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Winter in Pittsburgh

Public transportation Poor

Photo of Mary Lyons

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Public transportation is often a40 to 50 minute wait and there is none in the evening. No parking facilities near public transportation. There was free parking until the city removed it for a bike trail that is seldom used. Give buses stop near that parking and it is gone. In winter bike trails are better maintained than streets.

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Roads are for cars


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Photo of Aly Stone

Hi Mary, I'm Aly, a community facilitator here. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! Do you mind saying a little bit more - where in the city are you usually experiencing issues waiting so long for a bus and finding a way to get around at night? Also, if you have a photo of any of the areas you're referring to, please add it to your post to help others visualize your experience.

Photo of Mary Lyons

Greenfield. Free parking for five buses was available at Greenfield, Hazelwood Avenue and Irvine Street. The free parking was on Irvine but a bike lane eliminated the parking.

In the winter I cannot drive due to the steep hill I live on and black ice on the road. I cannot get a bus due to schedules and cannot walk down the hill in black ice.

In reality bikes can only be used in Pittsburgh about four months of the year. Snow and ice in the winter, heavy rains in April and June.

Please note that I love the bike trails and walk them all the time. Only licensed vehicles should be on the street. When I make a right hand turn with a green light I have to watch that a bike has not squeezed next to my car in a blind spot. Most bikers do not abide by traffic regulations.

The City of Pittsburgh needs to concentrate on water, replacing old pipes, reconstruction of roads that have been patched for years, police protection, particularly after the shut down of our parkway last night, etc.
Our infrastructure is falling apart as well as our safety. I grew up never having to lock a door now there are shootings every day. We need priorities set.

Photo of Aly Stone

Mary, thanks for the detailed reply! Very informative - particularly with regard to the challenges of catching a bus in the winter and being faced with a steep hill and ice otherwise. If you do have a picture of this situation/hill, please add it to your post as it will help others visualize and relate to the transportation problems you're facing! I think you also have a point there with regards to safety concerns...if buses aren't arriving on time in the evening, I can imagine feeling not so comfortable myself.

Photo of Mary Lyons

The majority of Pittsburgh roads are steep and narrow. I have to pull over on my street when cars are coming the opposite way and going around bends in the road you are often limited to visibility less than one half a car length. This is a TYPICAL road in Pittsburgh for streets that are not primary roads. This makes it near impossible to be able to see bikes. Bikers going up Greenfield Avenue tie up traffic because they are going less than 5 miles an hour. Passing them is dangerous because of incoming traffic around sharp blind turns

The only section of Pittsburgh with good public transit is the South Hills that has T line. If you live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh which are often a 20 to 30 minutes drive without traffic the buses run only early in the morning and during rush hour. Those people are forced to find jobs that meet the bus schedule or drive and in rush hour it can take sixty to ninety minutes for a thirty minute trip.

Mass transit and roads need to take priority over bikes.

Photo of Aly Stone

Mary - I have definitely had the experience of pulling over to let oncoming cars pass around here as well. On one hand, I do see how bikes on the roads tie up traffic, but on the other, a person on a bike is one less car clogging up traffic. Do you see a way in which we can improve mass transit but have cyclists coexist?

Photo of Patrick Solomon

In regards to bikers and hills, there are a lot of companies that are making electric assist bicycles/ conversion kits. If the city were to offer a tax rebate for people who purchase an electric assist bike we might see more of them on the road. They help cyclist propel themselves up hills, and in flat areas.

Photo of Aly Stone

Thanks for commenting Patrick Solomon ! Are these similar to the scooters mentioned in this post - ? I do think they seem quite useful in hilly cities. May be a point to keep in mind for next week, when we move into the idea phase of the challenge.

Photo of Patrick Solomon

Hi Aly,

The scoots they are mentioning kind of looking like a ravor scoot that you stand on. The most common one is Bird. With Bird and it competitors, you download an app and then you can see where all the scooters in the city are. You can find the closest scooter to you, and then unlock it through the app. When you are down you lock it with the app, and can leave it anywhere. People in SF are leaving them in the middle of the side walk. SF is working on rules about how and where you can leave the scooters.

What I am talking about is turning bicycles into Hybrids. There are bikes, and kits that people can buy so that they get an electric boost when they peddle. Most of these bikes cost at leak $1500, but they give you the ability to travel faster, further, and up hills without sweating. The one that I posted below you can test out at Love Bikes in Lawrenceville. I took it down Butler and then up the hill to the hospital, made it up the hill without sweating, without standing, and going about 13mph.

Photo of Aly Stone

Patrick, this is great, thank you for the clarification!

Photo of Mary Lyons

Absolutely not. Millions of dollars have already been spent on bike trails where the bikes belong. The existing bike lanes n our roads are dangerous and due to weather can only be used five months of the year. Bikes need to be licensed. I have almost been hit by bikes on a walking trail several times and in downtown while walking across a street when I had the cross walk light giving me the right of way.

Quit wasting money and address the real issues, water and infrastructure.
And hire a consulting firm in Pittsburgh that knows our roads and terrain. Why are we spending money out of state because it is obvious you do not know even the basic issues