Sorry this is so last minute, but that's how this goes.
Tomorrow July 3
11am at Schenley Visitor's Center
Press conference for the Mayor to announce the summer's plans for installing protected bike lanes.
More info about the event to shortly....Just wanted to get this out there.
Come one, come all.
Is that this building
? Sounds exciting!
PS: how's the knee?
PS. - It's doing fine
Sweet, I can probably walk (or ride over to this) on my lunch break!
Arrrgh! They don't let me out of my cage until 12:30! Boooo!
Dude...shoot, probably I'll be on the wrong side of town @ that time.
I definitely plan to go.
Probably starting from home, but if there are a decent number of folks planning to leave from downtown who respond to this idea, was thinking we could, say, mass together and ride straight up Forbes. Seems like good fun and good messaging.
No matter what, just want to see us turn out for this.
As soon as this is "officially" announced, we'll be upping the promo
I'll see if I can sneak out of the office to be there.
Was looking for a "top" here, didn't see but it's on the home page. Anyways, given the short notice don't really expect any massing, but I'll start hanging out on Forbes just east of grant at 10:30, planned departure 10:35-10:40. If anyone wants to ride with, great, if not no worries.
yeah, we were waiting to see what the mayor's office was going to announce in the media advisory, but it wasn't anything new, so top
I like the noises I'm hearing, the sense of urgency to get some things in now (before labor day and bike/ped conference) and it was nice to see decent turnout despite the very short notice and awkward timing.
I was unspeakably disappointed to see the green lane in Oakland ending at the interchange instead of continuing along Panther Hollow Rd. into Greenfield. I guess what the mayor probably said just after the ride of silence was connecting to here (schenley plaza) and to greenfield not from here to greenfield.
Guess I should have figured going to take more money and time to redo that abomination. I hope the fact that they're putting a green lane to it means it's very, very high in the priority list.
Thanks for reporting, saw the twitterstorm and am hopeful and pleased about what on its face seems to be an administration that has bought into the paradigm. Didn't see any negative blowback, yet, either.
I was unspeakably disappointed to see the green lane in Oakland ending at the interchange instead of continuing along Panther Hollow Rd. into Greenfield. I guess what the mayor probably said just after the ride of silence was connecting to here (schenley plaza) and to greenfield not from here to greenfield.
I was also disappointed at how short and unconnected the Schenley Park* lane is, but the narrow, expressway-style ramps at Panther Hollow and Boulevard of the Allies make going any further than that a longer-term project. I did get the impression from talking to people afterward that it is still on the table, it just wasn't going to be doable by September.
(* This isn't Oakland. It's entirely within Schenley Park. Which is nice to have directly next to Oakland, but seriously let's not pretend this is actually in Oakland at all.)
"I did get the impression from talking to people afterward that it is still on the table, it just wasn’t going to be doable by September."
Anything specific on the table, ways it might run, projects it might come along as a rider with, or was it just generally positive vibe?
correct. there has been a lot of research into the use of panther hollow rd, however, they do want to do more community input, analysis, etc which i think in the long run will be a better project. There is a lot of incentive to connect to greenfield rd and on to pocussett as well. However, putting anything on greenfield is a bit moot for the next couple years as the bridge replacement project is about to start, and greenfield rd will be closed to cars anyway. They do intend to keep it open for bikes to get down and access pucussett, which is good. i think this is a heckuva good start.
I just wonder how the left turn from schenly dr (the flat part by phipps) to schenly dr (you know the uphill part towards the golf course / squirrel hill) will work. This was always confusing before any changes.
This always seemed like they wanted a traffic circle here, but just forgot to actually put the circle part in the middle.
Understood about greenfield rd. It'll be a nice little bike playground for a while.
The greenfield bridge outage cuts both ways. On the one hand it disconnects greenfield itself. But on the other hand, it makes it more important to have better routes other than coming up greenfield avenue for folks living in squirrel hill and beyond. On balance, I think it makes Panther Hollow Rd. an even more important connector. I really hope something can be done there before the greenfield bridge is out.
Benzo's point about the intersection with the rising part of schenley drive is interesting. I've always wondered generally how you're supposed to smoothly transition into and out of a cycle-track either to road or bike lanes and always thought keeping side=direction of travel was a nice invariant. If traffic volumes are low enough you can get away with anything, but if they're not I just don't see a way to do it that's smooth that doesn't involve some (presumably expensive) over/under.
Thinking strategically, since the Greenfield bridge project will put a huge crimp in the number of suburbanites using Schenley Park to escape the city to the Parkway East, that would be the BEST possible time to reconfigure the whole stretch of Panther Hollow freeway - I mean road - from SOakland to SQuill. That is, if something could be done in the same time frame.
I can see the utility in a protected bike lane in Schenley where it's at, but Saline St? This is the area by Big Jims that already has a separated trail. I've never really felt any car pressure on that stretch of road and there's parking on both sides
The idea makes me more than a little nervous, but with the lane rerouting/congestion on the bridge and a later start to the speedway, on more than one occasion recently I found myself unusually tempted to just start riding that damn road uphill, too. I still don't know if I have the nerve. But I do know that if enough cyclists do that, the motorists would BEG for a lane to be created.
Yeah, I thought the saline street separated lane was a bit silly, too. I think they're just starting places it's comparatively easy.
Will the downtown lanes be set up as two separate bike lanes with the car lanes moved to the middle? Or will both bike lanes be in the place where the westbound lane is now?
(If the latter, it seems it would be difficult for westbound cyclists entering the bike lane to cut across from the north side of the street to the south, crossing over the lanes of eastbound traffic. How would that work?)
(If the latter, it seems it would be difficult for westbound cyclists entering the bike lane to cut across from the north side of the street to the south, crossing over the lanes of eastbound traffic. How would that work?)
i was wondering this too, while biking through there yesterday, there's a signal every block, with slow-moving and light traffic, and if i have to cross the street to use the bike lane inbound, i just don't see myself ever doing that. it would be much easier and safer to just keep with traffic (and perhaps get beeped at and told to use the bike lane, sigh).
also, the post gazette article says the greenfield bike lane will be along saline from swinburne to greenfield. this can't be accurate, unless they possibly mean from underneath the swinburne bridge. this couldn't possibly mean the end to the cattle chute and a legitimate jail trail connection, right?
i should add that i am super excited that this is happening. i always expected that having peduto as a mayor would be good for biking in the city, but i never really imagined he would be biking himself, and certainly not for work purposes.
there's a lot still to do, but this sort of feels like the snowball that bike pittsburgh's been pushing up the hill these past ten years is about to start rolling down it.
I was wondering something similar about the 2nd ave cattle chute. I'm hoping no one in a position of authority thinks that is currently an acceptable "protected bike lane".
On the greenfield map, I originally thought the red lines indicated where bike lanes would be installed. I thought to myself: "Well, that's one way of trying to make a healthier population!" (Looking at the line going up Bigelow St in Greenfield...)
Seriously though, putting the lines around Schenley park where noted is ignoring several elephants.
also, the post gazette article says the greenfield bike lane will be along saline from swinburne to greenfield. this can’t be accurate, unless they possibly mean from underneath the swinburne bridge.
The map makes it pretty clear that the lane will run along Saline from Greenfield Avenue to a point just short of where Saline goes under the Swinburne Street bridge. That means it will connect up to the existing path that currently just connects to the Saline Street sidewalk here:
this couldn’t possibly mean the end to the cattle chute and a legitimate jail trail connection, right?
The map shows no changes in the vicinity of the cattle chute. For that matter, it doesn't show the cattle chute, just the road it's on.
Maybe the maps are a little hard to interpret? Each one has a light green ribbon showing which roads get the lanes. All the darker green bits, red lines, and so forth, have nothing to do with the this project. The red lines, for instance, are not routes but mark neighborhood boundaries. (And calling them "preliminary designs" as the papers do is very generous. These are the equivalent of taking an existing map and applying a magic marker along a few roads.)
That little snippet of trail in the prior post is just wide enough for one bike, has two blind curves, and is very difficult to get onto from either direction. That, and the knotweed hangs out over half of the available surface. It really isn't much of a trail, unfortunately.
I surely hope this on-street plan provides a well-marked alternative to using that.
I'm already mentally preparing myself to respond to the shouts of "get on the bike path!!". Been doing that for 40 some years, that should go well.
Saline st where the trail is is marked with signs from the city saying that parking is going to be removed in the next few weeks. I'm wondering how many of those cars are going to end up in the trail head parking spaces
I'm all behind whatever the city is doing with protected lanes. It is a huge positive that we have a mayor that "gets it" and is actively and quickly implementing improvements.
But while I'm supportive of the new protected lanes, I think that they are really obscure choices for actual daily commuters. This just feels like ease of use for weekend trail riders. But I'll take it if it means more people on bikes in the city.
I am disappointed that there's really nothing more practical in the offerings for commuters. What about long lasting cycling infrastructure improvement opportunities such as the major ongoing rebuild of the Garfield Penn Ave corridor? It's a virtual blank slate for a protected bicycle commuter lane. My understanding is that everything up to the storefronts is being replaced from Mathilda to Negley during a several year phased plan.... sidewalks, roads, drainage, traffic controls, etc. But no protected bike lane? So infuriating.
So far the motorists are dealing with the current one lane inbound restriction up there fairly well. No major riots. And I see no reason that their compliance with current restrictions wouldn't be the norm given inclusive planning for cyclists moving forward.
Penn in Garfield is a VAST lost opportunity for implementing something practical for the future of a bicycle commuting infrastructure in Pittsburgh. It's a 20 year mistake that is being implemented now. And there's nothing we can do to stop it.
@quiz, you probably know this, but major projects like Penn-Garfield are planned years in advance, so there's no way our new mayor could have an impact on it. But it is a huge lost opportunity, for sure.
Having decent pavement and other infrastructure in place on Penn does allow us to re-jigger paint and parking along there later. Baby steps.
I'm more worried about Penn from Braddock to Fifth. Slow that damn street down to 25 and enforce it. If we need PennDOT to abandon the "380" designation first, then let's do that. That road has been a speedway since they paved over the trolley tracks and bricks around 1985.
Glad I'm not the only one concerned about the left turn issue.
Protected lanes are one of those "greatest good for the greatest number" developments that is long over due and I hope they put in many more miles. But for those of us who've been riding on roads for decades there are going to be unintended consequences--the left turn issue being one. I would much rather continue riding with traffic, signalling as I move to left into the flow to make the turn. Another thought: If a lot of new and novice cyclists use the cycle tracks--and I hope they do--will it start to feel like riding on the trails on a nice weekend morning? I.e., very slow riders with a demonstrable lack of spatial awareness, in which case jumping out of the track and back onto the road will be mighty inviting.
Did anyone else catch Corey O'Connor's hilarious and historically ignorant remark about cycling being a "relatively new form of transportation"?
@jonawebb yep, I am sadly aware of how it works. This project was supposed to begin construction in 2008 (PG link
) but was derailed due to budget. It was also to include Penn Ave from Main in Bloomfield to
Penn Circle W
Euclid Ave (1.5 mi). The current 2 phase plan has been cut back to include only Matilda to Aiken
Someone lost a mile and 6 years somewhere.
@DavidM, Corey also made an improv comment about his bike coming from toys-r-us because he's so short. Unfortunately I think it reflects his understanding of cycling more than his height.
And we can only hope that the cycle lanes become too crowded - but I agree with your assessment.
I think it would be nice to have penn with bikeways, however I don't think it's going to happen where the reconstruction is happening because of the narrow street and lack of willingness to give up parking.
I do think that reconnecting broad st through east liberty and making that a two way bike priority road would be a very helpful solution as an alternative to penn ave, combined with a more central bike priority st on friendship ave (with a better connection over at the intersection with baum blvd and euclid st). With that, we could really improve east / west connectivity.
I would love to see this happen, as well as get bike infrastructure on penn where it is viable, like between negley and center ave on penn. Connect this to broad and friendship with some bike lanes on the wide section of negley, and we could have a nice route through the main east liberty business district and further west towards lawrenceville.
This is just brainstorming and all...
Some of my cycling friends have been rather critical of 3 protected bike routes that were chosen.
To offer a bit of hope, consider this. The goal wasn't to pick the 3 most needed routes. While that is most appealing to people commuting today, it is not usually a viable strategy. And this is why it is good that the quarter million dollar grant is being used for advice and continued consulting.
It is my understanding that cities with wide-spread bike lane build out have achieved that quicker by choosing their battles wisely and at the right times. By picking the low hanging fruit, bike lanes will get built with little opposition. Once built, they will become "normal" in most people's eyes. And that's the key to success. Once people see bike lanes as a normal part of the city, knee-jerk opposition to future development will decrease.
The schenely lane is definitely low hanging fruit. It won't eliminate much parking and won't slow down car traffic. Once the easy cheap section is built, extending it through more costly and controversial areas becomes easier.
The same is true with saline. I would bet that eventually we will see the cattle chute expanded or replaced. The way to do push that through is to build a bike lane directly up to it so that it becomes obvious how insufficient it is. A one block striping and bollard project will hopefully spur that more involved reconfiguration.
But what really surprises me is that the penn avenue lane downtown didn't seem like low hanging fruit. Instead it seems like the exact opposite. It could outrage motorists. On the other hand, it will be seen by thousands of people every day. Those thousands of people will begin to incorporate bike lanes into their image of pittsburgh. When they take pride in their city, it will (hopefully) include a forward thinking downtown and an ever expanding system of bike lanes.
I believe that the mayor and other city officials are in favor of a fully realized system of bike lanes. I also believe they are pursuing it quite aggressively and with the best outside help that a quarter million dollars can purchase. While the first three bike lanes will do me personally absolutely no good, I am hopeful that they were chosen upon good advice.
I could be wrong though. Anyone care to chime in with their thoughts on the selection process and the reasoning behind it?
i will add some light to that soon, just need a minute to type it out.
in the meantime, if anyone would be so kind and check out the greenfield neighborhood facebook page and "like" the post on the bike lanes, and maybe defend the cycling position, that would be keen.
Yeah, i'd say there's a good amount of truth to what you said, but timing and speed of intall is another. shit takes a long time to get in place, and being able to get something in this summer was definitely in the city's thought process. picture if a project needs 5 steps to go in vs one that needs 15 steps, the 5 step project will be a bit more attractive for a quicker implementation.
this is what i know of the city's thought process
Schenley Dr: the city has been looking at putting something on schenley dr for a long time. it's even in the 1999 bike plan. once these separated bike lanes were getting more popular, it sort of rose to the top as a place where they could be tried out. it connects into oakland, goes into the park, and can eventually connect to squirrel hill, a major bike commuter spot. Also, the thought is that phase II could be to take the bike lane along Panther Hollow into Squirrel Hill, connect to Greenfield Rd and also Pocussett st, and maybe even the other direction to Bates St (i'm fantasizing a bit, but who knows?).
penn ave: they really wanted something downtown. smithfield was the first choice, however there is so much construction on smithfield this summer that it didn't make sense to do because of all the equipment and whatnot. so other locations were being considered, and the outbound lane on penn trickled to the surface as a low impact high visibility project that is already used by bikes. alot. very minor impact on transit and no impact on parking. there's also lots of businesses on there so it will help supplement the bike share when it comes in next year. the lane is barely used by cars, even during rush hour or after an event. the ultimate goal is to connect it to the point and into the strip to connect to the green blvd. a
saline: the run neighborhood group actually helped push this little section. and it's been a serious missing piece in the trail network for a long time (imagine trying to figure out where the trail goes if you've never been here before). the neighborhood group said that they've noticed a huge increase in bike traffic over the years, especially families, and noticed how people have no clue what to do there. they don't really like sharing the road with the children, so thought if the trail continued thru there, separated, it would be better for everyone. also, the area around there is a bit of a dump site, people dump trash from their cars, and they have to clean it up all the time. plus the people who park there are only adding traffic to their hood. maybe the bike lane will help prevent dumping. win-win
hope that helps some.
Looking at the comments on that Facebook post, to date, it is almost universally negative, and many say the Saline St neighbors were not included in the conversation. Uninformed? Misinformed? Haters busy typing? Organized resistance? Are we wrong?
Can you tell us whether the lanes on Penn will be adjacent, versus on opposite sides of the street? And if the former, if they have a good way for cyclists to transition from riding in the right lane on a normal street to getting into the bike lane along the left side of the street, cutting across car traffic?
Wow, the posts on that Facebook page are hostile. There's even a conspiracy theory about the bike lane being a pittsburgh parking authority scam to eliminate free parking. This is just typical xenophobia where people hate anyone or anything who is not one of them or part of their niche in the world. I honestly don't think it is specifically anti-cycling anymore than it is just a knee jerk reaction to change. It is likely that these same people will eventually not despise the new bike lane.
@stu: Councilman O'Connor, during the press conference, called out a guy who was in attendance representing the Run Community Group, and talked about how the project will hopefully help in their efforts to curb dumping in the area, something the neighborhood struggles with.
@steven: I'm not sure yet, re: transition. but a very good question.
I didn't want to start a new thread for this story, which is well-intentioned but, wow, how wrong: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/07/03/bikes-cars-and-people-co-exist-on-pittsburghs-shared-streets/
"Saline St neighbors were not included in the conversation"
Politically active / civic minded folks, people who are active in the community group were likely included in the conversation . The people who are normally apathetic to the work of the community group didn't have a voice, because they likely didn't join the conversation till a decision had been made.
I don't know how much this was advertised for public comment. I know the downtown lanes were, but was this component? You kind of assume that community groups like this speak for a neighborhood, but for every 1 proactive resident that gets involved, there are many more that are simply reactionary.
Nobody lives on that part of Saline St anyways unless they live on the train tracks or that lot of that guy who was vandalizing cars at the trail head a few years back
I bet it's just pissing off commuters from out of town who aren't paying for parking and are catching buses downtown or into Oakland
@jonawebb What the hell is that depiction of streets trying to show? It has like illustrated substrate or something
@Pierce, I saw some comments to that effect. People are worried that outsiders are going to come in an park in front of their houses, instead of on Saline St, when they come to commute by bus. But there's an easy solution for that, which is to restrict parking on the residential streets. I'll bet the neighborhood association is already on that.
The solution to all this, of course, is to get more people on bikes, particularly those upstream of the Saline St area.
Again: If we had a decent connection from Pocusset to lower Saline St, none of this would be a concern.
A couple of weeks ago, I hiked a bike from behind Greenfield School down the no-longer-there steps to the Byzantine church. If there was a path of some sort from Anthony & Ivondale up to Neeb & Lydia, as well as a switchback up to Pocusset, there would be no need to park a car down there.
I see lots of folks parking there and walking up to catch the UPMC shuttles. I bet a lot of folks just don't want to pay a $40+ month parking lease and use this as a way to avoid it. Now that they have to walk further, and they might reconsider.
However, i wouldn't doubt some people in the run or greenfield consider parking down there more convenient than walking to the bus stop, Especially if they live deep in the run. I don't know how wide the street is, and if they could accomodate a single lane of parking along one side of the street in addition to the two way bikeway. That might alleviate some concerns, especially if they made the rest of the run an Residential parking permit area with some low cost metered or free parking around big jims.
It doesn't seem wide enough for the bike lanes, bollard strip, two traffic lanes and parking. Drivers would be running over the bollards or hitting side view mirrors when attempting to pass oncoming traffic. Or at least that's my take.
Here's a google street view link:
Do you know who owns that parking lot across from the hot metal bridge right next to 2nd ave? Is that another UPMC lot or does it have public parking available?
According to the County
, the parking lot at Second and Hot Metal is owned by "MB PITTSBURGH BRIDGESIDE DST", which also owns several pieces of the Tech Dr office park including the Fisher Scientific building directly across the street. The remainder of the land between Second and the river, pretty much from that point to below Hazelwood Ave, belongs to Almono.
(As an aside, according to the County, the land on the railroad side of Saline from Second to the Swinburne Bridge all belongs to the B&O, even as the road bends away from the tracks; the three properties along the other side of Saline between Greenfield and the bridge all belong to the mechanics at the corner.)
Does that parking lot offer parking to the public during all or some hours for pay or for free?
I was under the impression that it was a UPMC parking lot MIRMCOPIER@upmc.pdf
The UPMC Oakland Master Plan Transportation Study
makes several references to a Bridgeside Lot, which has "563 spaces in this lot, of which 470 are leased by UPMC Oakland". It doesn't define the term, however, so I don't know if it's this lot or another one in the Bridgeside complex---though Streetview shows
a UPMC shuttle exiting the lot in question.
I believe UPMC is leasing this parking lot.
Regarding transitioning between right-side regular bike lanes and left-side cycle-track on Penn Avenue:
This seems like a great opportunity to install Pittsburgh's first cycle-specific traffic signal as well. Red lights for cars in both directions, and a bike green to cross over, perhaps abetted by a painted lane angling across the intersection....
I was riding on Schenley Drive yesterday, and judging from where they've put what look like guide marks, they're going to put the bike lane right in the door zone of cars parked in front of Phipps. Surely there's a better way to arrange things there, there's lots of space.
Saline street one has been 90% painted
Pics from Saline st cycle tracks (second is where it ends at the intersection of Saline St & Greenfield Ave.)
I took the chute down from the parking lot/jail trail on the way home and hopped on this pretty easily. However, where it ends, there is not a smooth curb transition to continue on the pre-existing trail up toward the soccer field. This may be an issue for inexperienced riders. I can see people getting pinch flats or even slamming into the curb and maybe getting hurt. I actually took the road when it ended and it is awkward, but it is good that it is a low traffic area.
Yeah, I'm interested to see if they make improvements to those transition spots. The painting of the diagonal stripes wasn't complete as of this AM, so there is still a chance that it could be done.
Went by there yesterday. It's awesome. The Phipps side of the street has a cycletrack. No parking at all on that side between Schenley Park and the Boulevard of the Allies.
Looks like the lines on friendship were repainted on the side next to the hospital. Some jag in a car drove into the bike lane there as the paint was drying and dragged some all over the road. What a jag.
This afternoon the cycle track in Schenley Park by Phipps was full of parked cars -- which were conspicuously ignoring the "No Parking" signs. Naturally, this was forcing bikes into the (now narrower) auto lanes. We made a 311 report, asked for parking enforcement.
I am going to hold out on judgment on these new lanes. I remain unconvinced that this is the best way to get people on bikes.
For my own experience with the new lanes along Saline, I rode from the Eliza Furnace Trail up to the edge of the soccer field using the chute and the new lanes. Then I reversed, came back down, and made a left on Greenfield Ave. Yes, they work. For now. I'm less sure how well they will continue to work as soon as we get any snow, and I don't mean a lot, just enough to make the lines not readily visible.
I won't pooh-pooh the idea yet. I'm just withholding making a decision on them until I see them in action for a while.
yeah, they really need to get those bollards in. and they are supposed to fix the curb as well.
a little ramp at that curb on the Big Jim's end was added today
They're going to need a team of workers to yank out that knotweed all along there. Or else tamp down sheets of 4-mil plastic sheeting along that entire stretch to starve it out for a couple of years.
Obviously the chute is a problem. But with the addition of the protected bike lane it's now possible to get from anywhere in Schenley Park to anywhere the EFT reaches without ever having to share the road with a car. That's not nothing.
I hope you're not counting the railroad crossing from Panther Hollow Lake to the Junction Hollow trail as a necessary connection for that--lots of people do it, yes, but it's no more legal and promotable than the crossing on the hillside from the bottom of Saline to the UPMC parking lot...
(which, btw, this weekend had a new orange netting fence at the top of it, not that that stopped the half-dozen people I saw using it Sunday...)
People parked all over the new bike lane from Carnegie Library to Phipps on Sunday. Assume the bollards will stop that, but the "No Parking or Stopping" signs along side the Frick Fine Arts building were completely ignored. I pointed out the bike lane and signs to a driver pulling out..."Even on Sunday?"
Both the Saline street lane and teh Schenley DRive lane strike me as totally unnecesary, just to have "bicycle infrastructure."
It's ahrd to imagine either one being much of an improvement. Whether they actually hurt bicycling remains to be seen.
Why bother? (Seriously. There were resources used getting these thing in there. Why?)
While I agree that neither Saline nor Schenley Drive would have been high on my list of places to put these lanes, it does prove the concept well without too much backlash from the general public. In this respect it’s not unlike the stair-rail on Louisa St.
Hopefully it will be easier to get these installed in other neighborhoods in the future after “learning” on these projects.
That was my take at first too. As bikers it is easy to be impatient and annoyed that more useful routes were not chosen.
Keep in mind that the city didn't go in blind. My guess is that they were given advice that might seem counter intuitive at first. After a bit of thought, choosing easy routes first makes some sense.
Schenely and Saline are both inexpensive installations because paint and bollards are the primary expense. They are low traffic areas with sufficient pre-existing pavement width. While doing these projects, they will learn quite a bit. It would be far worse to screw up a more important and expensive route due to inexperience.
In fact it kind of concerns me that the Penn Ave lane is being tackled so early. But at the same time, changing public perception is likely the biggest benefit of the first few lanes. Once bike lanes are seen as normal, there will be less knee-jerk opposition when more lanes go in. Right now the general public is still in the "what the hell is this?" phase, as seen by how people are still parking in the new lanes.
But hopefully the Penn Ave lane turns out well and bike lanes become a natural part of the landscape for the general public. In a couple years, if truly needed routes aren't being targeted, that's when I'll unleash a bunch of criticism. We've been engaged on the subject for a long time but the city has not. We're ready to run but the city is just now starting to crawl.
This infrastructure is made of paint and some plastic sticks, that's cheap compared to pavement and concrete.
If we screw it up, then it's easy to move and change it to work better. I hope we screw up and learn a few lessons on this first round, and then fix them, so we keep getting better.
Honest question: How are you supposed to enter one of these lanes when you're coming from the direction that places it on the opposite side of the road from you?
Second question: Are these lanes going to lead to laws that make it illegal not to use them where present? That would be a bad trade unless every lane is flawless for every purpose. I love the Schenley lane, but after descending the golf course am I supposed to cross two lanes of traffic and the median to get over into the bike lane? Surely not. It kicks ass as a climbing lane when going the other direction though, mostly through the elimination of street parking (the threat of 'dooring') on that side.
> Second question: Are these lanes going to lead to laws that make it illegal not to use them where present?
This actually used to be the law--vehicle code § 3505 (f) used to read
Whenever a lane or path for pedalcycles has been provided as a part of a highway and mandatory use of the lane or path has been indicated by official traffic-control devices, pedalcycle riders shall use the lane or path and shall not use any other part of the highway. This subsection does not apply when use of the pedalcycle lane or path is not possible, safe or reasonable.
Note that, even then, it was only enforceable under law when it was posted that use of the lane was required, and even then contained pretty broad exemptions...
It was repealed by section 33 of Act 151 of 1998, one of the state's periodic omnibus (and utterly massive) vehicle code update bills, readable (or at least accessible) here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/LEGIS/LI/uconsCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&yr=1998&sessInd=0&smthLwInd=0&act=0151
(I'll let someone who was actually here then comment on actual enforcement, as I didn't permanently move here until 2005.)
I think of the lanes as part of an eventual larger system. Say extend the cycletrack up the south side of Schenley Drive to Forbes, then along Forbes to Squirrel Hill, still taking the south side of the road. Then extend it along the Boulevard of the Allies to reach South Oakland on one side and along Panther Hollow road to Hobart on the other. And, finally, run a cycletrack along the south side of Forbes to connect to the BRT trail to downtown.
In a way, we're doing here what they did when building the Mon-Fayette expressway: Put the easy stuff in first (i.e., build north from Uniontown), then work on making more connections later. Hey, it works.
Where do I go from here, headed away from schenly towards bigelow blvd and bouqet st?
Seems I have to cross two lanes of traffic going in different directions. Is there going to be a signal change to let me cross? If not, I'd prefer the road.
Also, I assume cyclists should attempt to use the pedestrian crossing for a left turn off the bikeway on to schenly drive to go uphill towards squirrel hill? Or merge in to auto traffic? I'm really not sure what they want me to do here as a cyclist.
And fix for transition at trail to saline st bikeway, could be a bit wider, but it's definitely better than it was, probably did it before the bollards went in, looks shifted too far to the left. Bollards are looking real good!
The path between panther hollow lots and the bikeway still feels really narrow due to so much plant life. They trimmed it back a bit, but the sidewalk still has lots of grass intrusion and the turn by the yellow railing at the walkway is a total blind turn with no sightlines.
I do see a way more people using this pathway between the junction hollow trail and the bikeway instead of the roadway since the completion of the bikeway.
At the City Planning/Bike PGH ride last night, someone asked whether there would be bike-specific signals along the Penn Ave bike lane* -- the answer is apparently 'no', but they plan to have signs indicating that left turns must yield to bikes.
(Unfortunately, I didn't think to ask about at the ends of the 'tracks, though I've suggested them before, including in this thread.)
* - btw, due to a just-discovered collapsed sewer underneath Penn between Sixth and Stanwix, repairs for which are likely to close the entire block for a while, the planned Downtown bike track has apparently shifted to Sixth to Sixteenth. They did indicate that despite the change, they still plan to have it installed before PWPB.
This afternoon a dozen and a half cars were parked in the cycle track in front of Phipps, near the farmers' market. I called 911 and asked for enforcement. Is the part of the road outside the buffer zone one lane of parking and one lane of traffic? The solid lines suggest this. If that's the plan, it will take signage and education to convey this to people. (Maybe the bollards will have hints?)
It should be possible to accommodate cars and a bicycle track, at least for the less-narrow bits of the street in front of Phipps. Works elsewhere. Might help in traffic calming as well.
Is the part of the road outside the buffer zone one lane of parking and one lane of traffic? The solid lines suggest this.
That is the plan, yes.
(Note that they still have meters on the curb, despite parking in the mid-roadway, just like Schenley Dr...)
And more useful street stuff:
Manhattan (Chelsea), NYC (yes, that's my finger)
This is at an intersection.
I was curious if there were any specific (PA) laws surrounding cars parking in bike lanes. A google search found this
article out of Philly. While it doesn’t seem like there is a bike-lane specific law, it does appear that “no parking” and “no stopping” are very important distinctions. I wonder if the folks leading this effort are aware of the distinction.
Somebody mentioned the Friendship Park lanes... They're definitely smaller. The bike lane strip of paint now intersects with the bike lane symbol that was already on the road.
the project isn't done. there will be bollards, which is when the city will start to enforce, signs, and some green paint.
I kind of like being on the outside, watching these projects develop, even though it would be nice to know exactly what the plans are from the beginning. It's like getting a series of presents instead of just one. First: looks like they're planning crappy bike lanes in the door zone. Then: whoa! cycletrack! But folks keep parking in it! Everybody's going to be mad when they take the parking away! Finally: awesome! Parking protected cycletrack! Everybody's happy!
I am sure there are plans for the rest of Schenley Drive, etc., like I posted earlier, but don't tell me. I want it to be a surprise.
Fair enough, let them finish the project.
In the meanwhile, though, how about doing windshield-leaflet distribution with a diagram of the final plan and a nice friendly message saying "change is coming, here's what to expect, you'll be parking in a slightly different place, just want to make you aware of what's going on here"?
I'll bet a lot of cyclists who go through there regularly would sign up to do this, once each, on a designated day.
It appears the Penn Ave bikelane coverage area has shifted from [Stanwix to 11th] to [Sixth to 16th].
(since this is teh interweb, it seems like an unqualified kneejerk reaction is called for, so..)
It seems like this is a great thing. It extends the bike path across the boundary into the Strip, and after the euphemistic "utility work" (which is remarkably non-specific) they can revisit Stanwix-to-Sixth later.
So it leaves us with a connector likely to grow, rather than a constrained path unable to expand. (?)
I think expanding the protected bike lane to 16th street makes sense, particularly since there was already a bike lane on westbound Penn between 16th and 11th streets. This bike lane is on the opposite side of the street from where the new protected bike was initially set to be installed, making the crossing at 11th street awkward to say the least. One would assume that the 6th to 16th protected bike lane would be all on the same side of Penn Ave.
Personally, this stretch of Penn never did seem to me like it was crying out for a bike lane. Cycling through there is generally fine, as traffic is slow because of all the traffic lights. However, I think making Penn Ave one-way could improve overall traffic in that area. Also, the bike lane would add a barrier of sorts for those sitting outside at one of the many restaurants around there. Because really, who likes to eat with Port Authority buses rushing by you every few minutes?
Overall, I think the bike lane is a good idea. Hopefully this is just the start of something greater.
I'm glad this was a good excuse to extend the bikeway further up penn ave to the 16th st bridge. Hopefully we can connect it to the point in the future. Is there still going to be two way traffic on penn between 11th and 16th st?
the utility work is pretty intense. the city was replacing some of the cycling unfriendly sewer grates, and trying to bring the other utility grates to surface level for the bike lane, in preparation for paving it. they discovered that the sewage drain, under Penn Ave between 6th and Stanwix, has collapsed. So they have to bring PWSA in, who says it may be several months before they can fix it.
So that section will most likely be closed during work. It's interesting, because now the Port Authority has to move the 2 bus routes that were on outbound penn, so it's not just the bike lane that is forcing the move, but that the street could collapse. Also, it gives the city a bit of time to figure out how to connect the project to the point.
So, for the time being, the bike lane will begin/end at 6th and 16th.
thanks Erok. It really does seem like a gift if it stays up to 16th and has the possibility of moving to Stanwix or the Point. well played.
Good to know, Erok. I was wondering what the hold up was for that bike lane. I live in that area and I've noticed that the pavement on Penn between 6th St and 5th Ave is pretty rough and was not quite worthy of a new bike lane yet. This would explain why they had not done any repaving on that section in preparation for the protected lane.
It might also explain why one of those drain grates by Fifth Ave Extension always becomes a pond after a strong rain.
For Schenley Drive - If anyone has a photo of a car parked in the correct location adjacent to a clear protected bike lane please post it here. We could use it in an advisory poster we are working on to educate people about where to park.
Once the bollards are in it will be easier too.
This morning, going by Phipps, it appears that they've now put down lines for a parking lane alongside the bike way. I'm with Mary on waiting to see what the end product looks like. Though it would have been nice to have seen some informative publicity beforehand.
@P-Rob: There's this poster from Arlington VA I posted yesterday: http://www.arlnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Hayes-bike-lanes3-600x400.jpg
Arlington Co Env Svcs posted the image as well: https://twitter.com/ArlingtonDES/status/499972317234360321
The photos seem to have come from Seattle DOT and/or Cambridge (MA?) Dept of Community Development...
ARLNow has a photo of the parking in use: http://www.arlnow.com/2014/08/19/protected-bike-lane-open-in-pentagon-city/
(These are all single bike lane, rather than our double track, but it should suffice, neh?)
P Rob asked me to post this draft:
BTW it felt weird parking the the parking lane. At first I was angry with all the folks parked in the bike lane. It's a brand new bike lane with new paint, and you're parked right on top of it! And the poor bicyclists coming by had to work around the cars. But if felt exposed to be in the parking lane. Cars driving past didn't know what to do, and slowed down. Probably a good thing. It's going to take some time for people to get used to parking properly, even with the bollards, especially since Phipps draws a lot of out-of-towners who'll have no idea what to do. The signs will help, and the example of the other drivers will help a lot, but I hope they're ready to replace driven-over bollards.
Could always install a bunch of these between bollards (or every other one) to make it a little less inviting to drive in to the bike lane if people don't get it after a while. That or just agressively ticket. They are VERY active at ticketing in oakland.
Or they could just put more candlesticks inbetween the existing ones to 'fill the gaps'. I'll hold off any judgement until we see the finished product though.
We are going to start posting the sign asking them to not park in the bike lane. We cannot ticket them until after the bollards are up.
We may be using the parking stops on the bridges, because you cannot drill down into the deck to fasten a bollard. We are looking at something heavier because rain can actually move the light ones around.
As far as what to do at intersections, we are working on it based on what other cities are doing. Without exclusive bike signals (yet) the basic rule is to yield when turning across other traffic. Cars are to yield when turning across the bike lanes (on Penn) and bikes would yield when leaving the lane to merge into traffic or turn.
@jonawebb - thanks BTW for modeling your car. I see people using the parking lane as a passing lane and I'm glad no one rear-ended you. This type of change is going to take some time getting used to all around. That and some bollards.
Would it be possible, for the first week of real operation, to park one of those portable traffic control units with the flashing arrow in the first of the parking spaces, along with a message sign that says "cars left, park this lane, bikes right" or some such? At minimum, its mere presence in the first parking space would discourage cars from driving in the parking lane and running into a parked car farther down the line.
I just noticed how this really narrowed the traffic lane and perceived shoulder area. With parked cars being close on each side, it will have a significant psychological effect on drivers.
The previous lane width subconsciously encouraged drivers to drive much faster than the speed limit. When people see an highway sized stretch of pavement, they treat it as such and drive at highway speed. Visual confines tend to calm traffic. Even a canopy of overhead tree branches slows traffic. I wouldn't be surprised if the average speed of cars decreases by 5 or 10 mph.
I've been watching people go through there all week, and at least on the Plaza side traffic along the bike lane has slowed considerably. Most drivers are even managing to stay out of the bike lane without the bollards.
The bollards will be nice, but if they're too close together it will just make it harder for us to get in and out of the green lane at places other than the endpoints and discourage use. I don't think that's a good way to communicate the new parking arrangement.
I'd hope there'd be good gaps in the bollards approaching intersections. I'd also prefer to see dashed lines to indicate where bicycles will rejoin the road, though I don't have any reason to think that's in the current plans.
But for the future, can we put in that sort of marking? At the very least where bicycles have to cross a lane of traffic moving the opposite direction to get in lane. "Bicycle crossing ahead" signs and speed humps would also be good.
Re: The new Schenley lanes... I was looking for them yesterday during the ride. I actually never noticed them, until I was stopped with a few other riders at the light before entering the Plaza. A city cop coming the other direction actually stopped and asked us if we knew what the actual ruling of the markings was supposed to be (opposing lanes of bike travel on that side of the road?). Hopefully it will become more clear, and visible once all of the signage and bollards are in place, but for now, it seems that even the law enforcement aren't sure what to make of it.
The intersection past Phipps when travelling away from Oakland has now been marked as "All Stop." This has been a dicey crossing for a long time, since walkers trying to cross from Phipps to access the park have had to deal with motorists who previously did not have to stop to turn right toward the Blvd of the Allies. Likewise, drivers have to stop coming the other way now as well, coming off the Blvd. and turning down past Phipps toward Oakland. Today, traffic was backed up clean across the bridge and up the off ramp from the Highway Through the Park. First there was no way for me to cross traffic to get in the bike lane as I followed the same route. Luckily I could ride in the new widened shoulder, whizzing past a quarter mile of likely fuming commuters. The intersection at the end was still crazy though. I used to be able to take the lane coming through there and turning down to oakland, so that people would see me. Today because of the traffic I couldn't do that and had to take my chances that the guy waiting at the stop sign at the same time as me didn't turn left into me to go to the golf course. Not sure if the new all stop configuration is permanent or not, but those were my reactions as a cyclist.
Can't say I'm too torn up about the traffic, since car commuters already clog the only other flat route from squirrel hill to oakland every day. that being the parkway. i didn't tell them to build a highway through a public park. that thing cripples bike commuting between sq. hill south and oakland. hopefully as others have mentioned, it is on the table for a future redesign.
P-G article on dedicated bike lanes:
Something I didn't know: The Schenley Park lanes will go all the way to the Anderson Playground.
it already does...
You're right; it's made it over the bridge at this point. Riding up made me wish for the bollards, though. Those cars come around that bend pretty fast.
Now, if they could later extend it up Overlook to the Oval, then Hobart, Prospect, Pocussett...
Yes, there are some design alternatives to work through but there will be a facility that connects to Pocussett.
Here is another article: http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/business-leaders-cheer-protected-bike-lanes-into-busy-downtown-pittsburgh
Reading the Post Gazette FB page where they posted about protected bike lanes on Penn. Seems to be starting a shit storm of "Cyclist can't follow the laws" comments.
Seriously, 50% or more drivers that pass me are on their phones or texting. Why don't motorist get bad raps from the ones that don't follow the laws? And why don't these commenters ever notice me waiting at traffic lights and following the rules.
One day, maybe one day there will be a comment, "I saw some dude on a Cannondale Badboy stopped at a redlight following all the laws and not requiring gas to haul himself around!" on a FB post. One day.
via a friend: Schenley Drive bollards are being installed today:
Thanks to @P-Rob, @willardsbruce, and everyone else at City Planning, DPW, etc.
I have to take back the bad things I said about that lane.
The people on Parkview - even the non-cyclists - are pretty exceited about the possibi9lity that the Charels Anderson Bridge (the Blvd of teh Allies/ Panther Hoolw Blvd bridge) might get a diet.
And if they make the bridge two lanes? The "freeway through the park" might be open for discussion.
Yay, Bike Pgh!
I will cry tears of joy if the freeway through the park thing is truly fixed.
Man, that would be beyond awesome. Potential road diet for Blvd/Panther Hollow Rd, plus the rumblings of possible bike lanes on Bates north of BOA (in conjunction with that planned development @ the corner of Bates & Blvd). You'd have a serious dedicated bike infrastructure grid in Oakland & leading to EFT.
To get from the Schenley cycle track to the Blvd of the Allies headed west into town ...
At the end of Panther Hollow Bridge, turn right into the Anderson playground and follow the street to the end. At the turnaround, it's a short hop across the grass to the sidewalk, which is essentially level with the street. This allows a connection without using the traffic ramp. It's important because if the road through the park gets a road diet, there would be space for ramp traffic to merge into the leaner road and then join a protected lane on the Anderson (?) bridge across Junction Hollow.
Right now, the sightlines aren't great for merging into the fast Blvd traffic, and there's no curb cut. There's great potential, though,
FYI, the lanes on Penn Ave. are starting to take shape. Eastbound traffic has been rerouted and the lanes have been painted on. Also, numerous signs have been placed (yield to bikes, no left turns, etc.)
I rode eastbound on them yesterday, but as of right now I would recommend that you wait until the lanes are completed to use them. DPW has placed a series of barriers at each intersection and parking access point. Therefore, you must ride around these barriers and go temporarily get on the westbound lane. Just wait a few more days and it'll be good.
The lanes look sweet. I wasn't big on the idea of them, but that is because I feel they aren't needed. It is however super nice to ride on them and not have to worry about cars or buses passing you.
Are you familiar with the renderings of the Penn Avenue Protected Bike Lanes? They are here http://localhost/protectedbikelanes/
We would like to do before and after "fades" of the same locations - where the new condition fades into view. I have some help from absolutely fantastic interns - but being there at the right moment when the cyclists and lighting are just right might be hard to do.
Someone will be dahn ere Friday morning, since a lot of people ride in during the morning rush. Figure between 8-9 AM.
If you should happen to get some good shots, post them here and perhaps we can use them for our next PeopleForBikes release.
P-rob, thanks for the link.
I like the plan for 11th & Penn since this intersection is confusing to motorist now BEFORE the bike lanes. I think it will be better for cars after the change, but there might be confusion getting into the transit garage between 11th and 12th. I'm not sure if this was considered or not, but there should probably be signs instructing cars heading east to continue on Liberty and then turn on 12th street. Likewise a sign on Smallman heading west to do the same.
There has been talk here of extending the Schenley cycle track from Phipps up Schenley Drive through the golf course.
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is planning a project on the segment through the golf course. Preliminary plans call for eliminating the 8' shoulder and reducing the pavement width overall.
I just started a separate topic on this project, " Schenley Drive through golf course — PPC project may take away the 8' shoulders" to keep that discussion separate from the cycle track discussion here
DPW is installing bollards on Penn as I type this, starting on the Strip side.
I rode this through the Strip this morning (had to get back on the road for the last few blocks downtown because they were still installing bollards). So cool!
Here's some commentary, saw some of this firsthand, yesterday, with a driver following a couple of us down the bike lane for a bit towards the Strip.
I rode through this morning too. Worried though about the drivers making lefts...I see some issues with people being unaware of having to yield.
I had to dodge some utility work in the Penn Ave lane, momentarily wiggling out into westbound car traffic to get around a very large truck parked there, with men working around it. This was around 6 p.m.
Once I got to 16th St, I wasn't quite sure what to do. 16th itself was jammed two across and ten deep up to Liberty. My plan was to dash over to Spring Way, which is what I did, but no points off for style.
I'm not sure what my alternatives would be, and some of these are design problems more than functional. How would I turn onto 15th if there is oncoming car traffic on Penn? I can't quite come to a stop on the bike lane if there's anyone behind me, I can't stop in the oncoming bike lane if there's anyone coming at me, and I can't jump up on the curb. Well, I guess I could do any of those things, but it's rather assumed that you can't. Or is it? I don't know.
Another option, I suppose, is to dismount at 16th, walk the bike up onto the sidewalk on 16th heading toward Liberty, wait for a break in the traffic, and then dash across. It works, but it's not a sustainable solution. None of the above are sustainable solutions.
I have yet to try getting onto the bike lane from 16th, either direction, inbound Penn, or 15th/14th/13th/12th.
I forget which light is the last one before the 16th st bridge outbound on penn ave. But I would just do a hook turn (copenhagen left) on to 12th st (or at the last light on penn) to get over to smallman st if I was going outbound. Seems like the easiest approach with least chance of conflict.
The bike-pgh urban biking companion does have info on the hook turn aka the copenhagen left. http://localhost/101/19.html
Getting on to the lane going inbound is easy, you can ride in either the regular lane or left turn lane and then just hop into the bike lane because there's no opposing traffic to deal with. Going outbound sounds sketchy though (I will try it out tonight). I think the ideal solution would be to extend the bike lane one more block so that you could turn left on 17th to get over Smallman.
Saw one guy this morning drive into the Penn Ave. lanes at the terminus on 6th. He promptly realized his mistake and backed up. Since the bollards to prevent (or more accurately, discourage) vehicle entry at each intersection were not up yet, I can see this as an honest mistake.
Of course, the guy simply wasn't paying attention to all the signs (and there are plenty) that indicated that he should not go in. It's hard to shake old driving habits, I guess. It will take a while for all involved to get used to this setup
Rode from the strip to 9th (then to Qdoba on Liberty) and back. Really nice. The terminus at 16th will be tough at rush hour but was a piece of cake for me at lunch hour.
The ride outbound at rush hour was good, although the section of Penn from Stanwix to the start of the cycletrack is a mess right now as people figure it out. There was also a truck parked in the track at on point, which is kind of crappy way to kick things off. Other than that it was great, and I went left down to Smallman over the cobblestones before the 16th street bridge.
Jeesh, the lanes are not even finished yet and... the big kids did this.
... this is why we cant have nice things. Penn & 17th.
I was betting it would take at least 5 days!
I'm telling you, we just need to fill the candlesticks with a silver fulminate mixture, the stuff in kids "Bang Snaps". That would be difficult to ignore. POP!
envy of the nation, ma!
RT @shanehamp: Imagine having bike infrastructure like this. Fresh lanes painted in Pittsburgh this week flooding my Twitter feed. http://t.co/hTLRuCyrEo
(Oklahoma planner, via a Philadelphia cyclist I follow...)
Rode through the Penn lanes yesterday evening. Very fast and mostly trouble free, though there are few manhole covers that are a little low. Like others have said, the turn onto the 16th St bridge is tricky, but this could be said about all left turns going outbound. Going inbound was nearly blissful, just gotta keep an eye on drivers making a left, particularly those who don't bother with turning lights.
I saw a few riders using the lanes who looked like they would otherwise not be riding on the street, so this is promising. Also saw a group of rollerbladers *groan*. I'm guessing we will be seeing Segways soon, too. Plus I also went past a loitering pedestrian, who realized upon seeing me that she shouldn't be in the lanes.
Regarding car traffic, it will take a while for things to get smoother. Traffic at 6th and Penn was bad, but not the worst I've seen there. It will take a combined effort of both adjusting driving habits and altering traffic light patterns to improve this.
"Wearing his neon-green cycling gear, John Markowitz sat on his bicycle in a queue of cars haltingly making their way to the intersection of Penn Avenue and Sixth Street just before 5 p.m. Friday."
This is the second time I saw a PG story featuring this guy. How does he get all the bike-related press?
Too bad the first bollard to eat it was the very first one to be installed on Penn Avenue. Looks like someone was making a left off 16th in the face of oncoming traffic.
It was sort of lonely for a while in the lane this afternoon. Just me and some BMW SUV with Ohio plates.
We are also reading all of these comments and working with BikePGH to create a safety and user guide for the bike lanes. I apologize for not having it out before the bike lanes went in, but it should be a great piece given all of the input that has been emailed, posted, tweeted, etc.
If anything else, the installation of the lanes have forced people to pay attention to where they are going - for all modes. It seems to me that some of the frustration expressed is akin to the breakup of a routine. I think those routines can lead to accidents and am encouraged to see more and more people simply paying attention.
Also - someone created a graphic to illustrate how to make what looks like a "Pittsburgh Right" - exiting the bike lane to the left and then lining up perpendicular to it in order to safely cross the street. It's a version of the CL that I would love to incorporate as an important contribution. Does anyone know who did that?
Found it - it was posted on FB.
The Downtown fire story is garnering several "They couldn't fight the fire because of the bike lanes." comments from the local Interwebs platoon of douchebags.
Wow... just, wow.
I had to add my two cents to the fire story. Here's the quote, since the KDKA story will likely not be there in a few weeks:
• 16 hours ago
How much longer did it take fire fighters to respond due to the new bike lanes and Cultural Trust closing streets?
Stuart M Strickland
• 2 minutes ago
Having a bike lane replace a line of parked cars would actually help with equipment placement in a fire response, not that it mattered in this case. Thank you, B-for-Bike-Hater, for helping make the case for more bike lanes, not fewer.
I don't think you'll see a cooler thing happen in the Penn Ave bike lane than this:
Wow. Amazing. Imagine that happening a week ago!
With training wheels too!
Someone should forward this to Peduto's staff - it's a great image of how things can change.
I'm way ahead you.
And here's the video clip I was able to get the image from, FWIW:
For the Schenley drive lane.
The lane goes all the way to the entrance to the Charles Anderson Playground.
The candlesticks, however, end just before the curve at the end of the bridge, where most if not all cars cut the corner and stray into the bike lane.
The visibility isn't great there anyhow. Most, if not all, cars exceed the speed limit.
If I had to chose between having candlestick on the bridge and not on the curve or candlesticks on the curve only, I'd have them on the curve.
Should I call 3-1-1?
Wednesday's P-G had a story on the bike lanes, at the end of which was this quote:
Joan Natko, Legislative chairwoman of Allegheny County Transit [Council], who attended the open house as part of the public, said she talked to a police officer earlier in the day Tuesday who said some bike riders on Penn Avenue were riding outside of the lanes. The officer told her that he would have to start citing riders for infractions when they leave bike lanes and move in front of cars.
"I as a pedestrian almost got run down on Smithfield Street right across from CVS by Macy's," she said. "That's very dangerous."
Is this for real? You can get cited for not riding in the bike lanes? That sounds like a bunch of hooey.
As it happens, I know Ms. Natko. She is well informed on issues, if by "informed" you mean "listens to Marty Griffin all the time."
How are turns supposed to work from these bi-directional lanes? to turn left through the golf course from the Schenley Park lane means cutting into a line of cars backed up from the all-way stop intersection. Once up to the stop line in the car lane, the person behind me is pissed and honking because I'm in their way and the folks opposite try to go ahead, not respecting that it's my turn to proceed. It's a free-for all.
It's a four-way stop, right? Wouldn't you just leave the bike lane, taking the driving lane, stop, then turn left?
How are turns supposed to work from these bi-directional lanes? to turn left through the golf course from the Schenley Park lane means cutting into a line of cars backed up from the all-way stop intersection.
If I'm understanding the problem, it's the "cutting into a line of cars" that is causing the anger and the confusion.
The simplistic answer is, treat the bike lane as if it were the through traffic lane, and the general traffic lane as a left-turn-only; if you need to turn left, merge into the back of the line of traffic, rather than staying in the bike lane until the intersection and having to cut into line. Same thing as you'd do if driving a car.
If the bike lane is built such that it's physically impossible to merge left into traffic when necessary, then either A) don't use it when trying to turn left there, B) use a Copenhagen left, or C) become a pedestrian at the intersection.
@lee, @reddan - At the schenley drive intersection with schenley drive and panther hollow road. I go down to the pedestrian crosswalk, cross in to the front of the queue at the stop sign and then proceed uphill on schenley drive to the golf corse. Seems to work well during rush hour the few times I used it.
Not sure if that's the right(or legal) way to do it, but that seemed like the most logical thing at the time.
hook turns / copenhagen left works well in downtown at the intersections there for making a turn across the parallel traffic lanes. I don't mind waiting for a signal change.
Wouldn't mind seeing some green bike boxes on the streets that intersect the bikeway downtown to visually identify that it is expected behavior for cylists to use this space to make turns from the bikeway. Here's a good example from seattle.
Wouldn’t mind seeing some green bike boxes on the streets that intersect the bikeway downtown to visually identify that it is expected behavior for cylists to use this space to make turns from the bikeway. Here’s a good example from seattle.
those'd be fabulous.
(I'll point out that, at least as of tuesday evening when i was down there last, they're not done yet. there are markings across all of the intersections indicating they plan to add green stripes across the number-streets. maybe we can get them to add turn boxes while they're at it, too.)
I think the design is done.
Let's not forget that this is an 18-month trial, IIRC. Come spring of 2016, we get to figure out where to go with all this.
What we need to do now is get people riding, particularly those who are not riding now.
re: schenley lefts
The line of cars is often 20 strong. I think I'll try benzo's solution of using the crosswalk to fashion some kind of bike/ped copenhagen left through that huge intersection. maybe i can work on xcross dismounts. people are going to love these once kinks like this are worked out. i already see tons of people using the lane that don't look like your normal hard-core commuters.
Toronto needs to do this.....great forum!
This has some new info, including a "Better Bikeways" map: http://pittsburghtoday.org/BikeCity.html?utm_content=buffer60020&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Sort of think all this info has to be on this website somewhere if I would just get off the MB and look around, but maybe not...
Tried using the crosswalk at Schenley instead of taking the lane this afternoon. Huge difference. Even though I was still cutting in line, it went so much smoother. I just put a foot down looked over and cars waited for me to cross. Nice and easy.
We also tried the crosswalk, about 6:30 this evening. We were coming across the bridge, needed to cross to go up Schenley Drive toward Sq Hill. There were cars coming from all three directions, some looking confused, so we stopped, got off the bike (tandem) to become pedestrians, and started into the crosswalk. After we entered the crosswalk, a car coming from Oakland along the cycle track ran the stop sign, looked like he was going to swing wide around us, and only stopped when we both pointed at him yelling "STOP SIGN".
ugh. mary, i've had that experience many times before the new configuration required all motorists to stop and am not surprised that it isn't a panacea. the only way they take you seriously is to cautiously step out in front of them and play chicken. of course the day one doesn't stop is the day you get crushed.
I just discovered tonight that the sharrows on Mairdale, the steep hill whose top is at Perry High School, are pushed way to the right. This is not correct. They should be smack dab in the middle of the lane. Particularly on a hill, where it is not safe to ride on the road edge, going down a hill.
Whose idea was this, anyway? Put the sharrows in the middle of the damn street, not on the edge. I thought that was the point.
It would be very interesting to count bikers in bike lanes on Penn and Schenley. I have feelings that at least Penn starts to carry much more bikers. I specifically rode there during different PMTCC rides and on my own (during evening rush hours and after as well as on Saturday/Sunday mornings) and saw families, people that otherwise in my opinion would not set their wheels on street.
This is happening between 16th and 17th and Penn Ave:
When they saw me taking the photo, they turned around and said "This is all for you!" and offered to let me lie in the road and pose with it. .
Very nice, and oh so much better than dumping off to Smallman from the on the cobbles on 15th.
Is it going to 17th, or even further?
Extending to 17th?! *happy dance*
I am hoping that means we can go straight at 16th to get to 17th so we can get to Spring Way easier. Though making a left across inbound Penn to get to Smallman might be difficult.
Clarification: Is the two-way lane being extended, or are they just adding green-lane markings to say "[inbound] bikes get over here to prep for bike lanes" ?
My guess is that it's an inbound ONE WAY transitional bit of paint to assist cyclists as to how to jump into the protected portion that begins after the 16th St Bridge.
Yeah, that makes sense, actually.
Just how *do* you get from outbound Penn to outbound Smallman?
I'll tell you what I tried on Friday: I slithered down that space between the 16th St Bridge and a fence. It ends at a ledge about eight feet above an alley, but you can slither along an even narrower ledge until it's only about four feet down. Once down, you dodge various broken glass, cobblestone streets, and occasional sentient beings until you encounter either 17th/18th Street or Smallman itself.
Don't try this in the dark.
I take 13th.
Or I go Penn > 16th < Spring Smallman (I do this rarely).
I think I like Spring Way only because I'm usually trying to get to the shops on Penn rather than commute beyond the Strip. Otherwise, I'd turn at 13th St (or 14th if they ever open that back up) and use Smallman.
I like riding Penn inbound in traffic through the densest part of the Strip on weekend mornings. It's fun! I will be sad if they Pasteurize, homogenize, and safen that part.
I usually avoid Spring, especially in summer, because past 17th it often absolutely stinks (literally--grocery garbage is awful).
But it does make a very nice, if odoriferous, continuation of the calmness of the bike lanes.
Saw a little bike box on the oakland end of the schenly park bike lanes, makes the intent a bit more clear. I'd still like to have an all-way ped signal here since there are no traffic signals for cyclists waiting in the box (because it's a T intersection).
"oderiferous": I direct your attention to the Wheelset Of Fortune game on the message board, in which "aromatic" is one of the current tags. The other has to do with pedestrian infrastructure needs.
On the way home yesterday I rode on Spring way for the first time ever. It does have a bit of a smell about it, and it's definitely not the scenic route, but it gets you from 16th all the way to 32nd pretty much without having to deal with cars or stop very much.
Um, I have to stop at least 16 times on Spring Way between 16th and 32nd. That's not "not stopping very much". And since Smallman is such a pain to get to, I usually use Liberty. I simply forgot about the Penn Ave lane on my way down Grant.
I guess I meant not a lot of complete stops. You've got to slow at each intersection due to poor sight lines, but there was virtually no traffic on the cross streets, so it was a lot easier and less stressful than riding Smallman.
I don't think Smallman is that much a pain to get to (though obviously not as convenient as Liberty!), I just detest the jam up so much and find myself working around it using more of the stereotypical (those %^&* cyclists think they're above the law!) methods I don't tend to employ elsewhere.
I should probably just ride Liberty, but I had one minor scare outbound on an empty road in broad daylight, clearly claiming the right lane, wearing high vis gear AND hoofing it pretty good, so it makes me reticent.
I like the poor sightlines out of Spring way and similar alleys even less, again probably due to impatience.
Ideal world we can just to keep pushing cycletrack further up Penn.
Technically where an alley intersects another street is always an implicit stop sign. But, yeah, unless there's actual cross traffic or I can't see anything (which, on Spring, I often can't, since the buildings go right to the sidewalk at every street), I usually roll through at about Idaho speed...
the fact that there's almost never anyone else on the street almost guarantees it's a lot less stressful.
Re Schenley Drive lane ...
The candlesticks now go all the way to Anderson playground, so the lane is protected to the playground.
If you want to go toward downtown on the Blvd of the Allies, you can continue through the playground, where there's only a strip of grass and a curb-hop to get onto the Blvd without mixing it up with cars in the turning ramp and merge.
The missing candles sticks taht I whined at length about above?
They've been installed!
A very pleasing row of bollards separated me from the drunk drivers on Saturday night.
What a great surprise!
I usually avoid Spring, especially in summer, because past 17th it often absolutely stinks (literally–grocery garbage is awful).
Definitely noticed the aroma going through that alley after the flock.
Strong and disgusting, sure. But not unhealthful.
It wasn't anything like getting blasted by diesel exhaust on an uphill. Or that aldehyde smell that sometimes comes out of cars.
I bused into the city 7:30ish Saturday evening, walking from 7th St at Penn to Penn at 6th St. On the good side, I saw at least eight cyclists on the Penn Ave lanes in this brief walk. On the bad side, a pair of inbound cyclists were trying to figure out how to make a right turn onto northbound 7th across the path of a bus trying to turn left onto southbound 7th. It was painful to watch. Nobody got hurt/hit, but it was really awkward for all parties involved, and snarled traffic enough that nobody else got through the corner on that change of the light.
This spotlights the failure of this design. Who goes first? Who has right of way? Wouldn't it be better for everyone if cyclists jumped the light by several seconds if traffic is otherwise clear? But isn't that illegal? (Yes.)
Or should the cyclists yield to all inbound traffic and then hope that someone else doesn't show up in the next change of the light? Or should they get out of the bike lane and into the cars' inbound lane in order to make the turn?
I think these are valid, unanswered questions, pertaining to a potentially dangerous situation, that will happen over and over and over and over and over.
Treehugger article about Peduto and Pittsburgh:
Pittsburgh's mayor wants to 'Copenhagenize' his city, and he might succeed!
This is in no way a criticism of our in-progress infrastructure, I haven't actually ridden in any of those yet. But I found it interesting, and might be useful to share with City planners and DPW. From the UK; https://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/cut-the-crap/
I've now had the opportunity to ride and drive eastbound a few times on Penn towards the start of the bike lanes on 6th St. This lane backs up very quickly at rush hour in the afternoon, as it gets traffic from the 6th and Penn, and Fifth Avenue Place garages. Yesterday, I had to wait one or two light changes at Fifth Ave and Penn before I could finally drive onto the 500 block of Penn.
I know this eastbound lane is supposed to be converted to a bike lane at a later time, but for now I think it would be good to alter some of the traffic light sequencing at 6th and Penn. Perhaps a longer green is needed for those on the Eastbound lane? If I recall correctly, the 16th and Penn intersection had a separate green for those traveling eastbound so that you could make a left onto the bridge without worrying about oncoming traffic. Of course, 6th and Penn has that all-stop to allow pedestrian traffic to cross in any direction, so that may complicate things a bit.
FWIW, this sequencing modification would also help cyclists traveling east before getting on the bike lanes, as it would perhaps make us less prone to scratch that itch and weave through cars to get to that light quicker.
@ Stu "This spotlights the failure of this design. Who goes first? Who has right of way? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if cyclists jumped the light by several seconds if traffic is otherwise clear? But isn’t that illegal? (Yes.)"
I have ridden that bike lane a few times now from the Strip down to the point on Penn. It is a very odd situation in a lot of ways. Firstly, you better be very careful of being hit from the left. I don't think many drivers will yield to cyclists in the bike lane. Kind of an odd feel to be on the left as motorists pass you on the right and have the potential to turn left into your path. So far no one has been that close to me, but some rush up to make their left ahead of me, so I keep a close eye on my surroundings.
At the end of the bike lane what can you do to get back on Penn going towards the Point? I jumped the light once and that worked great, but not legal. I have also waited and there were so many cars that they ran the light out to red and then I went on the just turned red. Not the best way to do it. I think the safest way is to jump the light if you can, or maybe you could use the crosswalk and move over to the right? I haven't tried that yet. I am more than thrilled to use the bike lane. Sometimes I feel like it is a dream and I can't be in Pittsburgh, but I am. Thanks Bike Pgh and all mayors involved in helping the city grow in the right direction towards cycling. I think people are starting to realize that cycling is going to grow leaps and bounds due to massive college debt and the young folks that just won't be able to afford cars. My son will be in the hole $100K when he is done. Talk about a tough way to start out your life. Not sure how he will afford anything let alone the luxury of a car.
I either move out of the bike lane and into the right lane half a block before the corner of 6th and Penn to continue on Penn towards the Point, or if the traffic is too busy make a left on 6th and take Liberty. In my opinion, if it's too busy to merge out into the traffic I ain't jumping that light.
This lane backs up very quickly at rush hour in the afternoon, as it gets traffic from the 6th and Penn, and Fifth Avenue Place garages.
I've noticed a lot of traffic there too. Perhaps it'll improve as drivers figure out better routes. For instance, drivers exiting the 6th and Penn garage could turn left onto Penn and use its two (?) lanes, instead of turning right and going half a block and turning again. They'll have to do this eventually, and if they started now, perhaps the motivation for fiddling with light timing would go away.
@Steven, I agree that drivers need to start changing their driving habits around this 6th and Penn intersection. I count myself amongst those drivers, as I'm used to driving in via Stanwix to Penn in the evenings, generally because coming in through 6th was usually worse. Now, I'd bet that coming in through the latter street will probably be the way to go during rush hour (and in the future, once the bike lane is extended to Stanwix).
However, I'm not dismissing the possibility of tinkering with the traffic lights in the area. I think that will have to happen anyway.
As I was biking past Phipps this morning, on the Oakland-bound side of the road, away from the bike lane, a Pittsburgh Police van came roaring up from behind, lights flashing, siren going, apparently rushing to some emergency. A couple of cars made way ahead of me to let it pass, and as the van went by a cop's voice came over the vehicle's loudspeaker, in an incongruous sing-song tone: "You're supposed to use the bike lane"! Fortunately, he didn't pull me over. (BTW, I use the bike lane heading home, it's just not as convenient going to work. Going into Oakland requires crossing the road three times to get on and off the path, counting the funky intersection at the Schenley Cafe as two crossings.)
Also regarding Phipps, with the bike lane in place, I thought car parking was moved to a lane between the bike path and the car traffic. However, the white line separating the parking lane from car traffic has been painted over black, and no one is parking along the road. What gives? Is there car parking or not in front of Phipps? I parked there many times last year in bad weather when I didn't feel comfortable biking; it required a longer walk to my office, but saved a dollar an hour compared to parking in Oakland proper.
There's no car parking there. There was at first, but then it went away for some reason. Maybe it made the driving lane too narrow. BikePgh tweeted about it, I think.
But you aren't "supposed" to use the bike lane. No PA or Pgh law requires this. I think it's the general impression among cops that you are supposed to. You might contact the Mayor's office to see if they can do something about that.
I emailed Grant Gittlin, in Peduto's office, this morning about the Phipps parking Jon. He said he would ask DPW what's up. I did not ask him about law enforcement's perceived bike lane use requirement, but my understanding is that Bike Pittsburgh is collecting anecdotes, like mine, to present collectively to the mayor.
So, I went to a work related social event last night, primarily because it was at one of the places ON the Penn Ave bike lane (aside - normally I and work-related-social-events are like oil and... something violently repulsed by oil). Penn Ave was friggin' hopping, since it was also Gallery Crawl. I greatly enjoyed the bike lane, and it makes it exponentially more pleasant for the hundreds of people not biking, but sitting at the sidewalk tables. The weather was spectacular for Septembers end. Negative - dozens of bikes were locked up with tiny cable locks to nearly as tiny trees. More racks needed. Though I locked up to a sign post on the opposite side right across. I got the feeling that I would kind of like to see future racks kept on the opposite side to prevent congestion on the "pleasant" side.
At one point some service vehicle was parked blocking the entire lane, some less one-percenty people than me seemed briefly unsure of leaving the lane, but I just popped out into traffic momentarily and semi-corked. (Some people are just so stumped by "rules". Never had that problem).
The end of the lane at the west end is surprising and "fun", to all of a sudden be looking straight at a pair of headlights. But again, pop out into traffic and blend.
All in all a pretty good night.
On Saturday evening, as I was waiting to enter the Penn Ave bike lane at 6th st, saw a lady make a right from 6th onto the cycle track going eastbound. Apparently she missed the 2 or 3 signs in the area that say you that you can't do this. Good thing that there was a policeman on that corner, who promptly stopped her from going too far. She seemed thoroughly confused. I guess she hadn't been downtown in over a month or so.
Also, saw the Duquesne Tamburitzans bus comfortably parked on the lane in front of the convention center. This is in that longish area that has no bollards.
BTW, are there plans to install a taller, more solid bollard at the entrance of the bike lane? Those cones are just not cutting it.
This spotlights the failure of this design. Who goes first? Who has right of way?
I saw a sign at Seventh and Penn telling motorists to yield to turning cyclists. Looks like the city is trying to address this.
> I saw a sign at Seventh and Penn telling motorists to yield to turning cyclists.
I think those signs are posted at every intersection with signals (though at some they are on the post the signals are hung from, which puts them way off the side of anyone's vision... most, however, I think are hung from the crossbar, next to the signals).
Holy shit ChrisZ! That is what i was afraid of. I'm not crossing traffic at a dangerous intersection to get in the bike lane only to have to use the crosswalk to get back when it ends.
These images are geared towards what are the safest, not easiest, methods of using the protected bike lanes with the intended audience being novice riders. These are up for discussion and are interim suggestions until more permanent physical design solutions become available.
Well, maybe and maybe not. In the last diagram above, it looks good on paper but in reality, no it isn't. This is why I took the Critical Mass ride over that way on Friday.
Look at the last photo in this post
(not in the thread, just this post). That was taken just Thursday evening from the exact spot that the cyclist in the diagram is shown.
It's blind. You cannot see to cross. Between the height of the bridge structure, the statue, and the large post at the end of the bridge, it simply is not possible to see oncoming traffic. You have to ease out into the traffic lane to see and hope there isn't someone right there
heading back into the city, to mow you down.
What cyclists are doing instead is exiting the bike lane at the end of the straightaway, whenever traffic clears, and going up the down ramp from the direction of SqHill. Some take the sidewalk, some just head up the ramp against traffic.
@ stu it simply is not possible to see oncoming traffic.
I've come out of that place maybe 3 or 4 times a week for the last 15 years. More than thousand times, for sure.
It isn't the best visibility, but if you found it "not possible," you weren't looking for a possibility.
@willardsbruce: "Caution| Walk Bike"
You can just stick that idea right back where you found it.
Walking bikes? Not even once.
The "caution walk bikes" is for liability and the countless attorneys running around licking their chops at any possibility to make money. I don't think it is to be taken seriously by those with 1/2 a brain.
I guess, with some practice, you learn the exact spot to walk to, exact way to look. I was speaking from the point of view of someone who had never been there, never had to try to figure it out, and it was f'ing scary. I suspect that that would describe the majority of riders, particularly new riders.
And this is from someone who regularly bikes down McKnight Road in the morning.
My feeling is that liberal application of green paint can address many of these lane-terminal issues.
Here's a maybe unrealistic suggestion for the east terminal of the Penn Ave lanes. Unless the city decides to extend the lanes to 15th (then direct bike traffic to Smallman) 16th needs a green path to Spring Way. This can be up the middle of the street (there seems to be enough room). Or maybe just run it diagonally to the curb and on to the alley. Problem is, Spring is is used by businesses along it. Last time I went up a truck was athwart the alley and I had to drop to Smallman. The sooner the lane(s) joins Smallman (or Railroad) the better.
Anyway, a work in progress.
[insert standard plea for the police to enforce speed limits:]
I had to drive somewhere today. I stuck to the speed limit (well maybe up to +5mph leeway on the 45/35mph stretches). I felt totally out of sync with the traffic. Where the f&^k are the police?
From here in the land of green paint (Vancouver, BC - seriously, they might be better off paving the road green and painting sections black), I've been tweeting that exact thing at our mayor (although, sadly, I suspect he may have blocked my tweets long ago after I ranted about surtrac one too many times... But anyways...)
You can't really see, but in the first pic that bike lane ends in the distance, and there is a whole green lane that goes diagonally across the intersection to connect with another bidirectional track. that is pretty weird.
the second one is also a bit hard to decypher, especially without seeing the full context. (two nominally one-way streets with bidirectional tracks, but the one to my left does not continue to the right)
"...seriously, they might be better off paving the road green and painting sections black."
Apparently this is the functional solution to make drivers aware that bikes are allowed on the roads in the first place, instead of driver education. Green paint. People.
And boxes. We need boxes.
Last night, I had the experience of exiting the Penn/9th Garage onto Penn, driving a car. I was upset about something entirely unrelated, yet managed to see the one-way sign opposite the exit, and drove in the proper direction. All with nary a thought as to why there would be a one-way sign.
There really isn't a problem here, other than petulant children having a hissy fit.
Riding into downtown on the Penn Ave bike lane, I was stopped at a red light on 11th and Penn. There was another cyclist at the opposite end of the intersection. Shortly after, a second cyclist arrived to that end (via the sidewalk) and promptly proceeded to ignore the red light and cross the intersection in my direction. As he was riding by, I told him, "dude, don't do that". He answered, "why not?". The other cyclist shortly followed this guy's lead and ran the light as well.
Yeah, and then we wonder why drivers get pissed at us. We cyclists as whole have some ways to go, too.
yeah, and that is some completely justified anger since no driver ever runs a light or breaks any other traffic law.
fyi here is the diagonal crossing I mentioned. the far end connects to the far end of the bike lane in my first picture, by crossing the intersection diagonally. the intersection is kind of a T but not entirely; the other leg is a driveway for a hotel or office building.
although asshattery seems less here compared to pgh (especially when it comes to cars yielding to peds), there is still enough to make me wonder how this functions safely.
@salty, I'm not letting drivers off the hook here. Just saying that we have to do our part as well to earn more respect. Granted, idiots are idiots (or, as Vincenzo Nibali, 2014 Tour de France winner, said: "The mother of the imbecile is always pregnant") and I got the feeling that Mr. "Why not?" from yesterday would probably continue to do as he pleases even if someone educated him on road rules for cyclists.
@salty did you happen to notice the light cycle at that intersection with the diagonal bike lane? Do they either have a separate signal for bikes, or an all-stop pedestrian scramble/Barnes dance?
It is just a regular intersection but the thing I just noticed is the street to my right is one way towards the right, I thought it was the opposite way. So, when the cyclists have a green at least they don't have to contend with cars cutting across their path, which definitely makes more sense... Although the driveway is still an issue, but hopefully it is not super busy.
FWIW, they do have a lot of dedicated bike/ped lights here where the light on the main road blinks green but will turn red when someone pushes the ped button. Sometimes there are cross streets at those intersections; the drivers there have a stop sign but not a green light of their own. Seems like an interesting idea, as a way to add more protected ped crossings without adding a full fledged light. I guess it is more or less like HAWK but seems a bit more "normal".
Riding into downtown on the Penn Ave bike lane, I was stopped at a red light on 11th and Penn. There was another cyclist at the opposite end of the intersection. Shortly after, a second cyclist arrived to that end (via the sidewalk) and promptly proceeded to ignore the red light and cross the intersection in my direction. As he was riding by, I told him, “dude, don’t do that”.
I have the same question the dude had.
If the visibility is good and there is no appraching traffic (bicycle, motor or pedestrian), it's clearly the right thing to go through the light, rather than wait for a green light when conditions may or may not be safe, albeit legal.
@mick, while there are situations that merit doing that, it should be the exception, not the rule. Use your own judgement, I guess...
Here' my own answer to "why not?":
I pretty much don't run red lights anywhere, but I guess I don't mind that much if people do it in a safe manner (as long as they're okay with cars doing it too). The reason I don't do it is because I want to create a better image of cyclists, and running red lights is the thing that really pisses drivers off. Some people don't think that they should have to worry about the image of cyclists when they ride, and I'm pretty much fine with that, too, but in the case of the new bike lanes I feel differently. We're asking people to deal with a dramatically different road configuration, which priveleges bikes over cars in many ways. It's hard enough to get public acceptance of this without people blatantly ignoring the law. If the backlash to these lanes is severe enough, we're not going to get any more of them (and might lose the ones we have), so please don't run red lights when you're in the new bike lanes, because it works counter to the progress we are making.
How is it "privileged over cars"? I would say if bikes could go everywhere in the city with right of the way and cars would be allowed on some streets then it is privileged over cars.
The lanes took away space that was open to both cars and bikes and reserved it for bikes only, and require cars to yield in some places where they didn't before. In the case of Penn Ave, it used to be a two way street for everyone, and now it's a one-way for cars and two way for bikes. It's just giving a slight priority to bikes in those spaces. Cars get priority everywhere else, so I don't think it's a bad thing, but for the moment it does in some cases come at a small cost to drivers. That's all I meant.
The idea of not going through lights on the Penn Ave bike lane due to public perception appears to be avalid concern to me.
On the other hand, olivious drivers turning accross the bike lane are in fact a major hazard there.
If I have to go through a red light to avoid that real and present danger, I will. And that situation strikes me as more the narm than the exception on the Penn Ave Bike lLane.
I do agree that the left turns through that bike lane are pretty dangerous right now (although I get more worried in the middle of a green cycle when everyone is moving full speed, as opposed to during red lights). They've put some of the green paint down in a few intersections, which helps a little, but there needs to be a lot more done in terms of dramatic signage so that someone doesn't get seriously injured.
Well, then bikes are may be privileged over cars in this particular place since there are thousands milesof the rods where bikes are not permitted. And taking a little piece of this car privileges does not make bikes privileged over cars. I would say it makes bikes tiny-mini less underprivileged.
^that's all I meant, that bikes were getting privileged in those particular spots. Which I think is a good thing. I think we're in agreement.
Katelyn Haas just tweeted -- they're planning to put bike lanes on the lower Hill development (up Centre Ave, looks like):
that was posted last night: https://twitter.com/KatelynHaas/status/519257821545000960
"6:48 PM - 6 Oct 2014"
my response: "joy, more bike-lane-protected parking. how about some infrastructure that doesn't actually put riders in more danger?"
(ps, for others who'd also never heard of Haas, she's Program Coordinator for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group: http://www.pcrg.org/pcrg-welcomes-its-new-program-coordinator/
Those of us who know what we're doing (both in regards to biking, and having a brain in our heads in general) need to get out there, at every possible opportunity, and make it known that this sort of infrastructure is a bad thing, and not having it is better than having it.
At the early stages of planning, like this, that's when the most damage is done and the most chance exists to get plans changed for the better.
Where and when and in what way can we get loud about this?
Hadn't noticed this at the 10th and Penn intersection coming out of the convention center:
Not sure how long this has been there, maybe since the convention last month? Obviously, these are nice and I hope we get more of them. However, they're not very useful if drivers ignore them.
Also, speaking of neglectful drivers, today around 6 pm I saw two go eastbound into the cycle track at 6th and Penn. Now that the orange cone and police officer are gone from that Heinz Hall corner, it appears that clueless theater-going suburbanites will continue to "not see" the "Do Not Enter" sign. Any chance we can at least get a bollard here?
I rode through that area Wednesday and walked it Friday and did not notice that box either evening...
I did however see drivers going straight on OB Penn at Sixth in successive light cycles Friday night (around 715), despite multiple pedestrians yelling at them. (There was a police officer at the doors of Heinz Hall, but apparently he didn't notice, either...)
Having the cone there helps. Can we at least get that back?
A centerline reflective wand-bollard (like the lane separator) would be perfect at each cross-street. Exists in inventory, not removable by whimsey.
I get a little worried about bollards/cones as a permanent solution. I remember a few years ago an experience cyclist died after hitting a bollard on a trail in the middle of the day. Having a fixed object essentially right in the path of moving bikes feels like asking for trouble over the long term.
It sucks that we have to worry about this. How insanely inattentive does a driver have to be to drive down and extremely well demarcated bike lane?
The bollard in that particular case was a solid concrete pillar, not very high. There were two cyclists riding together along the path, one dodged it, the other hit it at speed, not seeing it since it was screened by the first rider. I think the issue there was with the bollard design, not its existence. Simply making it into a taller sign would probably address the problem, but I'm pretty sure the folks who designed this particular lane would know what to do.
To be clear-er, I meant a reflective strip on plastic sort of bollard, flexible and frangible. In a perfect world, with a breakaway design.
Something tangible to tell drivers - you don't want to scrape your bumper, do you?
certainly not a concrete, wooden, or pipe-type pillar.
Stu, Joann and I were marshals for the 321 ride Sunday. We stood at the intersection of Penn & 6th street from about 11am to 1:30 pm. We turned back eight drivers who actually turned into the bike lane, and saw probably another two dozen who started to turn but recovered before entering. This on a quiet sunday afternoon.
I would like to see a flexible bollard similar to those used for the sides placed at the ends of the bike lane but painted hi-viz and taller so they would really stand out. Since the bollards are flexible they would be fairly safe for cyclists while still allowing the occasional emergency vehicle to gain access to the lane quickly. They could also paint "bikes only" on the ends of the lanes like they do for bus lanes, but I think some physical barrier is needed.
The flexible bollard is perhaps the best thing they could put in there right now. It will at least alert the drivers that they are going somewhere they shouldn't, allow emergency vehicles through the lane without causing a delay, and cyclists may not crash after impacting one of them. You definitely don't want to put anything more solid than that. I've seen two incidents in which a cyclist crashed hard because of one of those metal collapsible bollards, with one of those crashes resulting in a separated shoulder and the subsequent physical therapy, a cracked helmet, and a ruined carbon frame.
However, I think that most of the incidents we're seeing right now of cars on the Penn Ave lanes are from people that don't frequent downtown often. The people that regularly drive through these roads should be well acquainted with this cycle track by now. It will take some time for everyone to get used to it, not to mention for GPS units to update their information about this road (a quick test revealed that Google Maps has already taken care of this).
Once the cycle track is completed all the way to Stanwix St, the number of wrong way incidents should decrease. Of course, if we see that a bollard is missing, putting in a 311 request will hopefully get it replaced fairly quickly.
Yeah, I bet a lot of old gps units will route folks the wrong way here.
Then again, GPS units seldom work well in high rise areas, so maybe people will turn it off and watch where they are going.
On the subject of the Penn cycle track, that 6th and Penn intersection has gotten better, traffic-wise. I don't know if it's because drivers have adjusted their habits or because the Pirates' season is over, but the eastbound lane doesn't seem to back up like it did a month or so ago. It's starting to look like how it was before the cycle track was installed. Maybe even better?
Of course, now that I've written this, there'll be a huge traffic jam there the rest of the week.
...or at least on Thursday, when both the Pens and Pitt football have evening home games. (The ensuing traffic clusterjam will of course be our fault, because of course Pittsburgh's tiny double grid would've handled roughly 15-30 thousand cars at once just fine without that one eight-block bike lane.)
Thursday night will also be hosting "Wait Wait, Don't tell me!" dowtown.
Well, the cone is back at 6th and Penn. I did put in a 311 request for having something installed that can't be blown away by wind gusts or that can be easily removed.
Any word on when the last two blocks of the Penn cycle track will be completed? I know this was hinging on fixing the sewer drain in the 500 block. That work was supposed to start last month but haven't seen any progress on this. Also, the pavement on this block sucks, so maybe they'll fix that too while they are it.
FYI, I put in a 311 request regarding the flex bollards for entering/exiting the Penn Ave bike lanes. Here's the response I got:
"The construction division will be adding delineators to the ends of the blocks as their schedule allows. However, the end delineators will be removed for winter to allow winter maintenance vehicles to access the bikeway"
Another FYI, this time regarding the sewer repair on the 500 block on Penn, courtesy of Alco Parking:
So my guess is it'll be another month or so before the Penn Ave lane is extended to Stanwix. I would not be surprised if this is put on hold until March of next year
The city intends to install the flexible bollards at the intersections of the bike lane on every block. they are waiting for the company to deliver a special type that can be removed for plowing, and reinstalled easily.
no one knows how long it will take pwsa to fix the sewer under penn. i wouldn't expect that section to be open until the spring.
Looks like they were installing a more permanent solution this morning to the orange cone. At the bus terminal they were core drilling the street to install what looked to be a permanent white bollard.
"The city intends to install the flexible bollards at the intersections of the bike lane on every block. they are waiting for the company to deliver a special type that can be removed for plowing, and reinstalled easily."
"Looks like they were installing a more permanent solution this morning to the orange cone."
I saw that bollard flange work being done too.
I had a fun little situation on the Penn Ave lane last night. As I tweeted here
, I was outbound on Penn, approaching 16th, when I see a set of headlights behind me. They were on the roadway, not the bike lane.
Passenger lowered the window a couple inches, I asked them where they were headed. Middle aged couple in a Mercedes, trying to get to the 16th St Bridge. I said, next time please use Liberty Avenue. This is now a one-way street.
He signaled his turn, got the green, and they went on their way. Whether he learned anything or not, I don't know, but it was a little unsettling. Looking at my video, he made the left off of 15th Street, so he wasn't there long. But still.
yeah, the city is notifying garmin and the other companies to make sure the change is made
Several new bollards were in when I rode in today. Oddly, though, there were a bunch missing (from the barrier line part) down by Sixth. Almost like they didn't have enough, so they just moved a few :) Hope that's not what actually happened.
It is a sign of the degree to which our society is inured to the deadliness of automobiles that the event of a car going the wrong way on a street is fear-inducing. In a right world, operators of motor vehicles would drive cautiously enough that the mistake would be seen and dealt with safely, and not treated as a potentially deadly occurrence. If I walk in the out door of a store, most people don't scream and freak out.
Well, unless I'm wearing the mask.
Does anyone know if the city plans to install additional bike racks along the Penn Ave bike lanes? There's really not a lot of places to lock up your bike inside the Cultural District section (6th through 10th), other than a few of the sculpture-like bike racks here and there and the racks inside the 9th St garage.
I only ask this because, if I understood correctly, part of the evaluation process for these bike lanes is their economic impact on the area's businesses. Adding a couple of bike racks per block could help stimulate bike traffic customers for this zone.
You could even take one of the parking spots between 10th and 9th and make it a bike corral. *wishful thinking
They're looking for five more
artist-made unique bike racks for that area, maybe with more to follow. I imagine the plan is to put in artistic racks for as long as the Cultural Trust is willing to pay for them, so the city doesn't have to.
Posted in another thread but this seemed more appropriate. There were news cameras filming today on the Penn track but I didn't catch what channel they were from. If anyone sees a story on the news, please post here.
In case anyone in a position of planning racks reads this, the last time I went to an event at one of the restaurants on Penn, I locked up at a pole on the side toward the river. It occurred to me that this was really preferable to locking up on the side that the bike lane is on, as that side has more storefronts that are not streetlife-type things, not open to the sidewalk. Consider placing any additional racks on that river-ward side, and keep the other side clearer for pedestrians and the sidewalk tables. IMO.
BTW, related: Peduto released his proposed capital and operating budgets. The capital budget has a huge increase in spending on bike infrastructure, from $125K in 2014 to $940K. Excellent!
From the budget proposal (search for "bike")
1. Planned locations for the additional cycle tracks. Interesting, to say the least:
- Downtown: Stanwix St and Boulevard of the Allies. $440k
- Homewood: Lincoln Ave. $93k
- Schenley Park: Greenfield Rd. $125k
- Northside: Allegheny Commons. 156k
2. They mention rack installations in Uptown and North Side, as well as "pavement markings" on Forbes, One Wild Place, Beacon St, 40th St, and Marshall Ave.
3. There's also "Installation of street lights at bike stations" and "Installation of street lights on bike lanes" with locations TBD.
4. Neville Off-road bike trail (Centre Ave at Neville St.) $25k. This appears to be for a study, though.
5. Finally, there's a plan to start engineering work for replacing the 28th St bridge (Strip to Polish Hill). A bike lane for it would be nice...
– Downtown: Stanwix St and Boulevard of the Allies. $440k
Perfect. A commuter-oriented connection between the EFT and the Penn Ave lanes. I want those intersections more bikable (esp. at Smithfield.)
– Homewood: Lincoln Ave. $93k
Mildly puzzling, unless it's simple lanes along each side. Something up to Apple, or even Meadow would be fine. As long a the Frankstown intersection gets fixed.
– Schenley Park: Greenfield Rd. $125k
Which part? This is a complicated street.
– Northside: Allegheny Commons. 156k
Awesome. Also, repaving.
It's too bad that Bates is not on the list, or a parallel trail.
– Schenley Park: Greenfield Rd. $125k
"Which part? This is a complicated street."
Unless I'm mistaken, this is the Greenfield Road that runs only within Schenley Park from the end of Pocusset at the bridge up to the intersection of Boulevard/Hobart/Beacon/Bartlet/etc, not the Greenfield Ave that runs up from Saline/Second/Irvine up through Greenfield Neighbourhood.
We really need to stop overloading our names in this city...
Unless I’m mistaken, this is the Greenfield Road that runs only within Schenley Park
Ah! your'e right. My mistake. It all makes sense.
- On?Road Cycling Wayfinding Signage TBD -- $487,890
- $2,85 M overall ($400K in 2015) for construction of sidewalks and curb ramps, including on Bates St and on 40th at Eden (the alley behind Wendy's).
- $64,3 M overall ($12M in 2015) for repaving, the most in a decade, because "Adequately maintained streets are a core city service."
- separately, $2,075 M overall ($225K in 2015) for "Streetscape and Intersection Reconstruction", which includes "street furnishings, public art and monuments, and multimodal improvements". This includes $40K specifically marked for Liberty Avenue Streetscape and Pedestrian Safety Improvements, and while there are other projects going on Liberty in Downtown, this looks from the included map to refer to Liberty in the Strip instead.
- $325 K overall ($50K in 2015) for "Trail Repairs".
- Funding in future years (though none in 2015) for a new bridge on old Second Ave in Duck Hollow, and work on Swinburne Bridge over 4 Mile Run
We really need to stop overloading our names in this city
Clearly you've never been to Atlanta ;)
It's a shame there's no further description as to how each cycle track will be developed:
- For BOTA, if they go for a two-way cycle track, this will likely mean the disappearance of some parking spots. I bet that such a cycle track would be on the eastbound lane, as it would connect better to the Jail Trail near Grant. Lanes on Stanwix would likely only go between Penn Ave and BOTA, maybe even all the way to Fort Pitt Blvd.
- For Greenfield Rd, maybe it will only be painted-on lanes? I'd hate to go downhill on that road on a bollard-ed cycle track. You can hit 30 mph going down that road without much effort.
- For Allegheny Commons, they could do only the inner loop around Allegheny Center, but maybe lanes on North and Cedar Ave as well.
- Not familiar with Lincoln Ave, unfortunately. But based on the budget amount, does not seem like it will be a long section.
Of course, this is only a budget proposal. We'll have to wait and see for what actually is approved for next year.
@chrishent, thank you for the info. Good stuff!
BTW I fear a backlash when this gets discussed in Council. A lot of the opposition has been from suburbanites, but we should be prepared to attend and voice our support for the new infrastructure. It would be helpful if somebody kept track of this and let us know when to show up.
jonawebb, thinking the same thing. We just had this conversation and intend to keep up on it.
and Chrishent, Yeah, i think it could be problematic that there is so little detail.
the alignment that they are looking at for the downtown lanes are to connect the end of the GAP at Smithfield St Bridge, to the Point.
The tentative alignment to the Point is to have the trail connect onto bike lanes on Ft Pitt @ Smithfield, turn onto Stanwix, turn onto Blvd of the Allies to the Point. Stanwix, in theory, will also connect over to the Penn Ave bike lanes. to my knowledge, the details of this have not been worked out, this is just the idea that they are shooting for
BTW I fear a backlash when this gets discussed in Council.
I'm thinking something similar. If $900K of bicycle infrastructure gets implemented, we can expect responses from drivers that range from irritation up through homicidal rage.
The same would be true if we persuaded the Pittsburgh Police to enforce speed limits.
Of course, I'd love to have either of those "problems." ;)
Interesting, @erok. Ft Pitt Blvd would make sense for a cycle track, as it's already one way on that side and the right lane is either a bus turn lane or on street parking. This is also less intrusive when it comes to bus routes, as there's only one stop on Ft Pitt between Smithfield and Stanwix. However, this stop serves 13 routes, so the stop should be moved to the northeast corner of Smithfield and Ft Pitt or to Wood St (or both!)
Once on Stanwix, if the cycle track stays on northbound lane, it can easily connect to the lanes on Penn. However, you interfere with busy bus stops, so that might be tricky.
A turn into westbound BOTA from northbound Stanwix is not easy. Might require a bike box. Same for coming from Point State Park on BOTA and turning right onto a cycle track on Stanwix.
We'll see what the city comes up with. I hope they have a defined vision, otherwise these projects will not make it very far in the budget approval process.
I wouldn't worry about that one Ft Pitt Blvd bus stop any more than I worry about bus stops on Forbes in the center of Oakland. Moving that anywhere would be very problematic. I'd concentrate more on getting rid of the on-street parking.
That one bus stop is THE departure point for the half of the county south of the Mon, who are headed for destinations on and above Smithfield. That is a massive number of people. When PAT had its Fifth and Market bus stop forcibly removed a couple of years ago, the shitstorm was enormous, and justifiably so.
That is a battle you should not engage. Don't even think about it.
it's the on-street parking that's being looked at.
If bike lane on Ft Pitt Blvd, westbound, it should just pass Stanwix and continue to Commonwealth Place, Stanwix is a mess, Commonwealth is low traffic. Not sure how to connect to a Penn Ave bike lane in that case tho.
> "– Funding in future years (though none in 2015) for a new bridge on old Second Ave in Duck Hollow"
More info on this project: http://www.pittsburghfederalprojects.com/index.php/second-avenue-bridge/
"The existing Second Avenue Bridge is historic and is anticipated to remain in place and be converted into a bicycle/pedestrian crossing as part of the Rails to Trails Program."
@erok: the alignment that they are looking at for the downtown lanes are to connect the end of the GAP at Smithfield St Bridge, to the Point.
The tentative alignment to the Point is to have the trail connect onto bike lanes on Ft Pitt @ Smithfield, turn onto Stanwix, turn onto Blvd of the Allies to the Point. Stanwix,
But Ft.Pitt->Stanwix->Allies doesn't seem right; unless there's an all-ways stop light at Allies/Stanwix: that's a lot of lanes to cross. Why not Ft.Pitt->Commonwealth to connect Point Park? And a separate hugging-the-right-curb lane for Stanwix->Penn? Or, just repave 1st St already. (*)
I assume that the planners are professional traffic engineers and that they ask people like @erok et al for input. But do they ever actually ride a bike along candidate routes? It's really different on the ground and riding gives a better informed perspective. Trust me. (*)
(*) I usually do Smithfield->1st->Stanwix->Allies->Commonwealth.
The lights at Ft.Pitt/Smithfield
make the 1st St turn easy to do; when I get to Stanwix gaps are easy to get for crossing to a left turn onto Allies, which admittedly can be a pain (unless you force a Pgh left-turn at the yellow). This is to get to the Park and points west. If I end up on Ft.Pitt (only on low-traffic days) I just continue to Commonwealth. If I need to go east I do (Liberty->)Stanwix->Penn. At some level my brain subconsciously computed that this was the least hassle... brains are good for that.
good suggestions. nothing is solid yet
My hero, too!
@bradsohner Chinese man becomes hero on social media for forcing car driving in bike lane to back out. pic.twitter.com/RpWb5Cuy1y— Taras Grescoe (@grescoe) November 16, 2014
That pic resonates with the 1989 pic of Tiananmen Square tank guy.
Re Duck Hollow bridge ... It's important to keep an eye on this and express support whenever there's an opportunity. If funds get tight or there's a cost overrun, this is the sort of thing that could get trimmed from the project.
What is the benefit of the duck hollow bridge reconstruction with repect to cycling? For future potential trail connections through the Carrie furnace site? If this didn't happen, would it delay progress on creation of a trail there?
BTW I was riding the Schenley Drive bike lanes Saturday and I really liked the ride to the west. I came down to the intersection with Panther Hollow Road, turned left at the stop sign, then immediately right into the lane. Worked great. I had a nice quiet ride all the way through the stop light in front of the library at Schenley Drive Extension, and no worries about the sort of dicey parking situation around the Bigelow statue.
I know it's just a short ride, but it does seem better than what was there before.
"We're going to beat every other city" - Mayor, on creating bike lanes
If we start actually getting neighborhoods connected in a way that novices can comfortably get from place to place, I'll start getting excited.
Washington's Observer-Reporter newspaper declares Pittsburgh bike lanes (especially Penn Ave) "an innovation ahead of their time & place", missing the point entirely:
^What a stupid Fn article. It sounds like the guy who wrote it has a very low IQ, is a Boomer who needs his car to get a gallon of milk, is very un-progressive, and would be better to switch careers to Walmart door greeting.
First, bike lanes don't slow traffic anymore. Is there studies? Does this low IQ imbecile have any Fn data to back up his suburbanite dipshit argument? What causes gridlock is other cages. On a Friday afternoon it is cars impeding me on my bike, and not the other way around. It is not practical for me to be using a giant piece of metal sitting there behind other giant pieces of metal to haul my fat ass around under 5MPH in gridlock.
Second, you can't ride between October through April? I hear this a lot from moronic Boomers who equate cycling only to leisurely rides on the beach boardwalk using a cruiser. I may be hindered only during the worst of the worst snow pack months, and that is a month and a half on a bad winter.
This "journalist" is fn stupid.
And this is what is pissing me off with ALL news outlets in our metro. They stir the pot for clickbait over providing information that could educate the public about the laws and how cycling infustructure actually reduces traffic congestion. They fire up the local morons who can't comprehend logic. They just have this simple reasoning, "Duhhhh, if there bike lane there less traffic lane for me and I go slower, duhhhhhhh".
Don't get me started with WXPI and WTAE. I remember that WTAE article about some stupid slide show that shows angry drivers and the first slide was a cyclist taking the lane. Their whole point was to rile up the bike-lash imbeciles. What do you expect of a society where majority of the people think Noah's ark literally happened.
I was driving around a week or so ago and I was really struck by how frustrating it is. You can go fast, but there are other cars holding you back, maybe by doing stupid things like waiting unnecessarily. You can't tell. And there's all this free space if you could just get past the annoying other drivers.
It's even worse with lane-taking cyclists, because they obviously don't need all that space, and are much slower than I could go in a car. And you can see the road ahead is clear.
Of course, as a cyclist I don't need to deal with all this frustration. I don't think there's ever been a time when I had to wait in traffic, unable to move forward, without there being an obvious good reason for waiting. I am much more narrow and maneuverable, and I can see farther. And my max speed is just about right for city traffic.
So it makes sense to me that people get frustrated driving. They're just in the wrong type of vehicle. Sure, it has conveniences, like staying warm and being able to listen to the radio. But you're taking a tiny house around with you all the time. No wonder you get slowed down.
I "had to drive" to Kraynick's last Tuesday because the pedal snapped off on my only working bike and I didn't have any spares.
Seemed like a good idea at the time. It took almost 25 minutes. From Squirrel Hill. Not at rush hour.
I could have (and should have) damned the appearances and biked using one leg... would've gotten there sooner. Heck, I could've jogged there in less time.
@jonawebb - well said!
I was driving around a week or so ago and I was really struck by how frustrating it is. ... there’s all this free space if you could just get past the annoying other drivers. ...
as a cyclist ... I am much more narrow and maneuverable.
So it makes sense to me that people get frustrated driving. They’re just in the wrong type of vehicle ... you’re taking a tiny house around with you all the time..
I know this is a meme etc. but, still, this is just very good. Please forgive me if you've seen it before.
Oh! On Friday I rode on the Frendship Ave bike lane next to Friendship Parklet - once in each direction.
IMO, the bike community would benefit from the removal of this dog.
Inbound, it's in the door zone of parking with high overturn. Outbound it is so narrow that you cou7ld be as far right in teh bike lake as you can be - and still get hit by the mirror of a car whose tire is on the car side of the white bike lane sign.
Freindship needs sharrows.
A brief, pleasant conversation I had with a motorist a few weeks ago who turned onto outbound Penn from 15th to get to the 16th St Bridge.
Is this still happening?
I actually prefer the door zone sharrows on friendship over the non door zone ones on the outbound side. The outbound ones were inadvertently narrowed during installation and I always feel way to squeezed here and since there is no extension if the lanes past the park, there is a very awkward merge before the turn. I tend to only really use these when turning right on to millvale, otherwise I feel safer taking the lane when traveling outbound.
@Stu, haven't seen an incident like the one in your video, but at least the car-on-bike lane incidents seem to have stopped. The flex bollards placed at intersections appear to be doing the trick. I do see from time to time somebody trying to turn into the lanes, only to realize their mistake and course-correct before it's too late.
It remains to be seen how the lanes work out in the winter. The flex bollards at the intersections are, per someone on this forum, supposed to be removable to facilitate lane access for snow plows. Hopefully the plow driver won't simply drive straight through and tear them out.
I actively avoid Friendship Park because of the ridiculous bike lanes, especially now that the outbound lane has been made even smaller than it originally was. They're simply not usable, and I won't subject myself to driver harassment for refusing to use them.
I found one of the bollards from on schenly drive down in the valley where the railroad trestle used to be on neville st.
Yeah, those bollards are a problem. Riding across there a couple of weeks ago, I put one that had fallen over onto the sidewalk barrier, then saw there were a couple others already there. Whatever is supposed to hold them in place on the bridge is really not working. I 311'd it but I suspect they don't have a solution right now.
I've also 311'ed the Schenley Drive missing bollards (3 at last count). Not quite sure what sheared them off.
As seen on Penn Ave, next to the 9th and Penn garage, that's some futuristic lookin' bike racks (plus the fix-it station):
Well, at least I think they are bike racks...
I agree that the fix-it makes it seem likely that's supposed to be a bike rack....but if so man that's an awful design. Looks nearly impossible to use, except with a cable...
This is probably not the best photo angle for it, though. Not seen here are slots on the vertical side of the "rack" that are wide enough for a tire. Maybe you're supposed to prop up the bike and put the tires in the vertical and horizontal slots? I may be overthinking this...
Bike share station maybe?
@marko, don't think so, at least based on the station map shown in the bike share website. Of course, they can change their minds and put one there if they want. Wouldn't be a bad location for one...
I drove by there. I think it's missing some pieces.
My two cents added here, too.
$1.65 million on capital improvements for cycling in 2015. Article is in the Trib, so let suburbanite hate comments begin:
Quotes our mayor, too: “It’s sort of like ripping that Band-Aid off really quick,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said in September about his plans to rapidly install a basic network of protected bike lanes in his first term. “We knew there was going to be this pushback, but we wanted to show [the new protected lane] and let people see it. That type of a reaction starts to dissipate and go down over time. That’s the tradeoff.”
The bollard at entry of the Penn Ave cycle track on 6th street. I suspect this is to facilitate plowing those lanes. It would be ideal if they could re-install the bollard after the snow periods have ended, but I imagine that this will not happen until winter has subsided somewhat.
In the meantime, watch for cars entering the bike lane by "accident". Ideally, we shouldn't need a bollard in this situation, but some individuals have problems paying attention to traffic signs. Be safe out there.
I thought no one would use the bike lane in the middle of January?