Build a safe and improved pedestrian and bicycle route along Neville and Boundary Streets, connecting North Oakland to the Junction Hollow Trail.
- The section of Neville Street between Fifth Ave and Joncaire Street is a stretch commonly used by multiple modes: vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. Many high school and university students at nearby institutions walk the route. Neville and Boundary Street between the Junction Hollow Trail (in Schenley Park south of Joncaire St) and Fifth Ave is an important bicycling corridor offering direct cycling access from Shadyside and Squirrel Hill through Oakland and down to the riverfront trail system served by the Junction Hollow Trail. The Neville Street route between Joncaire and Fifth Ave is regularly used by cars traveling to and from Central Oakland.
- Development in Hazelwood and other riverfront areas may increase the volume of pedestrians and cyclists seeking to use the Junction Hollow Trail to/from Fifth Ave.
- Significant segments of this stretch of Neville / Boundary Streets do not have adequate sidewalk or bicycle facilities and present mode conflicts for all users, especially in the segment between Hamerschlag Drive (near the railroad tracks) and Joncaire Street. Residents and stakeholders have shared concerns about frequent traffic safety hazards.
- There are multiple challenges to address in designing a safer bike and pedestrian route along this stretch of Neville Street, including the narrow right of way, topographical and geotechnical constraints, traffic volumes, existing developments near the right of way line, the CSX Railroad right of way, coordination among numerous stakeholders, and more.
- DOMI, as part of the Mon-Oakland Connector project, conducted design and engineering studies to explore on-street and off-street alternatives for a bicycle and pedestrian route along Neville Street between approximately the CMU Neville Parking lot and Joncaire Street. The most recent version of the DOMI plan includes an option for an 8-10 foot wide shared use path located off-street at select segments and on-street at other segments, with a proposed at-grade pedestrian crossing of Neville St. On Boundary Street south of Joncaire St, where traffic volumes are lower, DOMI’s design anticipates pedestrians using the existing sidewalk on Boundary Street to travel into and out of the park, with cyclists using the Boundary Street cartway.
- The Mon-Oakland Connector project recently underwent a shift in scope at the mayor’s direction. This could potentially lead to renewed discussions and dialogue about the proposed plans and scope for the Neville Street bicycle and pedestrian route.
- Additionally, OPDC, Bike Pittsburgh, and area volunteers studied the issues involved in the Neville/Boundary bike/pedestrian connection to Junction Hollow Trail in 2017 and created a report to assist planning projects.
- A community stakeholder voiced that a sidewalk at-grade along Neville Street would be preferred, or at the least a clear and desirable off-road pedestrian-only connection offered, so that any pedestrian route would be as obvious and direct as feasible. There is concern that utility of a pedestrian route may be diminished otherwise.
- Pavement and lighting improvements would improve safety for cyclists traveling along Neville and Boundary Streets. Lighting is especially in need of improvement along Boundary Street south of Joncaire.
- There was a request that while pursuing bike and pedestrian access improvements, consideration be given to possibly reconstructing the intersection at Joncaire and Neville/Boundary St, which may also have drainage concerns.
- There is interest in improving the Zigzag Trail, which links from the Junction Hollow Trail to the Bridle Trail (connection from low-elevation portion of Schenley Park to upper section of park).
- There is interest in building a safe, legal pedestrian connection across the railroad tracks near Panther Hollow Lake.
- There is interest in adding wayfinding signage directing users to Joncaire Steps and to the Junction Hollow Trail.
- Complete design and construction of a safe pedestrian and bicycle route along Neville / Boundary Street between Fifth Ave and the Junction Hollow Trail. Engage community and stakeholder groups to share the latest DOMI design and come to a mutually agreeable path forward for the project. The DOMI design may involve on-street and/or off-street options for a bicycle and pedestrian route between the CMU Neville Parking lot and Joncaire Street.
- Where appropriate, conduct technical survey and design of any remaining pedestrian and bicycle route gaps in the larger stretch between Fifth Ave and the Junction Hollow Trail. Explore and review opportunities to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety where Neville Street crosses the railway below the Forbes Ave Bridge and for the section of Neville Street between the CMU Neville Parking Lot and Hamerschlag Drive.
- Inventory (or verify existing survey of) curbside uses and street traffic patterns on Neville Street between Fifth Ave and Hamerschlag Drive, including loading activity at CMU facilities, as part of studies to explore the addition of a safe bicycle route on the section of Neville Street between Hamerschlag Drive and Fifth Ave.
- Engage with stakeholders and community groups regarding any potential additional safety measures to incorporate into design for the section of Boundary Street south of Joncaire Street that leads to the Junction Hollow Trail, which experiences relatively lower traffic volumes.
- Stakeholders should be engaged or re-engaged as appropriate regarding DOMI’s proposed design and any other design measures explored. Additional public engagement should help develop a mutually agreeable path forward for the project. Coordinate design and implementation closely with adjoining property owners, including CSX Railroad, CMU, Central Catholic High School, Duquesne Light, Pitt, and neighboring residences, among others.
- Additional stakeholders and partners are to be determined, but should include the Mayor’s Office, relevant City Council Districts, PWSA, DPW, CitiParks, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, as well as residents in the immediate areas of Neville Street and Panther Hollow and adjacent neighborhoods, students, and community groups in the vicinity of the projects or served by the improved connections.
- Either as part of the existing DOMI project or as separate projects, explore potential opportunities to improve pavement and lighting along Neville and Boundary Streets where appropriate, consider studying improvements to the Zigzag trail to safely connect the Junction Hollow Trail to the Bridle Trail, and consider opportunities to build a safe connection across the railroad tracks near Panther Hollow Lake.
When to start: 0-2 years
Duration: 2-3 years
Estimated costs: $$$ (out of $$$$)
Project lead(s): DOMI
Project partner(s): OTMA, DCP, OPDC, Bike Pittsburgh, institutions
Potential funding source(s): City Capital Budget, County and State mobility grants, partnerships with institutions and developers