The City of Pittsburgh's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure is working to make this area safer for all users. The reconstruction of the Fern Hollow Bridge by PennDOT presents an opportunity to calm traffic at several complex intersections, and improve connections for pedestrians and cyclists who rely on this vital connection for commuting, access to Frick Park, and access between residential neighborhoods. DOMI's complete street project design is informed by the area's crash history, traffic analysis at each intersection, community input, and DOMI's Bike+ Plan.
Project Design & Intersection Improvements
After extensive data collection, field visits, public meetings & stakeholder comments, DOMI is excited to share with you the upcoming safety improvements for the Forbes Ave, S Dallas Ave, Beechwood Blvd and Beacon St intersections. In December 2022 the Winter 2023 Interim Conditions plan will be installed and traffic patterns will change. See that plan on the next tab. The plan below will be installed in Spring 2023. Each design feature is explained in points A-L below.
A – S Dallas Avenue between Forbes Avenue and Beechwood Boulevard will become 1-way southbound. The “Stop Except Right Turn” sign on southbound S Dallas Ave will be removed and a dedicated left-turn lane will be added to reduce motorist confusion.
The existing crosswalk across S Dallas Ave, along Beechwood Blvd, will be more easily navigated by pedestrians because of reduced traffic volumes from only one direction and predictable gaps in traffic provided by the traffic signal at Forbes Ave at S Dallas Ave.
B – A stop sign on Beechwood Blvd eastbound at S Dallas Ave will be added to allow southbound S Dallas Ave to be a free-flowing movement (see safety improvements associated with point A). A red flashing beacon will be added to this stop sign for the first 90 days of operation to alert motorists to the revised condition.
C – A contra-flow bike lane for northbound cyclists will be added to maintain 2-way operations on S Dallas Ave for cyclists, preserving access to the Homewood Cemetery and a route on the Bike+ Plan.
D – Intersection improvements at Beechwood Blvd at Beacon St will improve safety with a protected intersection: calming traffic by narrowing travel lanes, improving yield compliance at crosswalks, decreasing pedestrian crossing distances and protecting the bike lanes through the intersection.
E – A climbing (uphill only) bike lane on Beacon St will connect to the Bartlett St Neighborway, closing a gap in the Bike+ Network and decreasing stress for both cyclists and drivers by giving them separate lanes for this steep section.
F – The existing ramp from Beechwood Blvd to Forbes Avenue will be permanently closed to vehicular traffic. The proposed 2-way cycle track on Forbes Ave will connect to existing bike lanes on Beechwood Blvd at this location
G – A “crossbike”, which is a green crosswalk designed to facilitate bike movements, will be installed at the end of the Forbes Avenue 2-way cycle track to improve visibility at the intersection of these two bike facilities. A speed hump will be installed to calm westbound Beechwood Blvd traffic approaching this area.
H – The north Beechwood Blvd parking lane East of S Dallas Avenue will be removed to create a pedestrian walking space connecting to end of the existing Beechwood Blvd sidewalk to the East. It will be protected with flex posts along with the adjacent bike lane.
I – The speed limit on Forbes Avenue from S Dallas Ave to Braddock Ave will be lowered from 35 mph to 25 mph.
J – The proposed 2-way cycle track from the Fern Hollow Bridge to Beechwood Blvd will be protected with concrete jersey barriers.
K – The traffic signals at Forbes Ave at S Dallas Ave and Forbes Ave at Beechwood Blvd will be retimed to accommodate new traffic patterns in this area.
L – An all-way stop condition at Beacon St at Beechwood Blvd will be investigated in spring 2023 according to federal engineering standards after traffic volumes have had time to adjust to these new traffic patterns.
Winter 2023 Interim Conditions
Construction of the full project cannot be completed during the winter. However, operational changes will be implemented at the end of 2022 with the reopening of the Fern Hollow Bridge. These include:
- S Dallas Ave between Forbes Ave and Beechwood Blvd will become 1-way southbound. Traffic will not be permitted northbound.
- The existing ramp between Beechwood Blvd and Forbes Ave will be closed to vehicle traffic.
- The stop sign on Beechwood Blvd eastbound will be added.
Dependent on weather and contractor availability, the changes shown under Project Design & Intersection Improvements will follow in Spring 2023.