Redesign Bates Street between 2nd Avenue and the Boulevard of the Allies to allow improved transit access, and better bicycle and pedestrian amenities. This redesign should also be part of hillside stabilization efforts in the area and include native habitat restoration. At/along Bates Street north of Boulevard of the Allies, focus improvements on expanding street width to allow a left turn from the Boulevard onto Bates Street, and reducing conflicts between auto uses and pedestrians.

  • Distinct from the Oakland Plan, PennDOT is exploring a project to widen Bates to four lanes between Second Ave and Boulevard of the Allies. Many details are pending at the time of the Oakland Plan’s publication.
  • Oakland community members, organizations, and transit advocates have voiced a strong desire for public transit on Bates Street or on a path parallel to Bates Street, with preference for a dedicated transit lane so transit users avoid getting slowed down by private vehicle congestion.
  • There are not easy direct commuter transit routes into Oakland from the Mon Valley that avoid the delays of first passing through downtown. The lack of public transit on Bates Street between Second Ave and Boulevard of the Allies contributes to this. These conditions in effect encourage more single-occupancy car trips to Oakland and exacerbate the parking challenges and parking demand in Oakland as well as traffic congestion and transportation safety issues.
  • Parking challenges in Oakland contribute to secondary effects, encouraging property owners to rent out land for parking spaces instead of other uses, such as planting or retaining trees.
  • There is a desire for a better bicycle connection between Oakland and the Eliza Furnace Trail, and Bates Street does not currently provide a safe connection. On a related note, community members identified difficulties making safe pedestrian and bike connections to other parts of the trail network within proximity of Bates Street, such as the Hazelwood Trail, and to adjacent neighborhoods. The nearby intersection of Second Ave and Hot Metal Bridge was also identified by community members as needing multimodal safety improvements.
  • The existing sidewalk conditions on Bates Street and sidewalk obstructions present significant difficulties for pedestrian safety and accessibility.
  • There is interest in reconstructing and/or repairing the Frazier Street Steps, Romeo Street Steps, and steps at Ayers, Mackey and Hodge Streets, to link residential areas of South Oakland to Bates Street and improve neighborhood connectivity and access. Appropriate wayfinding signage at Frazier Street Steps is requested.
  • There is interest in restoring the Lawn Street green strip and developing the trails from Lawn Street down the Oakcliffe Greenway (Rock Alley path) to link South Oakland to the Eliza Furnace Trail and Second Avenue in order to improve neighborhood connectivity and access.
  • Some residents expressed significant concerns with the premise of the PennDOT project to widen Bates Street, citing anticipated increases in congestion and parking problems in Oakland, as well as hillside stability issues, utility conflicts, noise concerns, residential impacts, and mobility, equity and climate concerns they would like PennDOT to consider.
  • Interest was expressed in preserving the Bates Street parklet green space (southeast corner of Bates and Boulevard of the Allies) during the PennDOT widening project.
  • Interest was voiced in allowing vehicle left-turns at Boulevard of the Allies and Bates.
  • Public transit on Bates Street should be a critical element of any major infrastructure project, and the addition of a dedicated transit lane should be explored. Bicycle and pedestrian access improvements, including a new direct bike connection on Bates to the Eliza Furnace Trail, safer connections to bike and pedestrian routes near Bates Street, and the reconstruction of the Frazier Street Steps, should also be incorporated.
  • Bike facilities should ensure adequate safety and buffering measures to protect cyclists on the highly trafficked vehicle route that is Bates Street. A sidewalk-level or protected two-way facility is preferred for this segment.
  • Improved lighting should be provided. Hillside stabilization and naturalization measures should be considered in the Bates basin. Coordinate with the “Bates Basin Sustainable Revitalization” strategy in the infrastructure chapter.
  • Consider the above improvements as linked to other proposals seeking to expand the existing hillside trail network in surrounding areas and the trail network to the riverfront. This includes further study and design of the proposed trail from Lawn Street down the Oakcliffe Greenway to the Eliza Furnace Trail and Second Avenue.
  • A proposed bicycle network connection along Bates Street between Boulevard of the Allies and McKee Place is identified in the Bike Route Improvements program and in the Reimagine Boulevard of the Allies project. Exact details of this connection require further analysis and community engagement.
  • On Bates Street north of Boulevard of the Allies, opportunities should be explored to allow a left turn from the Boulevard onto Bates Street, while reducing conflicts between auto uses and pedestrians.
  • While implementation and decision-making around over many of the above project goals and components fall under PennDOT's authority, local governments and partners should help voice community interests.
  • Please see the Reimagine Boulevard of the Allies project for additional information relevant to Bates Street in its relation to Boulevard of the Allies.

When to start: 0-2 years

Duration: 5 years

Estimated costs: $$ (out of $$$$)

Project lead(s): PennDOT, DOMI, DCP, PAAC, OTMA

Project partner(s): OPDC, institutions, Bike Pittsburgh, Friends of the Riverfront

Potential funding source(s): PennDOT

Examples, illustrations, data