Pittsburgh Union Progress: Pittsburgh gets another grant for upcoming East Liberty bike-pedestrian project

Pittsburgh is building a nice nest egg for a proposed bicycle-pedestrian project in part of East Liberty, but the timing and complete cost of the work aren’t decided yet.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced $49.5 million in grants last week under the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program, including $1.07 million for the bicycle project. Last month, the city received a $1.5 million grant from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission for the same project.

The project involves bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Negley Avenue between Friendship Avenue and Broad Street. Jacob Williams, spokesman for Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, called it a “wonderful project” that’s in its early stages of engineering and design so the expected cost and start of construction haven’t been determined yet.

“The city is supportive of this project and will provide financial investment into the project if needed,” he said in an email response to questions.

According to descriptions in the grant awards, the project will include bike lanes with a new traffic light at Negley and Penn avenues with bump-outs to reduce the distance for pedestrians crossing the intersection; a queuing lane for bikers turning left on Coral Street; and a speed cushion between Friendship and Coral to reduce speed for motor vehicles and improve safety.

Intersections also will include highly visible crosswalks, ADA ramps and audible push buttons to help people with disabilities.

Overall, Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll announced grants for 55 projects across the state. Those projects include others to improve bicycle-pedestrian safety, provide safer access to schools and extend trails to connect communities.

“A diverse transportation network that is both accessible and safe is the cornerstone of healthy connected communities,” Carroll said in a news release. “I am excited to see the investment in communities around the state to improve access to critical services.”

There were two other grants in Allegheny County: $38,000 to Bike Pittsburgh and $301,984 to Ross.

Bike Pittsburgh plans to use its grant for a pilot program to conduct at least five distribution and education events at Pittsburgh Public or charter schools. The group will hold assemblies or make classroom visits to encourage students to bike or walk to school safely.

At each event, the group will distribute free bike lights and helmets to students. Bike Pittsburgh plans to expand the program in future years.

In Ross, the township will install a new portion of sidewalk from the Jim Shorkey Toyota dealership to McKnight Road near the Browns Lane intersection. The project also will include a partial retaining wall along the sidewalk and an improved Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus stop on Browns Lane.

View the full article at unionprogress.com.