Local news stories and LTE 2017
more stories about the montour trail and allegheny river re: their designations of trail/waterways of the year
The fat bike article also gives a plug for Frigid Bitch, next weekend. Last year’s event, which didn’t even get a mention on the message board, managed to attract 41 riders — all female — on a bitter cold, snowy day.
They’re reconsidering the Fort Pitt bike lanes
@jonawebb, no shocker there.
Also, the bike lane board (now renamed the bicycle infrastructure board) is gaining traction in city council:
PennDOT says they’re going to start talking to local communities in planning projects.
^ It’s promising that this change in approach at PennDoT seems to be embraced by the head, but I can only imagine that any change in attitude in the rank and file traffic engineers will spread like molasses in January. I’ve tried to work with some of those guys.
Despite ‘bikelash,’ Pittsburgh mayor stands behind bike lane vision
“If Bill Peduto doesn’t win re-election this year, the one-liner goes, blame the bike lanes.
The Pittsburgh mayor himself delivers the satire, joking that “bikelash” paired with his support for refugees and self-driving cars will crater his political career.
Still, as Mr. Peduto runs for a second term, he’s sticking with his long-range goal for a citywide network of neighborhood bike lanes. The city can better involve residents in the planning process, but adding the lanes remains a key for safer transportation, economic development and urban growth, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.”
I’m glad that the mayoral race is essentially over after the May primary because I’m not sure how much Darlene Harris I can take. I guess I’ll find out.
Meanwhile, over in Churchill, seems like the new mayor is pretty OK with bike trails. (h/t to Eat That, Read This #561)
Mr. Gamrat, who worked as a special education teacher in the Wilkinsburg School District, said one of his goals as mayor is to attract younger residents. He believes that can be accomplished by bringing amenities to the borough such as bike trails and coffee shops as well as additional businesses that cater to younger people.
The Rev. John C. Welch wades into the bike lane controversy with an LtE in the P-G:
Well, of course affordable housing is important. Just as transportation infrastructure is for those who don’t have cars.
Anyway, Darlene better get a move on before all the good issues get snapped up…
Rev. Welch’s main (and possibly only issue) is affordable housing.
I’d like to sic Darlene Harris on Lamar.for refusing to take down that Sprint sign. That should be her issue.
Funny, not a word about bicycles.
Meanwhile, just across the river, “Sharpsburg has taken its first step toward making its business district more welcoming to pedestrians, with improvements in lighting, landscaping and accessibility.”
Love the use of the word “accident” with something that would most certainly not be an accident.
Wondering if the recent uptick in complaints about use of 57th street has to do with more people using Google maps or Waze. Sometimes less used streets are “found” by these apps and traffic increases
The regional transportation alliance outlined 50 suggested changes to regional transportation. Post gazette article is very barebones and I can’t find any other info about this.
Edit. Found it. http://www.regionaltransportationalliance.org
Routes announced for this year’s OpenStreetsPGH events:
The first one includes Downtown, Uptown and the South Side, using the Birmingham and 10th Street bridges, and the Armstrong tunnel.
I can’t find anything on what’s next Pittsburgh. And the open streets website looks like it needs to be updated as it still says the next route is Northside and west end. Which was the last route of 2016.
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the Port Authority announced Thursday morning they will be filing an application with the Federal Transit Administration in the next six months to build a street-level system of electric vehicles that would, at a minimum, run on dedicated lanes between Downtown and Oakland.
The system also could be extended using regular traffic lanes and the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway to Highland Park, Squirrel Hill and Wilkinsburg.
Estimated cost is $200-240 M. I don’t think this is viable in the current political climate, but it would be awesome.
The Regional Transportation Alliance released a vision for the region yesterday: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2017/03/08/Transportation-group-releases-study-for-improving-mobility/stories/201703080174
Three major ideas related to bikes were suggested:
- More Strategic Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections
- “Park and Bike” Trail Lots
- Completed Trail Network
Also relevant I think is the idea for a “Multimodal Perspective for Planning New Projects”
I’m curious to hear what people think, and also if anyone knows anything is already in the works to move these ideas? (full disclosure: I helped work on this report)
There river heritage trail to run through blawnox.
But on streets. And not for bikes.
I think you mean there won’t be bike lanes.
“This route was chosen to minimize trail users’ interaction with vehicles so they can pass safely through town,” she said.
few thoughts — unclear what the role of bikes will be. That part of blawnox reminds me of the lower part of lawrenceville. It will all be on mainly residential streets and the article says it won’t be using the train tracks and won’t be by the river. So I’m assuming they’ll uproot some parking and paint some lines?
And I don’t understand what the “no bike lane” means. Does that mean no dedicated bike lane, or no bikes will be allowed in that painted off street area?
Blawnox is very tiny, and met on all sides by ohara, so if ohara has no plans to install anything similar (which they don’t as far as I know), it won’t be very functional. It is unclear if the papercraft starting area will link to anything at the docks, though I don’t think that the trail goes all the way through both developments down there anyway.
It is also downhill from freeport and the current iteration of the planned trail is a bit hilly, so I think that bikers might just choose to stay on freeport as it is 25 mph with lots of traffic lights to slow cars.
I saw this announcement somewhere on Facebook but can’t find it now. I thought it was by the three rivers heritage trail group or something similar but apparently not.
Immediately I started looking at google maps imagery to figure out why the “walking” trail wouldn’t be routed along the river or railroad tracks. Why was it going along roads instead?
This actually appears to be excellent news and the best we could hope for along this section of the river. The riverfront route is blocked by a marina and at least a couple other structures. There is also not enough space along the railroad without bulldozing at least one structure. And thus they’ve chosen a route it along the least busy road paralleling the river.
The first concern people would have with this route is that nobody wants to walk along a lane of a road. This is why it was stressed that the trail wouldn’t be a “bike lane”. To me this suggests that curbs will be moved to narrow the road and the trail be installed basically as a wide sidewalk through the neighborhood. It isn’t that bikes aren’t allowed but rather that the trail won’t be just a painted bike lane
I hope this is the correct interpretation!
This bridge is to be moved to a trail.
blawnox doesn’t include the marina. it starts where papercraft avenue meets 4th st and ends right before lewis avenue. maybe about 20 blocks long. the streets are narrow — sorta reminds me of the flat part of lawrenceville.
There is some beautiful access to the river down there. one of the streets (Center? cable?) dead ends into the river, basically. People down there own boats, etc. etc. but it is also very insular down there. I don’t think anyone drives to Blawnox to put their boat in. It is probably 99.9% used by the people that live down there. there’s also a surprising amount of industry down there too. but that shouldn’t be too surprising because that’s a pittsburgh thing — to have houses bump up against manufacturers.
The PG article contains a link to a PDF of Major Taylor’s scrapbooks, archived at Pitt. People who like bicycle history will find them very interesting.
Here’s a photo of the guy, in race position (one of the articles mentions that he, uncharacteristically, bends over, unlike his competitor who races with an “almost straight back” — which seems like a bad idea to me).
(Note the rod-based drivetrain, BTW).
Gourmandine Bakery is opening a new branch in Hazelwood Monday, on Second Ave near Tipton St, across the street from the Carnegie Library of Hazelwood. I understand they will do most of their baking at this location. Opening ceremony at 9am Monday 3/20.
FYI there’s a new PennDOT master plan for the western section of PA Bike Route 6 (which runs along the northern edge of the state. For some reason this is more or less but not quite the same as BicyclePA Route Y). See the links at http://www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/RideaBike/Pages/default.aspx.
I couldn’t find anything that would improve safety in the executive summary. There are suggestions for sharrows and wayfinding signage in the towns the route passes through.
They do seem to be vaguely aware that it’s a crappy bike route, FWIW:
For the study area along PA Route 6 and Route 6N, over 20% of the corridor functions at a BLOS grade of “D” or lower.
Using 2011-2015 PennDOT crash data, it was determined that 22 recorded crashes involving bicyclists (9) or pedestrians (13) occurred along PA Route 6 during the 5 year period.
I think Route 6 refers to US Route 6, a road, while PA Bike Route Y is a route for bikes that travels mostly on US Route 6.
The design guide has maps with specific areas where they recommend widening or repairing shoulders, moving guiderails, and eventually including bike infrastructure on specific bridges as they’re replaced. (Also, using “bike-friendly” rumble strips, with gaps in them, instead of the usual kind.) It also notes that widening all the needed shoulders (205 miles worth) is about two orders of magnitude more expensive than installing all the recommended signs and sharrows. I expect the widening in particular will take a very long time, but at least the plan is a start.
PG reports on the BikePGH survey about self-driving vehicles:
Heehee! IIRC I might know the source of that closing quotation! ;^)
Pittsburgh is just laying waste to the rest of the world in the growing sport of coffeeneuring (by our very own @vannevar). https://chasingmailboxes.com/2017/02/05/coffeeneuring-challenge-recap-and-guest-post/
OTB location woes in Peters Township
Wow. Didn’t know they were exploring a location off the montour trail. Hope it eventually works out for them.
meeting about Heth’s run (by the zoo).
PWSA is presenting conceptual plans for the Pittsburgh Zoo Parking lot (Heth’s Run), this Tuesday, March 28 at 6:00pm, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Barley Hall, 5801 Hampton Street.
No mention of bicycles in this story about a house in West Newton, but since it’s very close to the GAP trail, I thought it worth a mention here.
The John C. Plumer House, one of the oldest residences in the town, has a historic designation, and the town owned it until recently, but interest on an almost 50-year-old loan is apparently standing in the way of actually doing anything with it, if I am reading this correctly. The Mon Valley Initiative now owns it, but being able to move forward on anything requires state approval of removing the historic designation. The house is vacant. I really don’t understand what “Project 70 restrictions” entail, and nobody has said what will become of the place if the restrictions are removed, or how relevant any of this is to anything else. But it’s sat for 40+ years while nothing has been done to repair it.
This is vague about project 70
Stu’s article about the West Newton house had a link to this story on a bike-related crime
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