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PennDot East Street meeting, March 5th

I just saw this listed on the NorthSide bike/ped list: East Ohio Street Improvement Project" * Wednesday, March 4th, 5 - 6:30pm * @Priory, Grand Ballroom PennDOT to present their proposed total makeover of East Ohio St. from Rt. 28 Off-ramp to East Street. PennDOT is considering the inclusion of walk/ride lanes in this project. If included, the new protected lanes would provide safe, enjoyable passage to the River Trail, Strip, Downtown, and Middle Northside. Please be there! Your support for the inclusion of the walk/ride lanes would be greatly appreciated.
2015-02-22 13:32:35
^ I think this would be a good time to CONSTRUCTIVELY thank/criticize the 40th street bridge bike lane. Who knows, maybe these connect together (I mean it has felt cold enough for hell to freeze over lately).
2015-02-22 13:36:56
East Ohio Street, not East Street.
2015-02-22 18:30:01
Well, technically that little section of road from Millvale to the 40th St bridge is East Ohio St. This, however, is about the section of E Ohio near the 16th St Bridge
2015-02-23 10:18:39
Yes, this is tonight.
2015-03-04 16:58:57
Oh crap... sorry bout the wrong date. I cant make this either, so someone please update if possible. Tx
2015-03-04 18:12:44
How did this meeting go? Was it productive?
2015-03-05 23:13:44
Great news. Not to be nitpicky, but I am a little confused by the bike box labeled "Madison Avenue intersection (South)". The only way to get up there on a bike would be from Gen. Robinson or River Ave, crossing the traffic coming off 279 North and heading towards Rt. 28. Sounds suicidal to me. I know, it says the details can change, but I thought I'd point it out. Has anyone biked up that section of Madison?
2015-03-10 13:20:46
I have a problem with the Chestnut Street northbound bike lane. Any use of that lane is problematic. A cyclist is either going up Troy Hill, or straight on Chestnut. If the former, chances are excellent about being sideswiped by a car turning fast off Chestnut onto Troy Hill. If the latter, the cyclist is both at risk of being taken out by a car turning right and is mispositioned for getting in the center of the lane. As you will recall, there are trolley tracks still extant on the part of Chestnut just north of the Troy Hill corner, and the only safe place for a cyclist to be is between the two rails, squarely in the center of the lane. This design, if built, will force cyclists into unsafely riding on the sidewalks, or squeezed into a too-narrow sliver of street to the right of the outside rail.
2015-03-10 14:36:50
My comments on the proposed design -> see blog post for more info and links to diagrams. http://localhost/2015/03/06/east-ohio-street-bike-lanes-could-be-on-the-way/ Do you support the addition of exclusive bike lanes into the project? I wholeheartedly support the bike lanes included here. It seems like the proposal includes proper planning for people on bikes and better crosswalks for pedestrians. I appreciate the inclusion of bike boxes to more easily enable turning from bike lanes during periods of heavy automobile traffic as well as green lanes in 'conflict' areas to make road users more aware that bike lanes continue through these sections. Additional comments or concerns: I hope that markings are done with torch down markings as opposed to standard paint. We've had issues with bike lanes wearing down during the winter due to salting and traffic driving over the markings (due to snow obscuring them). The bike lanes on the approach to the 40th street bridge from millvale are already degrading rapidly less than 4 months after installation. A few things would be nice to increase the safety of the bike lanes. 1) Add an advance signal (turns green 5-10 seconds before automobile signals) for people on bikes in the bike lane and pedestrians so they can get a head start on cars turning right (across the bike lane) since they should have the right of way, but are not always given it by other road users. These would be best at madison ave, east st, and highway ramps. 2) Add signage notifying cars to yield to people on bikes in the bike lane when turning to avoid right hooks (or left hooks). 3) Add signage on chestnut street allowing people on bikes to proceed straight from right hand lane to continue straight on chestnut street. Basically right hand lane must turn right (except bicycles).
2015-03-11 14:28:40
It's an interesting design. Like Stu said, the northbound portion on Chestnut will be iffy. It's similar to the intersection of uphill Liberty and Bloomfield bridge, albeit with higher speed traffic coming off PA28. It's such a short section that it may be easier just to take the lane (though the green paint is certainly appreciated) like @rainbow-dog said, to get to that bike box on the south corner of Madison Ave/East OH St intersection seems suicidal. I suppose the section of road leading up to it has a 25 or 35 mph speed limit (not that it matters to drivers going through) and it's still not a proper "highway" up until that point and you can ride on the shoulder, if needed. It's nice to have the bike box, but I certainly wouldn't have a reason to use it.
2015-03-12 08:02:11
Also, I see that to make left from northbound Chestnut onto westbound East Ohio St, you're supposed to do one of those two-stage turns. There's pros and cons to this, but I can see myself taking the lane on Chestnut to make that left turn. A larger bike box at this point that "allows" you to do this seems better to me because it alerts drivers to this possibility
2015-03-12 08:11:23
I see the bike box on the south corner of Madison Ave to be for making a copenhagen left from eastbound east ohio street to northbound madison ave. I doubt the intention is to have bicycle traffic coming from a highway overpass.
2015-03-12 09:18:15
@benzo, you're probably right. I guess the Copenhagen left doesn't come to mind that naturally, though I can see it being useful here, since the center eastbound lane for East Ohio St is not a dedicated turn lane, and I don't recall if it has a turn signal
2015-03-12 10:16:16
It looks like most of these bike boxes are made for that purpose. I find the Copenhagen left technique helpful, especially with entering / exiting some of the new bikeways downtown as well as making a left on busy multi-lane streets such as 5th and forbes in oakland and baum blvd in shadyside/bloomfield/north oakland.
2015-03-12 11:10:59
I hope that all this bike infrastructure to the places where most people who use it are coming from: the bike/ped bridge a couple hundred yards up troy hill road, which connects to the new bike trail beside 28 to the 31st street bridge. The copenhagen left bike boxes will be lost on most people I think, unless there is clear signage. I live right beside penn brewery and use this intersection every day, I don't see any better solution for chestnut north, but there just aren't that many people that use chestnut street on a bike, people going to spring garden use vinial street, everyone else is going up troy hill road. the few cyclists that are going to itin street or something else back there will be no worse off with the new markings, but it is true that they don't serve them well. really excited about all this new fun bike stuff off my front porch! It seems that no one knows about the bike/ped trail being build beside 28. it seems a little silly to me, but I'm also one of the very few people that it will help, I can now eliminate another 500 ft of road from my daily cycling routines... yay.
2015-03-15 11:21:18
I'm headed from the 16th Street Bridge to East Street. I don't see how it does me any good.
2015-03-15 18:02:08
I am excited about that trail. I noticed it being constructed but thought it was just a sidewalk. I still can't picture how it would connect with 31st St Bridge other than through the pedestrian crosswalk, but that's fine by me. It'll be a nice alternative way to get from Shadyside to the Northside. PS. Couldn't find anything stating that it will be a trail. Here it's referred to as a walkway:
2015-03-16 08:46:18
Saw east street was recently paved. I rode on it, and it's nice and smooth. The worst parts of the potholed mess that used to be there are now much better. However, no striping was done when I rode through there last week. Anyone notice if the new bike lanes were installed yet?
2015-12-04 10:07:05
I got a snapchat about the new east street lanes being striped. I don't have any photos to share yet. Hope I can get out there soon (or someone else may beat me to it). Not sure if the sharrows went in on howard street yet either, which is supposed to be the official connector.
2015-12-07 09:43:47
Here's a pic from Friday
2015-12-07 14:37:55
Thanks Erok! Looking good.
2015-12-08 09:42:38
@Benzo, had a chance to ride these today. There are indeed sharrows on Howard, however there are no signs on North Ave (yet) to direct cyclists to use this route to go north. There's also no signs (yet) on southbound East St to direct bike traffic over the bike/ped(?) bridge, and the fact that the bike lane ends at the bridge is not enough (to me, anyway) to compel people to use this route when traveling south. Overall, the lanes are great, as is the new pavement. I do wonder whether they are going to hold off on putting bollards in until winter ends. Assuming, of course, they are still planning on having bollards here
2015-12-13 17:42:02
I rode out Howard St and over the Gerst Way footbridge. Thank you for the blobs of asphalt allowing cyclists to negotiate the four or five small steps without dismounting. On the East St end, while there is a nice new marked crosswalk, you still have to dismount to get from Gerst to East. There is one ADA curb cut but it does not line up with the crosswalk, and is essentially not usable by cyclists (unless you like drawing pretzels with your front tire).
2015-12-14 12:45:37
As to the lane itself, it's nice where it exists at all. But I have a quibble with the way it ends. It caught me by surprise. Just after the Gerst Way pedestrian bridge, the lane officially ends, but the paint seems to continue on. What happens is that this narrows down to nothing. You decide. Video here.
2015-12-14 13:55:25
Like the lane from Forbes eastbound from squirrel hill. Some drivers need a reminder that bikes can summarily vanish where the bike lanes end. I'm a big fan of the idea of having a standardized dashed angle marking with a bicycle or cyclist image stencil atop. I'd want that dashed marking to be really bold/high contrast, so it's not just communication to drivers, but also a visibility aid like zebra striped crosswalks. Cyclists are in greatest danger not in the flow, not out of it, but while merging into it. Anything that reduces that danger is huge.
2015-12-14 14:14:08