Connecting neighborhoods in the middle of the city
The Ellsworth Corridor has long been an important route and connector for people on bikes, ranking high in the city’s annual bike count. Sandwiched between the heavily car oriented Fifth Ave and the Baum/Centre corridor, it provides one of the better bicycling options for an east-west connection between Oakland and points east.
However, Ellsworth itself, while the most direct, intuitive and ridden, is narrow, with sporadic parking patterns that force bikes into and out of traffic, creating a chaotic and sometimes dangerous environment for all users of the roadway. Other alternatives, such as Howe, Kentucky, or Elmer are not as direct, contain lots of one-way streets that make the route confusing, and most importantly, do not connect to Neville St – the primary route to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail system that leads to the South Side and Downtown.
Originally identified as a “high need” improvement in the 1999 Bike Plan, the City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) has been looking at this corridor for decades to see how to make it safer and accommodate more people. A few years ago, residents were not able to reach a consensus on some proposed Complete Street designs to create a corridor that accommodates all users, increases access and most importantly, improves public safety.
There is now an initiative, MoveForwardPGH, that aims to accelerate the goals and vision of the recently published 2020 Bike(+) Plan, and improve the corridor. Building not only on years of research regarding Ellsworth Avenue by the city, but also in response to a recent severe crash and increased use of the corridor by all residents due to COVID-19. DOMI is planning to revisit this corridor, starting with a fresh planning process beginning with the creation of an advisory committee to ensure the community is involved from the very beginning in creating design solutions.
Crash Data – 63 crashes 2015-2019: 23 injuries, 8 pedestrians, 5 bicyclists
Why the Ellsworth Corridor?
As previously explained, Ellsworth is a high use bicycle corridor due to the important connections it provides throughout the area. However, there are also high numbers of crashes, and we feel that with engineering and a street redesign, we can create an environment that is less confusing and less stressful for everyone, no matter how you get around the corridor.
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.
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