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Updated Plan For Forbes Avenue Well Received By Cycling Community

Matt Nemeth
90.5 WESA
Students cross the road on Forbes Avenue in Oakland on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016.

The latest plans for the Forbes Avenue Betterment Project in Oakland were revealed by PennDOT, Carnegie Mellon University and other planning partners at a public meeting Monday night.

The updated plans incorporate designs based on public feedback from previous meetings, including widened crosswalks, traffic signal upgrades, and protected bike lanes. It also integrates infrastructure needed for the Port Authority’s planned Bus Rapid Transit lanes and stops.

When the proposal was initially presented to the public last year, it was met with pushback from advocates, who said it didn’t go far enough to improve both safety and connectivity.

“I’m really pleased to see how far this project has evolved over the last year,” Executive Director of Bike Pittsburgh Scott Bricker said at Monday’s meeting. “I think the cycling community feels listened to by all the different parties involved.”

PennDOT assistant district executive for design Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said the next step will come in the next few months. The city of Pittsburgh will repaint the street lines on Forbes Avenue with the new traffic flow patterns.

“They’re doing that to see how it works, so when we come in with the bigger project where we’re going to put more permanent type paving markings down, we’ll already have a bit of a trial run through that section,” Moon-Sirianni said.

The bid for the project’s construction will go out in the coming months, and work is expected to take place between March and October 2018. The project cost of the improvements is approximately ten million dollars.