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Saline-Second-Swinburne Greenway; or, the Anti-Chute

I know that people much smarter than me and much faster than me are working on all of the things I eventually come to think about, and so I come to two conclusions: (1) I can just chill out, and (2) I hope/think it's probably cute when I finally come around to getting what everybody else has realized for quite some time. D'oh. Having said that, here's my 8-bit drawing of the Saline-Second-Swinburne Greenway, aka the Anti-Chute. The chief constraint is that there's three fixed-width passageways under the railway bridge. So one for the bike lane, one for outbound cars, one for inbound cars. That makes Second Ave a single lane outbound between Swinburne and Saline - which must work, because it's only a single lane inbound and that doesn't generate an accumulation of cars. Second Ave outbound remains two lanes between Hot Metal Bridge and Swinburne, and the left-lane is left-turn-only at Swinburne to prevent left-turn traffic from backing up the through traffic. The road on Swinburne Street itself is sharrows and not segregated bike lane, because there's not enough room if one desires to leave the sidewalk for pedestrians (which I do, I don't want them in the bikelanes). What do yinz think?
2014-08-21 10:37:01
You're taking the northeast-most lane under the railway bridge for bikes, right? Fine if you can get people to go along with that. But traffic gets backed up outbound in the evenings with two lanes outbound (it's been years since I rode home that way, so things might have changed, but I doubt it). I don't think people will be happy with being reduced to one lane.
2014-08-21 10:56:14
I think Jon's right about traffic backing up outbound during evening rush - but except for that 2-3 hour window it would probably work well. I like the idea of routing the bike trail past the maintenance building (alongside the RR tracks) better - and I think it could happen someday.
2014-08-21 11:56:32
@byogman, no not that. (although I like that too) This would be a trail going up towards the soccer fields. As you get to the trailhead parking lot you would go left past the water fountain and then keep going straight past the maintenance building. You would then follow the tracks to where the trestle crosses over the road headed into the park. You would stay on the West side of the tracks and don't need to cross the tracks at all. There is plenty of room to do this with the exception of a pinch point caused by a bridge pier. Go exploring on the way home tonight and you'll see what an opportunity this could be if the pinch point could be solved. Edit: here's a quick map
2014-08-21 13:54:27
@marko, I agree, but that pinch point is a bitch. The Parkway East is nothing to mess with. Federal funding, critical infrastructure, etc. I would love this route but the presence of that bridge makes me think the Oakland-Downtown link through the BRT is something we'll see sooner. Given that, and some other improvements that are a lot easier, the chute becomes less important.
2014-08-21 14:09:22
"I like the idea of routing the bike trail past the maintenance building (alongside the RR tracks) better – and I think it could happen someday." It was on the move-pgh project list. However, That requires some work to the base of the swineburn st bridge to have enough clearance with the rail line or something like that. Not sure if there would be any way around that. Still not a cheap endeavor as trails need to be cut in to the hillside between panther hollow / junction hollow trail and the EFT. We're always under a lot of budget stress, so cheap + effective has been the plan for most of the city work on bike infrastructure unless a big grant or outside organization steps up to secure funding (Thanks friends of the riverfront). The people for bikes assistance was a boon for the city, and will hopefully make the city more capable at carrying out complex cycling infrastructure designs in the future.
2014-08-21 14:36:06
Without taking a traffic lane, the chute could be widened. Under the RR bridge, the inbound land could be narrowed and the sidewalk widened. I don't know the exact dimensions, but I'm fairly sure a foot or more could be converted from the inbound lane to the sidewalk by pouring concrete. On the inbound side of the RR bridge, the effective width of the chute could be increased by filling in the asphalt road to the level of the concrete strip up against the retaining wall. It's too narrow to qualify as a sidewalk, but it's curb-height higher than the rest so it's pretty useless. Again, I don't know the dimensions, but I'd be interested in whether the traffic lanes could be narrowed a few inches each so the jersey barriers could be moved farther away from the retaining wall -- especially on the corner where inbound traffic turns right as it comes out from under the bridge. No, this doesn't SOLVE the chute problem -- that requires major construction. But it would make the chute better, and it would not be a big capital project.
2014-08-21 21:28:37
I think one of the big concerns about moving the jersey barriers is that it will make it more likely for a semi-truck with trailer will hit in to something here as they have such a wide path when turning on to second (if coming from greenfield).
2014-08-22 06:43:46