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Forbes Avenue Is Going To Be A Zoo And PennDOT Urges Safety

Margaret J. Krauss
90.5 WESA
PennDOT District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni (center) urged extra caution in the Forbes Avenue corridor. She was joined by Jeff Skalican of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, left, and PennDOT’s Jason Zang, right.";

Driving is a complicated mental activity and PennDOT is urging motorists to give it their full attention. 

Officials said it’s particularly important in work zones, such as the $10.19 million Forbes Avenue Betterment Project.

Every day between 17,000 and 23,000 people drive through the project area, which stretches from the Birmingham Bridge to Margaret Morrison Street on the edge of Carnegie Mellon University’s campus. Thousands of pedestrians and cyclists use the busy corridor, as well.

Credit Forbes Avenue Betterment Project
Forbes Avenue Betterment Project
Forbes Avenue from the Birmingham Bridge to Margaret Morrison Street depicted with the planned improvement sites to traffic signals that officials hope will make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Work to repave and reconfigure the road will last until November. District 11 PennDot executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said all users need to practice patience and vigilance.

“Our work crews work hard to make the roadway safe and we urge everyone traveling to do the same for them,” she said.

The agency has documented many incidents of dangerous driving, including people driving into work zones and texting in work zones. In a recent report, the agency found dozens of people driving more than 80 miles per hour on 279 north. On Forbes, people are asked to use the road with extra caution and patience.

University of Pittsburgh police officer Guy Johnson said everyone bears responsibility for safety.

“In such a busy and congested area we would like to remind all pedestrians and bicyclists to use extreme caution to avoid distractions and remain alert at all times,” he said.

Crews will be adding curb cuts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and traffic lights will be updated to improve the flow of traffic. Bike lanes will be installed on either side of the road between South Craig and Margaret Morrison Streets. The current four lanes of traffic, two in either direction, will be reduced to one lane with a common turning lane.

The project is funded with local, state and federal monies, as well as financial support from CMU.