Type 2 Diabetic. Bike tour guide. #NextBurgh Flâneur.   Coffeeneur.    Errandoneur
A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pittsburgh Homeless Memorial, Millvale bike lanes

12.19.2014 16m
When you go to the bikeshop for mechanical help, it's important to be able to describe the problem. But all I could do on a Friday afternoon before Christmas was say, something must be rubbing or such, it's like the bike is weighted down.

LHT? We're down with IPA

Fortunately, the excellent folks at Thick knew just how to fix it and the bike rolls so much better now. Crossed the Bloomfield Bridge (possibly one of Pittsburgh's most bike-friendly spans) to check out Sir Samelot. Unfortunately, Sir Samelot is still celebrating regional tribalism and hasn't yet transitioned into global consumerism:

Next on the itinerary was finding a Memorial described in today's Pittsburgh City Paper article, Memorial this Sunday for those who died homeless.

This Sunday, 7pm, there's a vigil where 6 new plaques for 2014 will be added to the 138 markers signalling homeless people who died on the streets across Allegheny County since 1989. The plaques are produced by Operation Safety Net, an organization that helps provide medical care to the homeless through the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System.

The vigil has been an annual tradition since 1998 and coincides with National Homeless Persons Memorial Day on December 21, the longest night of the year. More than 150 other cities are expected to participate.

In the back of her mind, [the organizer] is hoping for bad weather. Being out in the elements without shelter, "You start to realize that’s every day, every moment for a lot of people. Just having a roof over your head is a major advantage in terms of staying healthy."

The memorial service, which will run from 7-7:30 p.m., will include brief remarks, a reading of the names, a musical selection and a prayer.

So once again: Go nuns! I was struck that the Operation Safety Net website presents a quote from Catherine McAuley, (founder of the Sisters of Mercy); my mother went to Catherine McAuley high school in Brooklyn.

click photo to embiggen in new window

That's an awful lot of markers. The background is the PNC Bank complex on Grant and First, and the northern terminus of the Jail Trail. It's a tremendous juxtaposition. In 2015, when the Smithfield Street switchback ramp is introduced, cyclists from DC to Pgh will pass across the street from this memorial on the Pat Hassett flyway (shared sidewalk). I'm going to point it out to everybody I take through there.

Rode outbound using the Penn Ave bike lanes, continued out into Lawrenceville and checked out Jeremy Raymer's outdoor studio at Charlotte and 35th.

So Jeremy Raymer is the artist and the canvas/building belongs to his brother Luke Raymer, who is proprietor of Pittsburgh Float, a sensory-deprivation facility located at Capristo’s Salon and Spa in Shadyside.

The picture on the right is of John C Lilly, inventor of the Sensory Deprivation Tank, with a backdrop of neurons and synapses. Very cool.

Rode over to the 40th Street Bridge to see the new bike lanes, up and down the roadway from the TTT (trailhead train tunnels) up to Route 28 and the bridge. Right now, Pittsburgh is like a remake of a Star Wars movie: you look around and see new stuff! all the time.

These bike lanes are like an unexpected Christmas present from PennDot. It's wonderful - there's planning, investment, signage, markings - but it does seem that at the top of the hill, it puts the cyclist in the wrong place. Because when most cyclists get to the top of the hill, their destination is the downstream/west sidewalk which is flows across the path of the car on the right who's trying to yield/follow the cyclist.

Serendipitiously I got to see a cyclist use the uphill lane. She came out of the trailhead tunnels, activated the blinky LED crossing lights (cool!) and turned left and rode west on the uphill side. She transitioned into the bike lane (show below) and advanced to the head of the line of cars (as she should).

When the light turned green, she wisely kept her foot on the ground until the cars on her right went ahead, then crossed the lane while riding over to the downriver/west sidewalk. I wonder if there isn't a need for a "green box" there to mark the route and help people visualize the crossing flow.

But: new stuff! Or as my buddy LyleS might say, "shiny objects". It's all good.

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