lane going with the flow of traffic on Fifth and Forbes through Uptown. They would then reunite around Duquesne University, and become a 2-way bike lane along Forbes toward Market Square. Additionally, they are looking to include bike lanes on Smithfield St and Wood St in Downtown.

Examine the Plan, Take the Survey

You can see the basic elements on the Port Authority Website. On that page, it is highly recommended to download the Powerpoint presentation to get a better understanding of the plan.

You’ll need to set aside some time, but please take the survey and let them know how you feel. Nothing is a sure bet, and it’s important that we make sure that bike lanes are included in any design and funding proposals that the team pursues.


Wed. April 5, 2017 Public Meeting

Join the team at a public meeting to give your feedback and review the options on Wednesday, April 5 at the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Hall in Oakland

There will be two sessions:

12 pm-2 pm and 4 pm-7 pm

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