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September 14, 2017

New Bike Lanes on Forbes, Bigelow Help Make Cycling Through Campus Safer

Intersection at Forbes and Bigelow with new green left-turn boxes for bicyclists.

Green left-turn boxes are new features at the Forbes Avenue–Bigelow Boulevard intersection near Schenley Plaza. The boxes provide a safe means for bicyclists to cross multi-lane intersections. To use the box, cyclists wait for the light to turn green, then bike toward the square. When in the box, cyclists reorient toward their intended direction and wait for the cross-traffic light to turn green. When the signal goes green, they can complete their turn.


Students, faculty and staff returning to campus earlier this month have likely noticed a more bicycle-friendly Forbes Avenue near the Cathedral of Learning.

Bike lanes were added in both directions on the stretch of Forbes from Bigelow Boulevard to South Craig Street. The bike lanes now connect Pitt’s campus to Schenley Plaza, the Bayard Street bike lanes and Oakland’s two business districts on Forbes and Craig streets. The project reduced the number of vehicle lanes on Forbes Avenue from four lanes to three.

Two-stage left-turn boxes for cyclists have been added to the intersections of Forbes and South Craig and Forbes and Bigelow Boulevard. The left-turn boxes provide a way for cyclists to turn left from multi-lane roadways without having to cross into busy traffic. Bicycle-specific traffic light signals are part of the upgrades as well.

Additionally, bike lanes were added to Bigelow Boulevard to address a block-long gap in the existing bicycle network between Fifth and Forbes avenues.

A release from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s office said Forbes Avenue, a heavily trafficked route through North Oakland, lacked a safe route for cyclists commuting through Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University campuses.

In 2015, Susan Hicks, assistant director for academic affairs in the University Center for International Studies’ Center for Russian and East European Studies, was killed when her bike was rear-ended by a driver as she waited in a line of traffic on Forbes at Bellefield Avenue. Following her death, cycling enthusiasts both on and off campus voiced the need to make biking safer — and to make cyclists feel safe — on the road.

The bike lanes are part of a long-term project of Forbes Avenue upgrades, and Pitt is working in partnership with PennDOT, the City of Pittsburgh, Oakland Transportation Management Association and Carnegie Mellon University on the improvements.

Future improvements also include a new signalized pedestrian crossing on Forbes Avenue between Bouquet Street and Bigelow Boulevard, as well as more visible crosswalks at the South Craig Street and Forbes Avenue intersection, upgraded Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curbs and new crosswalk signals.



Kevin Zwick,, 412-624-0148


Filed under: Feature,Volume 50 Issue 2

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