Traffic

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey said this week he wants to prevent a provision in the federal transportation spending bill that would allow 85-foot tractor-trailers on Pennsylvania roads because he believes the bigger rigs will exacerbate state infrastructure problems.

These “Twin 33” trucks are 17 feet longer than the current 68-foot models.

Phil Quinn / wikipedia

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back on 2014 and airing some of the Essential Pittsburgh stories that were most popular on our website, wesa.fm.

To hear the full-length audio for this story, please refer to the original post.

Pittsburgh has some pretty unique topography as far as cities go. It’s basically a peninsula with mountains. With the city’s bridges and its triangular shape, there were many questions to be asked about why the roads aren't more efficient. Traffic and road layouts are the focus of the popular blog, Nonsensical Roads of Pittsburgh, run by Phil Anderson.

“You can consider all of the challenges of the mountainous cities out west, of some of the older cities in the east, and I by far find the most confusing situations here in western Pennsylvania.”

After Phil offered his take on Pittsburgh’s roads as a driver, we heard from two transportation experts: Patrick Hassett, assistant director of the Pittsburgh Public Works Department overseeing the Bureau of Transportation, and Dan Cessna, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's local district executive.

Michael Lynch / 90.5 WESA

Some of Pittsburgh’s busiest bridges are about to become bicycle friendly.

Cycling enthusiasts, along with city and Allegheny County officials, announced Wednesday the addition of short- and long-term bike lanes to the Andy Warhol, Roberto Clemente and 10th Street bridges.

Two temporary lanes will be painted on the Andy Warhol Bridge following rush hour Thursday morning, four days before the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference is set to kick off at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The lanes will remain open through Sept. 13 to aid in conference transportation.

Flickr user Mark Teasdale

Can you use math to calm traffic and prescribe fish dinners to help patients with multiple sclerosis?

Those are just a couple of the questions being asked by some of the brightest high school students in the world at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles this week.

Approximately 1,700 young scientists and engineers from nearly 70 countries are showcasing their science and engineering projects and vying for more than $4 million in awards and scholarships.

After 20 Years, PennDOT Evaluates Problems With the Parkway East

May 13, 2014
Flickr user daveynin

Negotiating the roads around Pittsburgh isn’t easy. For a long time, one area of contention has been I-376 East.

So the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is now asking for public feedback on traffic conditions for the route known as the Parkway East. PennDOT District 11 Executive, Dan Cessna said this is the department’s first evaluation for the Parkway East in 20 years.

Cessna pointed out how infrastructure and safety impact Parkway traffic flow on a daily basis.  

Motorists using the westbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel along the Parkway East (I-376) have been dealing with delays due to a buildup of ice. Steve Cowan Press Officer for PennDOT District 11 says the inbound tunnel has a water flow problem, and in the winter, when temperatures get below freezing, this leads to the temporary shutdown of the tunnel so workers can melt the ice.

Cowan says that a contractor is looking at a way to fix the water leak problem, but he’s is not sure when that will be completed.

The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works will soon be outfitting 11 downtown intersections with brand new traffic lights, poles, wires and pedestrian signals.

Legislation to approve the upgrades is up for a final vote in City Council on Tuesday.

DPW Deputy Director Patrick Hasset said the new signals will also be connected via fiber optic cables to the DPW’s control room in City Hall, where they’ll be able to control the signals remotely. Currently, the department can remotely control about 130 the city’s more than 600 signals.

The inbound Liberty Tunnel will close around-the-clock Wednesday at 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Aug. 30.

The 44,000 motorists that travel Route 28 daily between Pittsburgh and Millvale can expect some additional congestion, as the fourth phase of a major reconstruction project begins Monday.

Traffic on northbound and southbound Route 28 will be shifted into new configurations between East Ohio Street and the 40th Street Bridge.

The number of police pursuits in Pennsylvania has increased once again, according to state police.

Law enforcement agencies across the commonwealth reported 1,522 vehicle pursuits in 2012, up 69 from the previous year.

Eight hundreds pursuits began as simple traffic violations, registration plate violations or inspection violations, and 214 chases were initiated because of suspected DUI. Felony criminal offenses accounted for 228 pursuits, and 131 were due to a stolen or suspected stolen vehicle.

Since 2008, there have been nearly 10,000 automobile crashes with 96 fatalities statewide along Route 30.

The Pennsylvania State Police are partnering with municipal police departments to initiate a crackdown on aggressive driving along Route 30.

State police spokesman Adam Reed, said the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic initiative, or “HEAT on 30,” will span Pennsylvania’s Route 30.

Cars are buzzing by faster than the posted speed limit.

Groups of children are dodging cars trying to make it to the other side of the street.

All of this going on over the shoulder of Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak.

The councilwoman, joined by representatives from Bike Pittsburgh and community residents, stressed the need for an upgraded traffic safety system Wednesday outside of the Carrick Regency High Rise along Brownsville Road.