Fill critical gaps in Oakland’s bicycle network through the installation of safe, convenient bicycle facilities that would make biking a reasonable transportation option for thousands more people.
- Many people travel by bicycle in Oakland daily, some utilizing its numerous Pittsburgh Bikeshare stations. Many people also travel by bicycle daily between Oakland and surrounding neighborhoods. Many more people could do so if safer, more welcoming facilities were available. The introduction of E-bikes (electrically-assisted bikes) to the Pittsburgh Bikeshare fleet in 2022 may encourage additional bicycle travel, especially on steeper street segments.
- Dedicated bicycle facilities in Oakland are separated by challenging gaps, requiring cyclists to use portions of cautionary bike routes on Forbes, Fifth, Bates, and Boulevard of the Allies to reach their destinations.
- Better connections are needed to existing trails in Panther Hollow and the Eliza Furnace Trail (the popular riverfront trail system) that provide valuable connections to Downtown, South Side and other neighborhoods. Better connections are also needed to neighborhoods to the west, north, and east, such as the Hill District, Bloomfield, and Larimer. Solutions for some of these connections have already been proposed, such as continuous bike facilities linking Fifth Avenue, Neville Street, and Boundary Street indicated in the Bike+ Plan.
- Community stakeholders identified the importance of orderly management of all modes of travel, and consideration of dedicated bike signals, turn lanes, and bike boxes, for safety purposes and for reducing potential conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians.
- The "chute" (circuitous bicycle route to connect cyclists on Saline Street to the Eliza Furnace Trail via Greenfield Ave, Second Ave, Swinburne Street, and Three Rivers Heritage Trail Parking lot) has been a longstanding challenge for cyclists seeking to access the Eliza Furnace Trail from the Junction Hollow Trail, and there is interest in a safer, more direct connection.
- There was a community member proposal to construct a shared use path, in switchback form, down the hillside adjacent to Swinburne Street in South Oakland connecting to the Junction Hollow Trail, to reduce what is currently a circuitous path for bicycle commuters to/from South Oakland.
- There has been community interest in a bicycle connection from the Eliza Furnace Trail at South Oakland's edge to Brady Street in Uptown/Bluff and up to Forbes Ave and Fifth Ave near the Birmingham Bridge.
Each new bike facility segment should extend far enough to close a significant network gap or reach a significant cycling destination. New segments should avoid endpoints that force cyclists to use cautionary bike routes. Because many facilities require reconfiguration of the street section and/or some additional right of way, it will be important to coordinate them with other street improvements (addressing elements like pedestrian safety, street trees, and parking) and engage major adjoining property owners, residents, and district organizations as partners where appropriate.
The following three corridors identified on the proposed bicycle network are key connections that should be prioritized for implementation over the next 10 years. These corridors, when combined with the two-way cycle track to be constructed on Fifth Avenue, will create continuous connections via protected bicycle facilities between Schenley Park, the Eliza Furnace Trail, and south and central Oakland.
- Bates Street from Eliza Furnace Trail to McKee Place:
- PennDOT’s design project is underway for Bates Street south of Boulevard of the Allies to widen the street and incorporate bicycle facilities. A sidewalk-level or protected two-way facility with a new direct connection to the Eliza Furnace Trail is preferred for this segment.
- The two-way protected bicycle facility on Bates Street should be extended north of Boulevard of the Allies to connect to the proposed two-way cycle track on McKee Place. This can be combined with future redevelopment around Zulema Street.
- McKee Place from Bates Street to Fifth Avenue - A two-way protected bicycle facility will connect the proposed protected bicycle facility on Bates Street with the future cycle track on Fifth Avenue in Central Oakland.
- Boulevard of the Allies from Schenley Park to Bates Street – A two-way protected bicycle facility will provide connections between Schenley Park and the proposed protected bicycle facilities on Bates Street and McKee Place.
- Explore all aspects of relevant bike infrastructure during the study and design of bike network improvements (e.g. including the possibility of elements such as dedicated bike signals, bike boxes, turn lanes, etc., where appropriate).
- Pursue opportunities to install connections identified in the Oakland Plan and the Bike(+) Plan that connect Oakland with surrounding neighborhoods, such as the Hill District, Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, Hazelwood, and others.
- Pursue a traffic study that looks at potential improved bike (+) connections between the Junction Hollow Trail and the Eliza Furnace Trail. Consider additional connections from South Oakland to the Junction Hollow Trail and nearby trails.
When to start by project:
Implementation timeframes for the recommended bicycle corridors are shown below. The corridors should also be prioritized based on ability to meet criteria discussed under Project Goals and Components below.
- Bates Street bike facilities: 0-2 years (2nd Avenue to Boulevard of the Allies); 5-7 years (Boulevard of the Allies to McKee Place)
- Boulevard of the Allies bike facilities (east of Bates): 0-2 years
- Robinson Street: 0-2 years
- Neville Street (Fifth Ave to Junction Hollow Trail): 0-2 years
- Fifth Avenue bikeway extension (South Bellefield to Neville Streets): 3-5 years
- McKee Place: 3-5 years
- Other improvements: ongoing
Duration: Up to 2 years for design and construction for each project
Estimated costs: $-$$ (out of $$$$) depending on facility
Project lead(s): DOMI
Project partner(s): Institutions, OTMA, OPDC, OBID, BikePGH, Pittsburgh Bikeshare, PID
Potential funding source(s): City Trust Fund, foundations, institutions, federal grants.