BRT public meetings start today

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scott
Keymaster
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bikeygirl
Participant
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Sweet – I’ll be attending a session next week!


Benzo
Participant
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BRT Simulator fail… Allows you to design traffic and bus lanes, fails to allow you to add bike lanes.


scott
Keymaster
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Here’s what I heard back from the Port Authority: “That should not be the case. The issue may be that if you exceed the allowable street width, a warning comes up that you can’t add a lane (bus, general traffic, parking, etc.). It is necessary to eliminate a lane before you can add a new lane – bike or other. Try it out and let us know.”


Benzo
Participant
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Thanks scott… I got it now!


scott
Keymaster
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Top. Don’t let bikes get “right sized” out of the plan. Show up and be heard!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I attended the one in Oakland last week, and put in a few good words for bike lanes. They need to be heard more, though.

One thing to stress, putting bike lanes in will ease crowding on buses in Oakland. If cycling can be seen as a viable and safe way to get around Oakland, there will be more bus seats available for through travelers.


salty
Participant
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I stopped by pretty late (~7:10), they were already cleaning up and I couldn’t really process all of the displays they had… but I think I said “bike lanes” about 50 times to as many people as I could in the 10 minutes I was there :)


scott
Keymaster
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I’m happy with what was presented at last night’s meeting. Most if not all of the alternatives prominently featured bikeways in the designs. But that doesn’t mean they will happen. The public needs to show up and speak up for bikes throughout the process to make sure the bike improvements don’t get “right sized” out of the project. Prime examples: 279N also had a bikeway designed alongside it as did the East Busway I’m told.

Only two meetings left. This Thursday and a week from Thursday. Click on the link above for addresses.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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West Busway was supposed to. East Busway actually got that sidewalk from Swissvale to Wilkinsburg, though it isn’t much used by cyclists, and is non-existent in Edgewood.


melange396
Participant
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> 279N also had a bikeway designed alongside it as did the East Busway

it makes me a little sad that 279 couldve had a bikeway and doesnt… it makes me want to cry that the busway couldve had one too :'(


Jack
Participant
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Scott – What do you mean by the term “right-sized” in this context?


rsprake
Participant
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Features being removed because there isn’t enough room for them.


scott
Keymaster
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not so much “isn’t enough room” so much as saying it’s “too expensive.” funds can always be found if there is community support.


Jack
Participant
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Thanks Scott. the phrase “right-sizing” in many cases is code for a political judgement. The folks who allow the voices of cyclists to be ignored should be called out and made to answer for it politically.


dmtroyer
Participant
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I think this article does a good job highlighting how crucial it is for people who bike to be involved in this discussion.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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The man has a point, but it’s only one cog in a very large gearbox. I favor BRT, but only if we redesign the street and stop system through Oakland. We want to encourage as much bicycle use in Oakland as possible, but to do that, we do need to take into account his objections.

Separate from all that, the item I do not see anyone talking about is our four-season climate. If it snows, or is cold, or particularly hot, or rainy, there will be far fewer cyclists on the road, and chances are excellent they will be on buses or in increased auto traffic. Street clearing after a snowfall hasn’t been talked about, especially if there are candlesticks or other physical separators.

Design is a really big part of this whole thing, but first there has to be perceived demand on the planners’ parts.


jonawebb
Participant
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Might be worth taking a look at BRT on Euclid Street in Cleveland. Similar climate, and I understand BRT works pretty well there. I do not know how they dealt with bikes but I imagine someone here does.


edmonds59
Participant
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I’m not familiar with the Cle system, I think it’s relatively new so they’re probably still working out bugs themselves. But I would guess one reason it went in relatively easily it that city is dealing with a population loss that make Pgh look like Hong Kong, i.e., 5 lane flat wide streets designed for a city of a million people, currently at <400,000.

I need to get up there, preferably on the last Friday of a Month.


Steven
Participant
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Looking at Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue BRT on Streetview, Euclid is mostly set up as:

Car lane

A left turn lane at one end of the block and a bus station on an island at the other end

Bus-only lane

Median

Bus-only lane

A left turn lane at one end of the block and a bus station on an island at the other end

Car lane

Downtown, there’s sometimes on-street parking, and a little farther out there are often narrow bike lanes on both sides. This is in addition to the usual 6 lane configuration above.

Farther out east, Euclid is four lanes plus a left turn lane at intersections, and the buses run with other traffic and bikes, with no specific lanes. There, bus stops are on the side of the road instead of in the middle.

Running parallel to Euclid on the stretch where they added dedicated bus lanes, and one block away, is Chester Avenue. It’s six lanes wide, plus a left turn lane. I imagine the cars chased off by Euclid’s narrowing just went there.

Of course, Pittsburgh doesn’t have the abundance of super-wide streets that made BRT so easy in Cleveland.


jonawebb
Participant
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You are right, the traffic gets diverted to Chester, and Cleveland is flat. But on the bicycling issue I see bike lines sandwiching Euclid. So they incorporated bike lanes into their BRT. Maybe we can do that here.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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That one idea of making Forbes bus/bike-only sounds very tempting. Has anyone done that?

Buses and bikes can co-exist reasonably well, absent other irritations like oncoming traffic in the next lane (think Smithfield St, or the contra-flow lane on Fifth in Oakland).

But I would prefer there be a bike-only lane otherwise unimpeded by any other travel mode.

If we can’t make Oakland look like Amsterdam in terms of bike traffic, we’re not doing something right.


dmtroyer
Participant
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@stu in my BRT online submission I submitted forbes as bus/bike only.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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My concern with the idea of making Forbes bus/bike only is, what do you do with the delivery vehicles? Forbes is wall-to-wall restaurants and retail, and there really isn’t any alley behind most of it….


dmtroyer
Participant
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What to do with delivery vehicles is a great question. There are a number of places in the city where they need to figure out a better system. Penn in the strip comes to mind, as well.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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In that scenario, other vehicles could get to Forbes, but only from side streets. You could not drive the length of Forbes, but a bus or bike could. Fifth becomes two-way.


scott
Keymaster
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By the way there’s another public meeting about this topic this evening. See first link in the thread.


sloaps
Participant
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the gettherepgh.org site is having issues. I can’t submit the following question:

Thanks for publishing this simulator and allowing folks to weigh in on the BRT project. In my attempt at the simulator I was receiving a message that the parking lane must be against the curb. I was attempting to have a bike lane along the curb with a parking lane as a buffer to the traffic lane. Whereas, the traffic section from left to right would be a bike lane, a parking lane, a traffic lane or two and then a BRT lane. I believe bike lanes buffered by parking lanes along Fifth and/or Forbes would greatly improve safety for all bike riders – especially tentative riders and reduce the interaction of aggressive drivers and bike riders. Could a buffered bike lane be added to the project scope?


scott
Keymaster
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Funny I sent the same email to the project leads last Sunday. you can email them directly at wstern@portauthority.org, cgould@sustainablepittsburgh.org, phillipsd@pbworld.com, and dwohlwill@portauthority.org

I talked to Wendy about it at Monday’s meeting and they said the sim was just to get people participating and imagining how the street can change, but they all understand the buffering/protection argument. Still, it wouldn’t hurt for them to get an email about it from someone other than me.


sloaps
Participant
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I gotta email them!? None of these folks frequent the forums?

I think this should be the time Erok cashes in on that Official Erok Day cache and tells these folks what’s what n’at.


scott
Keymaster
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top for this week’s meeting


scott
Keymaster
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top for tomorrow’s meeting

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