Thur. May 26: Proposed Negley Ave Bike Lane Public Meeting
Really, the whole Roup thing, while quirky traditional Pittsburgh traffic fun, is idiotic. Negley should divide into two one-way streets there. Roup should be one way southbound from Baum to Centre. Negley should be one-way northbound from Centre to Baum. I guess the traffic “engineers” thought, wow, so much asphalt space, let’s use it. But let’s not.
Why can’s sharrows be painted all the way to Mellon Terrace. as well as on Mellon Terrace and Mellon St. from Mellon Terrace to Bunkerhill St.? I think Sharrows should be painted on Callow Stanton Ave. from Highland Ave. to Jancey St., on Chislett St. from Black St. to Greenwood St., On the entire length of Jancey St., on Baker St., between Jancey St. and Butler St., on Greenwood St. between Jancey St. and Chislett St. and on Black St. from Negley Ave. to Aiken Ave. as well as protected bike lanes on Mossfield St and on the uphill side on Bunkerhill St. and sharrows on the downhill side.
Roup should be one way southbound from Baum to Centre. Negley should be one-way northbound from Centre to Baum.
Maybe when they do Bus Rapid Transit they can rethink the current setup. (As I recall, the plan is to install dedicated bus lanes right before intersections where they can, and priority signaling, but not continuous dedicated bus lanes in this area.) For now, making those roads one-way would add an extra light to the inbound 71A and 71C, and make them subject to whatever traffic blockage is on inbound Baum at the time. I’m not sure the added simplicity of the street pattern would be worth that trade-off, unless it buys more safety too.
Why can’s sharrows be painted all the way to Mellon Terrace
The city’s budget probably prevents painting all the sharrows the city could use, in a single year. I expect they’ll do much of that eventually. So far they seem to be picking a fairly sensible order for adding bike infrastructure.
Nothing wrong with identifying where infrastructure should eventually go. I wouldn’t get my hopes up for seeing it all happen soon. But remember, the Negley lane came about in part because someone drew a line on the street five years ago, thereby starting the conversation. Five years is not an unreasonable timeframe for setting goals. All that’s missing from your list, Zack, is a priority list and reasoning as to why, say, the first three are more important than the rest.
How did someone draw that given the amount of traffic on Negley Ave.?
I think they did it at night. Pittsburgh has some outlaw bike lane painting groups.
And not to denigrate their work, but Pittsburgh has professionals looking at where bike lanes should be. It’s not just in reaction to informal groups.
That was when someone painted the sharrows on negley too, the biker with the ponytail?
And let’s not forget those guerilla sharrows on Baum…
And on 44th in L’ville.
There’s bike lanes and there’s sharrows.
We could use more sharrows in general. They legitimate the presence of bike on streets and remind drivers that they should respect all street users. And the city should at least commit to maintaining the ones they have put down. For example inbound in Bloomfield between Taylor and Ella.
Wait. Don’t we have some sort of full-time bicycling coordinator person in town?
Could she maybe take some time out of her busy schedule to deal with some of these mundane issues that actual cyclists deal with? Do we have to keep bleating about the obvious stuff?
I know our bike peds coordinator does important work, but the 3 times I’ve contacted her about what I thought were legit issues (mainly city vs state refusing to keep sidewalks maintained) there has been radio silence.
So I’m not sure what her job description entails. Maybe it’s just a think up policy and supervise big projects rather than the day to day QOL issues for bikes and peds.
I happen to feel that you could have a great system and poorly maintain it and have it be less useful than no system at all.
The guerrilla sharrows with the ponytail (and a chest) were on Smallman, IIRC. Then legit sharrows with a ponytail were put down in Millvale a couple years later.
Several people on my Facebook feed who are not pro or anti bike have posted in the last day or two about the Negley bike lanes right where it meets Roop in that triangle.
The consensus is that the lane markings are very confusing there for drivers and as a result it is generating a lot more traffic than normal and people driving in the bike Lanes.
It is unclear to me whether people are confused just because it’s new and a lot different than it was before or whether the lanes themselves are actually confusing. I won’t have a chance to go through that intersection for quite a while. Is there anyone that uses this intersection on a regular basis that finds the same thing my friends have posted about? If so, would you mind contacting 311 or the peds bike coordinator as I worry about drivers getting very angry about new bike lanes and they’re being a huge backlash a la the ft Pitt lanes downtown.
By car or by bike, it would help to roll video. Ideally, one person do both as a valid comparison.
@Stu, where are the ponytail sharrows? Also, tomorrow, I will have to go to Ross Garage to pick up my wallet. Will taking the 4 Troy Hill be less stressful than taking the 8 Perrysville bus to Ross Garage by any chance?
I rode Negley the whole way from Ellsworth to the Zoo yesterday, and found the bike lanes a major improvement, but mildly confusing in a few spots. There is a lot of lane shifting. Two cars accidentally (I’m guessing) ended up in the right turn only lane at Penn and Negley, and had to cut through the bike lane to go straight. Several cars were parked in the bike lane between Center and Penn. Buses seemed unsure about when they were allowed to encroach in the bike lane. All of this caused significantly more traffic than usual (this was at 6 pm).
I think a lot of this will just take some getting used to, and am very happy to see the development.
My wife, on the other hand, drove roughly the same route toting kids to and from school, and was very unhappy about the increased traffic. I suspect this will be LTE fodder soon.
I worry about blowback stopping other projects. But not sure what the city could do differently as change takes a while to get used to.
Does everything need better signage?
the city should also have signs give 4 feet when passing bikes its the law. I don’t think old drivers know the law. new ones had to learn it for permit but with no retest people do not stay up to date with law changes
@A: StuInMcCandless has also been advocating a driver license renewal test. But I think it will be extremely difficult to implement due to the sheer number of drivers. However, when the autonomous vehicle technology becomes reliable, the powers that be can make obtaining and maintaining a driver license a stringent and expensive process.
@gordon, I really don’t see why it would be a huge challenge to retest drivers, at least a written/computerized test for competency with existing and new laws. Since people need to go to a DMV office every 5 years anyway to get a renewed license and photo, this could be a step done at that time while they are already in the office.
I was on Negley Ave. today and got video. There was a lot of encroaching/parking in the bike lanes.
Northbound from Howe St. to Stanton Ave.
Southbound from Stanton Ave. to Centre Ave.
At 8:30 this morning there was significantly less inbound traffic on Negley from Stanton to Center. Out of curiosity I looked at traffic on google Maps, and Washington Blvd looked backed up from ARB to the oval.
I’m guessing that either 1) people coming in from the suburbs over the Highland Park bridge or on ARB got fed up with the state of their shortcut on Negley or 2) PennDOT put up some signage to direct people to Washington Blvd…. or a combination of both.
Any other ideas?
There’s no additional Penn dot signage. I think there is a decent amount of randomness in traffic. I think your sample size needs to be larger.
@z, the lanes look pretty par for the course.
I think yinzers will need time to get used them.
After all, we still give directions based on landmarks that have been gone for 30+ years.
Also note that DPW posted in tweet that they would adjust the traffic light timing at Penn and Negley to reflect the new configuration. Whether this was a planned move or an adjustment based on initial implementation is not clear, but at least they are being proactive about it.
(OT) now, if only they did something similar going eastbound on the Penn Ave cycle track. Seriously. If you get a red light at Penn and 10th, you will get a red light at Penn and 11th. No way to avoid the latter. At least not legally…
How does traffic light timing have anything to do with motorists parking in and encroaching on the bike lanes?
I think the traffic lights on Penn Ave. at 6th St. and 5th Ave. in Downtown need to be adjusted. The traffic light at 5th Ave. turns red a few seconds after the one at 6th St. turns green on every cycle. It is impossible to make it through both intersections without stopping. Also, I think the intersections of Penn Ave./Centre Ave., Penn Ave./Highland Ave. Centre Ave./Highland Ave. should have an exclusive pedestrian interval in their cycle. The traffic lights on Centre Ave. at Negley Ave., Aiken/Liberty Aves., Highland Ave., and East Liberty Blvd should have protected left implemented in every direction. Also, all way protected left and an exclusive pedestrian interval on Highland Ave. at Penn Ave. would be a good idea.
Worrying about traffic light timing for bikes is about as useful as discussing the color of toilet seats. Everyone bikes at different speeds. The light turns red; you stop. Frankly I worry more about getting a light green, since I’m more likely to encounter a left-cross or right hook if I’m already in motion. Even if it’s their fault, it’s still up to you as a cyclist to ensure you’re not going to get hit. If the light is red, I can usually tell better what someone in a car is going to do, and if I’m right alongside, I can make visual contact with the driver so they know I’m there. In short, having to stop for red lights when in a bike lane is a good thing.
On a street without a bike lane, I get in the driving lane at a traffic light, and pull to the right as soon as I am clear of crossing traffic to let following traffic pass.
So anyway, I drove through Center/Roup/Baum again this morning.
There’s more lines down on the ground and there’s a green carpet, with what looks like more coming later. From a driver’s perspective the intersection is much more readable than before. I’m optimistic that the whole thing will work out, eventually.
And while I have thread: My experience is that lights along main road are mostly timed to allow through passage for long distances when driving at the speed limit. This will not necessarily be true in both directions but it’s surprisingly common. Just think of it as an incentive to get yourself up to A class.
How are you supposed to drive or bike on a carpet? Wouldn’t the carpet get destroyed?
Also, what is A class?
I biked it northbound twice today. both times, there were cars parked in the bike lane on both sides for the entire block between Baum Blvd. and Friendship. After seeing this for the first time, I went to the Zone 5 police sttion to report it. After doing it again around 6:00 PM, I caught someone in the act of parking and notified him that what he was doing was illegal and can result in a citation. After I notified him about the bike lane, he gave me a sarcastic “So, everyone is doing it” response. There are no parking signs posted on all of the telephone poles as well as on sign posts along the entirety of the block. I also do not like how it becomes a DZBL past Penn Ave. I got video of both.
Really, that’s what it’s for; when you need a cop. You see a violation of the law, calling 911 is the right way to report it to the police. There’s no better way. You’re not wasting anybody’s time. They will prioritize the call. You won’t be taking them away from solving serious crime or anything.
(BTW, people who call 311 for issues where you need a cop: you’re just wasting time. They’ll have to call 911 for you. 311 is for city maintenance issues, like broken streetlights and potholes.)
Did you see where the first video ended? is there a way to post links to video evidence?
How are you supposed to drive or bike on a carpet? Wouldn’t the carpet get destroyed?
Figurative expression, referring to the green pavement used to designate bike-priority sections of a street.
Also, what is A class?
Came in on Negley today. There are now lanes from ELB in, with buffers. A crew was working on sharrows and stuff just north of Baum. Sharrows sketched in up to at least Ellsworth. Progress.
BTW, @zz, you have to call the police when you see the problem, and (perhaps) stay where the problem occurred, to talk with them. So, if you see people parked in the bike lane, call them right then and tell them about it. They’ll say something like, “we’ll send somebody out to take a look.” Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But if enough people call, eventually they will. And people will start getting tickets, and stop parking where they shouldn’t.
It doesn’t work to try to submit video evidence later, usually. At most you’ll get the police to call the guy with the license plate and warn them. (I’ve tried this, is how I know.) The best thing is to make the police think they’re needed to deal with a situation that needs fixing right now. That’s what they’re good at.
@Jonawebb, My grandfather told me that I shouldn’t call 911 over just seeing cars parked in the bike lanes a few times. It would be more appropriate if I continue to see it happening. If someone else or I get hurt because of the parked cars, I will call 911 then because it is an emergency.
I’m definitely not going to argue with a guy’s grandfather.
Hah! I actually have an original 78 rpm pressing of IMOG inherited through the fambily. Must be a hunnerd years old by now. It might even be a single-sided one, before they figured out they could cut tracks on two sides of a platter.
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