By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Bike lane coming to 18th Street

 


The May general meeting of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) included news about the proposed South 18th St. bike climbing lane, South Side Park, OpenStreetsPGH, the annual Summer Picnic, and more.

It was held on May 9 at the Henry Kaufman Neighborhood House in the Slopes.

In the evening’s only presentation, Kristin Saunders, bicycle/pedestrian coordinator in the Dept. of City Planning, discussed the South 18th St. climbing lane draft plan.

She said the street is a favored way for bicyclists to climb the hill to Allentown and Mt. Oliver.

The project would build a climbing lane – a bike lane only in the uphill direction – one mile from Edwards Way in the Flats to Monastery Way. The route would continue with shared lane markings and signage to the trail head at the riverfront to the north and to the Warrington and Arlington business districts.

She said narrowing travel lanes to 10-feet and striping a parking lane would slow traffic and encourage vehicles to park fully in the street.

To accommodate a bike lane on the street, the parking regulations would change to only allow parking on one side of the street.

City Councilman Bruce Kraus said the stretch of Edwards Way to Mission, which includes Josephine, is complicated as it is well-populated and there are not a lot of parking options. There will be pushback.

The final design phase has not started. There is no project timeline.

Ms. Saunders said she is currently discussing the draft plan with the community and property owners.

Next, in her South Side signals update, Ms. Saunders said signals will be replaced at these intersections: 18th St./Sarah, 18th St./Jane, 18th St./Mission, 18th St./Arlington, and at Brownsville Rd./Bausman. A new signal will be installed at 18th St./Josephine.

The signals will have a countdown for pedestrians and audible sounds. There will be radar detection for cyclists and cars.

The construction date is summer, 2019, following 12 to 18 months of design work.

In South Side Park news, the Friends of South Side Park met with city and other officials about getting a park ranger. Residents should continue to call 911 for dumping, and 911 for hunting sightings “to continue to show the need there.”

Goats will be in the park in June and July to eat unwanted and invasive vegetation.

Regarding the park’s master plan, a $40,000 grant was received from the state Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The city matched the grant, for a total of $80,000 for the plan.

The hope is to have a master plan next year at this time that will help with the purchase of pavilions and more.

In other news, there will be outreach meetings this summer with neighborhood planners about the Steps and the SSSNA’s priorities on repairs.

On a related note, Mr. Kraus said a motorist recently drove into the 18th St. steps, causing minor damage. The city will pursue the driver’s insurance carrier to cover costs.

He also reported that a 18th St. wall is collapsing on property that is privately owned. The matter went before Judge Gene Ricciardi on April 10, and is scheduled back at 8:45 a.m. on June 8 before Judge Ricciardi.

In upcoming events, the monthly meeting of the South Side Smart Streets, which advocates for pedestrian, cyclist, and motorist safety, will be held at 6 p.m. on May 16. The site is to be determined; see Facebook for updates.

A Taste of Allentown will be held at 6 p.m. on May 20 along E. Warrington Ave. Tickets may be purchased at: http://www.allentownpgh.com . Participants may sample offerings at various restaurants on the historic main street, including Alla Famiglia, Onion Maiden, Day La Soul, and others.

The 26th Annual Historic South Side Home Tour will be held on May 20. To volunteer, visit the South Side Community Council website.

At 11 a.m. on May 21, everyone is welcome to join the Friends of South Side Park at Josephine and 21st streets to hike South Side Park and the StepTrek Steps. Dogs are welcome. After the hike, the group will move over to the South Side Dog Festival at the Double Wide Grill.

OpenStreetsPGH will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 28.

This will be the third year for the event in which three miles of city streets will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for joggers, bicyclists, walkers, and skaters to use the streets for fun in a car-free environment.

East Carson St. will be closed to cars from 4 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., although key intersections will remain open.

Last year, 22,000 people participated in the events.

The second spring cleanup in South Side Park will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on May 30. Volunteers should gather at the Bandi Schaum Community Garden.

The SSSNA’s annual summer picnic will be held at 6:30 p.m. on July 11 at Bandi Schaum.

A South Side block party will be held on Sept. 16 at the Ormsby Community Recreation Center.

 

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