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pittsburgh gets selected for green lane project

So stoked we got this
2014-03-10 10:23:56
Hurray, but could we please make the new protected lanes really useful? E.g., between Oakland and Downtown, or between Pitt & CMU? Let's put the lanes where they are really needed -- not just where there's space without taking anything away from cars.
2014-03-10 10:31:42
This is awesome. Thanks Peduto & People for Bikes!
2014-03-10 11:26:16
Great news! Now where do we put the five miles of lanes? What a great problem to have.
2014-03-10 11:30:21
Here's what I would do: 1) Protected lane between Bigelow and Morewood, on Forbes. Run along the south side of the street, taking one lane away from auto traffic, with islands for bus stops. That's < 0.5 miles. 2) Protected lane between Halket and Grant on Fifth. Run along the north side, with islands for bus stops. That's 2 miles. The remainder of the money I would keep to pay off the business owners so they can build off-street parking to replace what the bike lane takes away.
2014-03-10 11:57:12
2014-03-10 12:10:35
Are these protected cycletracks, or just lanes in one direction? Agreed about paying off those loosing street parking so things could move forward. A lot of places need uphill bike lanes in particular.
2014-03-10 13:15:46
@byogman, definitely protected cycletracks. I would argue that we could take some space away from Fifth between downtown and Oakland now that the Blvd. of the Allies improvement is in place. If you really want to go fast, that's the way you'd go.
2014-03-10 13:31:25
Are these protected cycletracks, or just lanes in one direction? tbd depending on the project. The Green Lane Project is to help develop "next level" bike infrastructure, and it's not necessarily one type, but contextual. Another big component is that they are sending technical support to help implement and train city staff on the latest in bikeway design.
2014-03-10 13:32:37
I like the idea of protected cycletracks on the flat well enough and it's smart with all the students in Oakland to put on there. I love the idea of protected climbing lanes. I'd be awfully wary of full cycletracks when there's a real slope. Someone shouldn't do 25 or 30 in a cycletrack, and, say, cruising down 5th from Craft to the birmingham bridge and Kirkpatrick street... and it would be pretty irritating not to do that speed there. There's just better mixing with car traffic at those speeds than with cyclists going the opposed direction (albeit likely mostly pretty slowly).
2014-03-10 13:52:10
Erok - "Another big component is that they are sending technical support to help implement and train city staff on the latest in bikeway design." Is there any chance they would be open to doing a public or invite-only presentation on this subject as well? I work with lots of officials in West Homestead, Homestead, McKeesport, etc. that would like to be on board but none of us have the technical grounding.
2014-03-10 14:05:35
i'm not sure how that's working out exactly. my understanding is that the support will be very project specific. be sure that the officials in those towns know about the Pro-Walk Pro Bike Conference here in Sept, as there will be workshops like you described.
2014-03-10 14:20:15
Erok, cool. I'll be sure to stay in touch with them about that.
2014-03-10 14:42:44
Frankly, I think Oakland would be about the worst area for this. People already bike to Oakland, and while it may be the long way round, there _is_ an alternative to riding Forbes and Fifth Avenue into town. I would, however, love to see this as the first step to integrating the South and West Hills into the city bike network---as many people have pointed out, while the trails run along the rivers, there's almost no bike infrastructure in the south city at all. Perhaps one or more of South Eighteenth, Steuben St, and/or Noblestown would be a good place for protected lanes---I'm not sure where exactly the Brentwood line is, but Carson to Maytide on Eighteenth/Brownsville is almost exactly 4 miles; 18th+Brownsville on Carson to Nobles is 2.4; Carson+Steuben from Station Square to Maytide is 2.2.
2014-03-10 16:29:49
This is awesome news! Congratulations, Bike-Pgh! I'm sure you folks worked hard for this and we appreciate it. What great potential. Can't wait to see the implementation.
2014-03-10 17:01:44
@bb, I understand your point from a bike advocacy point of view. Put the bike lanes where they will encourage more people to bike. My argument is from a safety point of view. Put the bike lanes where they will make cyclists safer. And I think there would be a lot more biking between Downtown and Oakland if there was a really safe, straightforward route. Ditto Pitt & CMU. But my main point is, don't put the lanes someplace just because there's road space cars aren't using. Put them someplace they'll be used. That means someplace people want to go, which usually means someplace cars are already going. This is a golden opportunity and I think it will be wasted if we end up building a demonstration bike lane, like the short stretch of green painted lane in East Liberty, that just shows what we could do if we were willing to take space away from cars. Let's use this to find a way to take space away from cars while addressing the objections people will have.
2014-03-10 19:52:17
I like my hipster east end neighborhood, of course, but Buffalo Buffalo is right: we need work in the south and west. In particular, I would like to see some kind of trail/protected lane to get from the Point to the Panhandle Trail. I have an obsession with the idea of a coast-to-coast trail that goes through Pittsburgh.
2014-03-10 20:00:29
Me thinks BikePGH already has plans for where to put this 5 miles and our pontificating is about as useful as talking to PennDOT Or the specialists that come in are going to have a hand in where it's put? I agree with BB too though. If you want to go from downtown to Oakland, take the jail trail. What's the problem? That's pretty much the same route the 500 used to take for the same purpose. The river trails already serve as arteries to get a lot of people from throughout the area to downtown or Oakland How about on Center Ave? It could connect Oakland with the East End, which gets people to Pitt, Hospitals, Shopping, Entertainment, etc. People already use it and it could kind of connect to other bike infrastructure already in place
2014-03-10 20:35:19
Pierce wrote:Me thinks BikePGH already has plans for where to put this 5 miles and our pontificating is about as useful as talking to PennDOT
Mick wrote:In particular, I would like to see some kind of trail/protected lane to get from the Point to the Panhandle Trail.
Well, you're both awesomely-right. I suspect we're in good hands. They've certainly done very well so far, 70 days into a new administration. While I'm pipe-dreaming, I wonder if they could fit the Wabash Tunnel into the 5-miles? And if the Downtown-Oakland run could come out of the BRT budget? Sure....
2014-03-10 20:58:29
Centre Ave all the way from Downtown to E Lib would be spectacular.
2014-03-10 21:10:29
one thing to consider is that bike share is coming, so something downtown is being looked at. Fifth/Forbes is a great idea, but both of those streets are being held hostage right now until the Port Authority figures out what it's going to do with BRT. While i'd love to see something put on there, it would be a shame if it was ripped up when/if BRT gets constructed. The Port Authority would be a major barrier to altering the roadway w/out their input, or at minimum, decision on their preferred alignment. And considering the timeframe of BRT, and the timeframe of the Green Lane 2.0, I can't see that happening without a big struggle. So, a street that didn't require a big struggle would no doubt get raised up in the feasibility scale
2014-03-10 21:56:58
to be clearer about the BRT/GL connection. the GL Project is supposed to help projects that can get implemented in the next 2 years. unless BRT figures itself out, it might be a huge PITA to work on 5th/Forbes. However, if BRT does figure itself out, GL will add and help the BRT project immensely.
2014-03-11 10:45:50
I imagine a good use of this would be a letter-pi shaped piece across the North Side, essentially east-west from the West End Bridge to Vinial Street, with north-south stems along Cedar Ave and Anderson Street to 9th St, Downtown, and North Shore Drive and Allegheny Avenue from the Ft Duquesne Bridge past the Science Center to North Ave. Something like this, roughly four miles, connecting a whole bunch of things:
2014-03-11 20:17:51
Thank you to those involved in putting Pittsburgh on the map. It is great to read such news. Thank you all again!
2014-03-12 00:06:26
@stu - in that north side picture, there are a couple things I think that would be awesome 1) Contra flow bike traffic allowed on north st east of 297 to make it a direct route east/west for bikes. Potentially bike lanes or bike-way along east st north of Allegheny square. 2) Well defined bike lanes on Allegheny ave to connect from the trail to north st (and CCAC / Allegheny square) 3) Bike path / MUP through Allegheny square and appropriate traffic signaling / intersection design on either side to allow users to enter from ridge ave / east ohio street for a continuous east / west path. Remove curbs and obstacles for a straight shot path. 4) Any other alternate connection to ridge ave / western ave directly from the trail that doesn't include carrying a bike up stairs be it along sproat / fontella. Even stair rails for bikes would be better than nothing. However bike friendly switchbacks would be cool too (unlike the very non-bike friendly switchbacks by PNC park under 6th st bridge). Some of this is redundant. But this is just a wish list.
2014-03-12 08:17:08
I'd love to see a way to punch through the South Hills towards South Park. It's roughly five miles from the south end of the Glenwood Bridge to the edge of South Park. A protected path through there (based on Streets Run Rd, maybe?) would make it a lot more comfortable to get to that part of the world. Once you've gotten to South Park, getting to Library (Montour Trail), Finleyville, and points south like Mingo Creek Park becomes more realistic.
2014-03-12 08:54:32
West Carson Street from the Sta Sq driveway to the West End circle. I only need about 1400+- feet of your 5 miles. Thx!
2014-03-12 09:14:53
I'm really torn, and erok's statement and edmonds's suggestion puts it into high relief. With the bikeshare coming, I understand why bike-pgh might want to concentrate on something to try and coax more of the interested but concerned into trying cycling in an already safe-ish area. Doubtless would be the best way to boost ridership statistics in the short term which in turn becomes leverage for more improvements in the long term. So, it's a smart strategy even through it isn't best for current riders. But gosh would taking the 5 miles and sectioning parceling it out into short painful stretches in areas like Edmonds suggested be good! It seems downright cruel not to address some of these really bad pain points. Is there any way we can we do a little of both??
2014-03-12 10:10:21
erok wrote:one thing to consider is that bike share is coming, so something downtown is being looked at.
I think having some “safe” bicycle infrastructure downtown would help make the bike-share successful. I would think that a track along either Penn or Liberty from Point State Park to the Convention Center would be useful; and a track the length of either Wood or Smithfield Streets to get you going in the other direction. That would only be about 1.5 miles total, but it would be very visible to the general public & it still leaves 3.5 miles for other projects. I feel conflicted on what else should be included. Should we put tracks along dangerous roads purely to make them safer? Or to encourage more people to bike? Or along current heavy-use bike corridors? Or in areas with no current bike stuff (not East)?
2014-03-12 10:16:48
I feel conflicted on what else should be included. Should we put tracks along dangerous roads purely to make them safer? Or to encourage more people to bike? Or along current heavy-use bike corridors? Or in areas with no current bike stuff (not East)?
All good questions. There's a part of me that believes connecting existing pieces of infrastructure makes them exponentially more effective; but there's also a part of me that wants to knock down the really high barriers (like getting to the South and West without having to either detour 10 miles or bring a change of underwear). Heck, Wabash Tunnel->Sawmill Run->W Liberty to Mt Lebo would make me happy too.
2014-03-12 10:32:06
reddan wrote:Wabash Tunnel->Sawmill Run->W Liberty
If I'm not mistaken, the railroad just across the run from 51 is entirely abandoned... (also, anyone know what's the deal with the trails GMaps shows through the park from Woodruff up towards Brashear HS?)
2014-03-12 12:29:17
As far as wanting people to feel comfortable using the bikeshare, I think the mere existence of the bikeshare will make downtown even safer and make people more comfortable riding there. No need to prioritize an already-safe area. There's a big psychological effect of having that kind of officially-sanctioned amenity. They wouldn't put bikes all over the place for visiters to use - without helmets no less - if you couldn't ride around in relative safety, right? Motorists will adjust their behavior accordingly. Just go to DC and look at their bikeshare. The route to South Park is a great idea because it would be used by multiple types of riders: new riders from the south who didn't have good route options before, and people from the east end etc. who can use it to get to the park and the GAP / Montour / Panhandle trail system. I would use it a lot.
2014-03-13 13:12:45
Thinking about my suggestion above, and looking at the Seattle entry, #9. That little bit of Allegheny Avenue north of the Science Center has a really sticky situation for bikes. Just how do you bike from the Science Center up through that viaduct? With all the traffic headed for the PA65 ramp, that's plain scary, and I don't have a good solution. Add to it that there is now also the T stop right there, and CCAC just a few hundred yards beyond there, and we have both great potential and a potentially huge mess to solve. Biking west from Vinial St to Allegheny General Hospital is another really scary spot. Try it sometime with a bike n00b. My point: This area, which is mainly hill-less, and thus *should be* ideal for biking, and a bazillion destinations, isn't at all ideal, and so would be a top place to install four miles of bike infrastructure. Solve this one, you've solved some major issues that can be replicated throughout the city.
2014-03-15 10:22:13
So I didn't read this whole thread, so forgive me if this was already suggested. A friend I was riding with yesterday wondered why Neville/boundary between panther hollow and forbes didn't have sharrows. Today I thought it would be a great idea to have that be one lane with speed bumps for the cars (since they go 40+mph regularly thorough there) in their lane and a separated bidirectional bike lane in other vehicle travel lane. It would eliminate that stupid stop sign for cyclists trying to climb and it would be nice to approach forbes at a comfortable climbing speed without jags in cars giving you no room. A ton of students and commuters use it to connect from Oakland to the south side.
2014-03-17 20:00:57
Trying to see how much you can make the cars curse? I guess if drivers can cut down Joincare I guess that technically they can connect but indirect double-back and cobbles... whew. Sounds like something they foist on us not the other way around! Good luck. I was thinking myself perhaps in terms of Bouquet, which connects a lot in Oakland and actually is one way already (with parking on TWO sides, come on, you can sacrifice one of those!) and then perhaps a wiggle left and right Ohara and Desoto to get to elevation on Terrace Street. Would connect a ton of stuff and complement BRT forbes/fifth thingy whenever the heck that comes, rather beautifully.
2014-03-17 21:23:08
What I didn't suggest, and am not suggesting here, is a complete build/rebuild from River Avenue at West Carson in McKees Rocks to Transport St by Jct51/88 in Overbrook, including connections to all major arterials and the Wabash Tunnel. It's too big a project for what's being proposed here. I suggested the North Side thing because it is within the confines of five miles, it connects a lot of almost-good-but-not-quite tidbits (sorry, trail past the casino) (and try actually getting from the river trail to downtown, if you don't know what you're doing), and lots of major destinations that are not set up to handle bicycle traffic (AE Stage, two major stadiums, Science Center, CCAC, two art museums, a regional hospital). It is bordered by a large potential for bicycle-based residential occupation -- dense, parking poor. Transit service is great, but who wants to pay $2.50 for a ride that's only four minutes long? That area should be screaming for bicycle infrastructure. It isn't, because it's scary as hell to ride through there in just about any direction. So, fix it. Make it easy to ride a bike across old Allegheny City, or from there to the Golden Triangle. I think if this paltry amount of money was spent, the area would instantly become a very desirable place to live, and that in itself would act as a model for the rest of the city to follow, three or five or 10 years downstream. This is just the kickstart to get the idea off the ground. And I really like @benzo's suggestions. That's the sort of icing on the cake I am mixing the batter for.
2014-03-17 22:03:42
Make Boundary (and a lot of other streets, like Gold/Melwood for example) like this: Cars are allowed to go in the "bike lane" when they need to pass head-on, but otherwise they have to stay in the car lane.
2014-03-17 23:17:08
I know there is some long-term plan for a trail there but I agree that in the short run it makes sense to slow cars down with stuff like on Gold Way. It is just not a good fast shortcut for cars, given Joncaire, but they treat it like one and endanger cyclists connecting to the PHT from Shadyside. BTW I like Stu's suggestion for the protected bike lanes better than any of the others, including mine. It's level, connects between CCAC and other Northside stuff and Downtown, etc.
2014-03-18 07:30:10
Salty, it's an interesting idea. But I think it can only work places where traffic volumes are absurdly low. Lower, I'm pretty sure, than is the case on Boundary. Can't speak to Polish Hill because I cut through that way rarely. My concern with this is you'd be giving drivers that aren't already driving all over the bike lanes a lot of practice driving all over the bike lanes.
2014-03-18 07:42:00
No pressure, but this might be a great time for some positive LTEs in the papers in support of this announcement.
2014-04-02 12:55:40
btw, Salty, I too like that design. It hasn't caught on anywhere that I know of in the U.S. I think Minneapolis was going to try this, but they had to set up an entire experiment in order to use that type of design.
2014-04-02 13:12:47
If you can gather some crossing stats, bikes, cars, direction, and speed, you can get some data from which you could run a model to find out how often drivers would have to cross into the bike path. So, that's a behavioral concern, how much of this behavior are you forcing drivers into and would that train them to think of it as a less serious behavior elsewhere? I think it would, but that's admittedly hazy. But there's also a very specific scenario here that concerns me quite a bit... a driver downhill coming upon a car coming uphill with a downhill cyclist behind them. Whether because of the "oh ^&* reaction", not having seen the cyclist (perhaps then in the blind spot), slowing down a lot so a cyclist that wasn't on their radar comes up a lot, or just by assuming that they're faster and have nothing to worry about, they move right into the bike lane and... you have a potential right hook if not an outright splat. As a cyclist you could, having run that thought experiment, instinctively slow in advance and some would. But by no means all. Especially if this is marketed at and is successful at drawing in newbies who aren't used to having to think a step or two ahead... look at traffic in the opposite direction to see if you're about to loose your bike lane from a driver not looking for you... dunno, but I prefer a simpler social contract and think a bike lane in principle promises one. I want to do something here... both of these places. This approach just really concerns me.
2014-04-02 14:29:24
Not sure I really understand your hill scenario, but hese types of facilities don't typically go on big hills. Intersections are signalized. Driveways will be signed. Intersections colored green.
2014-04-02 17:34:48
Basically, any driver move to the right is a right hook in waiting and this type of facility makes that need and hence that type of crash entirely plausible along it's entire length, not just intersections. Furthermore, because of it being a novel type of road arrangement, there's more potential for a lack of understanding and mistakes in driver action, and because it's something built to attract newer riders, there's more likelihood that those riders would not be as alert to what's coming. The hill is not a prerequisite to having these problems, but it's certainly a multiplying factor on the badness by increasing the speed of the collision. I think it also contributes to the likelihood that a driver would misjudge speeds or not have seen the cyclist behind at any point because they never passed him or her. Our standards for what compromises a big hill are skewed here, but factually, even mild grades like the one on boundary make a significant difference in cyclist speed.
2014-04-02 18:57:54
Sorry, was refering to Boundary but thinking of Boundary/Neville as a unit... the stretch that's just Boundary may be low traffic enough, being a dead end, that it's fine to do this. Would have major concerns with this for Neville. Unless Neville were one way (preferably in downhill direction to reduce relative velocities). Then there's no need for cars to leave the car lane, so it would be awesome and I say go for it!
2014-04-02 20:39:59