Guest post by Patrick Singleton
Active Allegheny, the Active Transportation component of Allegheny Places, the Comprehensive Plan for Allegheny County, has been released. “Active transportation” is human-powered travel, most notably walking and biking. The Active Allegheny plan identifies desires, deficiencies, and opportunities for the bicycle and pedestrian networks in the County, recommends system improvements, and provides toolboxes and best practice guidelines to accomplish those improvements.
The plan has much to say about Polish Hill, specifically Bigelow Boulevard. It finds that Bigelow Boulevard is the 15th highest roadway in the County for pedestrian crashes (15 crashes in five years), and that Bigelow is also one of the top 10 most-deficient roadways in the County for bicycling. As a result of these safety statistics, high speeding traffic, and poor sidewalk conditions, Bigelow Boulevard is singled out as one of a handful of roadways recommended for both bicycle and pedestrian improvements. These improvements could include traffic calming or speed control measures, bicycle lanes, street furniture, or pedestrian-scale lighting.
Another major recommendation of Active Allegheny is that Bigelow Boulevard should be studied to consider performing a “road diet” or conversion to a “complete street.” These are smart transportation concepts that accommodate and improve safety and accessibility for all travel modes, including people driving, bicycling, walking, rolling, and riding transit. It should be noted that the plan only produced general recommendations, and that more work is needed to find funding to plan, design, and construct these improvements.
Read the entire plan online at Active Allegheny.