Connecting Neighbors Across the Allegheny
The 16th Street/David McCullough Bridge traverses the Allegheny River between grocery stores and shops in the Strip District to residential areas near Progress Street on the Northside. While a popular connection between the Penn Ave Bike Lanes and the North Shore Trail, people riding bikes across it must contend with either fast moving traffic on the roadway or pedestrians on 8-foot sidewalks not built for both modes.
Due to narrow travel lanes and adjacent guardrail, it is difficult for motorists to pass a vehicle traveling in the same direction on the bridge; many motorists choose to drive in a staggered fashion to provide more distance between vehicles. Larger trucks also commonly extend into the adjacent lane. Due to these current practices, the bridge effectively operates as one lane in each direction along its length. Additionally, there have been 30 crashes in the last 5 years according to PennDOT data. Nearly 50 percent of crashes were a result of angle or sideswipe collisions.
DOMI proposes a road diet for the bridge to reduce vehicle collisions and provide dedicated space for bicyclists on the roadway as opposed to leaving them exposed or sharing sidewalks with pedestrians.
Currently, the 40-foot cartway has two 10-foot lanes in each direction and carries approximately 11,500 vehicles per day. DOMI’s road diet would reconfigure the bridge to have one 11’ travel lane in each direction, as well as 250-foot long turn lanes on either end, and new 6-foot bike lanes.
In the center of the bridge’s span for a length of about 1,500 feet, the bike lanes will have painted buffers separating them from the motor vehicle lanes. Bicycle lanes will extend north onto Chestnut Street to East Ohio Street, connecting with the existing bike network including the North Shore Trail, East Ohio Street bike lanes and Troy Hill Road bike lanes.
Chestnut Street will also be reduced to one lane in each direction with left turn lanes at Progress and Canal Streets, which will reduce the risk of crashes and increase efficiency by providing a dedicated place for turning vehicles clear from the path of through traffic. To the south, this route connects to the Penn Avenue bike lanes that lead into downtown, as well as the new Smallman Street bike lanes that connect into the Strip District.
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FAQ’s about the project
What is MoveForwardPGH?
MoveForwardPGH is a collaborative program between the City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI), Bike Pittsburgh, and Healthy Ride to help rapidly implement the new Bike(+) Plan, as well as market how less stressful roadways are beneficial for everyone, regardless of how they use our streets. See the https://moveforwardpgh.org/ website for more information.
Why the 16th Street Bridge?
Bridges serve to connect our communities and leave large gaps if they are not accessible to all modes of transportation including bicyclists and pedestrians. The 16th Street Bridge connects the Northside to the Strip District, as well as connecting the North Shore Trail to the Penn Ave bike lanes, helping to complete the network outlined in the Bike(+) Plan.
How many crashes occurred on this corridor?
There have been 30 crashes in the last 5 years according to PennDOT data. Nearly 50 percent of crashes were a result of angle or sideswipe collisions. This indicates that the narrow travel lanes and adjacent guardrail do not provide adequate spaces for vehicles including large trucks to pass one another.
What is a Road Diet and why do they work?
According to the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA), Road Diets repositions pavement markings to better meet the needs of all road users and found that four-lane to three-lane Road Diet conversions reduce the total number of crashes by 19 to 47 percent. Take a look at this FHWA video for more information.
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