Returning students, faculty and staff have likely noticed a more bicycle-friendly Forbes Avenue near the Cathedral of Learning.
Bike lanes were added in both directions on the stretch of Forbes from Bigelow Boulevard to South Craig Street. The bike lanes now connect Pitt’s campus to Schenley Plaza, the Bayard Street bike lanes and Oakland’s two business districts on Forbes and Craig streets. The project reduced the number of vehicle lanes on Forbes Avenue from four lanes to three.
Two-stage left-turn boxes for cyclists have been added to the intersections of Forbes and South Craig and Forbes and Bigelow Boulevard. The left-turn boxes provide a way for cyclists to turn left from multi-lane roadways without having to cross into busy traffic. Bicycle-specific signals are part of the upgrades as well.
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A release from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s office said Forbes Avenue, a heavily trafficked route through North Oakland, lacked a safe route for cyclists commuting through the university campuses.
Bike lanes were also added to Bigelow Boulevard to address a block-long gap in the existing bicycle network between Fifth and Forbes avenues.
The bike lanes are part of a long-term project of Forbes Avenue upgrades, and Pitt is working in partnership with PennDOT, the City of Pittsburgh, Oakland Transportation Management Association and Carnegie Mellon University on the improvements.
The city’s capital budget fund is covering the cost of the bike lane pilot project, which included pavement marking, installation and flexible posts to cordon off the lane, according to the mayor’s office. PennDOT, which maintains Forbes Avenue, will incorporate bike lanes into its permanent design for installation in 2018, which will include extending bike lanes through Carnegie Mellon University’s campus to Margaret Morrison Street. The city will collect public comments before the final installation.
Future improvements also include a new signalized pedestrian crossing on Forbes Avenue between Bouquet Street and Bigelow Boulevard, as well as more visible crosswalks at the South Craig Street and Forbes Avenue intersection, upgraded Americans with Disabilities Act–compliant curbs and new crosswalk signals.