I have recently adjusted my biking route into work onto East Liberty Boulevard because it is simply a lot quicker, however, I have noticed some issues, and I was wondering if anyone else had the same problems.
1. When the road was dieted from 4 lanes to 2 with a bike lane and parking lane, the speed limit was not reduced from 35 to what it should be, 25. Actual speeds are probably upwards of 40. The speed should be reduced and heavily enforced.
2. When the bike lanes begin at Broad Street, heading towards Negley, bikes are required to be in the left hand lane, as the right lane becomes right only. This is an uphill and bikes are slowed down, backing up traffic behind them.
3. At numerous intersections, the bike lanes end. Shared lane markings are needed to tell bikes where to go, and to let cars know where bikes should be expected to be.
The bike lanes can form a backbone to a better network, but need some significant work. Any other comments?
I'd like to see something done on the Negley-bound approach to Highland. People use the bike lane here as a right turn lane, even when traffic isn't backed up. It makes it dangerous for even the responsible drivers who follow the "begin right turn" sign. either get rid of the off ramp, or add some more paint or bollards even to prevent people from entering the lane early.
I know some intersection improvements are planned for that intersection. Maybe it is worth contacting the DPW or the councilperson to see what will be changed.
The southern / Eastern Terminus by Frankstown / Hamilton / Penn ave leaves much to be desired as the bike lanes end.
I would love to see some bollards around intersections to prevent early merging from the main lanes in to the bike lane prior to right turn lanes.
I don't see why we can't do an NYC trick and drop speed limits on most city streets to 25mph. Narrow lanes here and on 5th / forbes / penn / liberty don't seem safe at 35mph when considering the added danger it ads to pedestrian crossings.
I'd say very few roads outside of state routes need to be more than 25mph. See Bigelow Blvd (380) /Sawmill Run (51), West Liberty (19 Bus), Banksville (19), and parts of carson st away from residential (387), Blvd of the Allies/2nd Ave / Irwin (855).
I sent in a 311 request to lower the speed limit, let's see if that changes anything. (Doubt it)
I've used this route on a regular basis. Here's some comments:
1. Yes the cars speed, but I mostly feel safe, given the space provided by the bike and parking lanes. The only iffy bit is approaching Negley and having to cross over to the left lane. But once you figure out the timing on the lights behind you it all seems to work out.
2. Yes it's a problem. But again, light timings can work for you [pretty much all the right-turn traffic is coming from Penn]. I use either the right-turn lane (which turns into the bike lane once you cross Broad/F-town) or simply ride up on the line between it and the thru lane. Having the right-turn lane sharrowed would make it much more civilized; things are even wide enough to maybe green-carpet between those lanes.
2a. The Highland intersection (west-bound) is an abomination. But you get used to it. It would really help to have one of those green carpets to span the right-turn lane. (Or just a tightly spaced run of sharrows.) In the meanwhile just cut to the thru lane as soon as you can.
And since we're in that neighborhood, I would recommend Broad as a nice alternative, depending on your destinations. It's 4-lane but the traffic is generally light.
I guess I'm not saying that the road is awful per se, I really like the bike lanes and think they can be used to build a biking core for that area. It would allow bikes from Highland Park, Garfield, East Liberty, Larimer, and other neighborhoods to quickly zip around the congestion and haggle of East Liberty.
I think I'm simply saying, that with the introduction of Google and Bakery Square, the road should be improved for bikes.
re BSq^2 (or whatever):
The not-yet-quite-officially-open street that's a continuation of ELB to the west at Penn is a winner. It vastly simplifies getting between ELB and Shadyside, and Mellon Park/Beechwood.
Yeah, that ELB connection will be nice, I love the back streets of shadyside (howe and kentucky) as a cross town route.