Bigelow Boulevard Complete Streets Reconstruction

Bigelow Boulevard Complete Streets Reconstruction

Bigelow Boulevard is the civic center of the Pitt campus and host to students, business visitors, employees, and tourists. The streetscape project proposes a comprehensive set of improvements that addresses circulation and safety, while incorporating a streetscape design sensitive to the area's history. Currently, the roadway serves cars driving to/from Oakland as a secondary north/south route. The block is also host to significant pedestrian activity along its sidewalks as well as at an ill-placed midblock pedestrian crossing. The project will rearrange the block to accommodate all users more safely. The project upgrades an important bike connection, relocates and enhances the pedestrian crossing, calms traffic, and uses best practices in street design to create a better sense of place for Oakland and the University. 

Project location
This project incorporates the length of Bigelow Boulevard between the intersections of Fifth and Forbes Avenues. The multimodal improvement to this important stretch of roadway that bifurcates the population center of the University of Pittsburgh’s lower campus will make the block safer and more accommodating to people driving, people on bicycles, people walking and people using the accessible drop offs and parking. The objective is to ensure safe circulation for pedestrians and all modes of transportation (car, shuttle, bicycle, accessible parking).

Consistency with an existing county or local comprehensive plan: 
This project is consistent with the City’s adopted Complete Streets adopted in 2016 by City Council and Planning Commission. The proposed project complies with planning objectives laid out by the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning (DCP) and Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) in regards to improved mobility and land use. 

Positive economic development impact: 
The Pittsburgh campus has an economic impact last year of $3.9 billion and $750 million research dollars into Pennsylvania each year, Pitt is a powerful economic engine, creating high-powered human infrastructure and life-changing knowledge and innovation for our region and beyond. This project is making the campus more accommodating to people walking and biking, something prospective students look for when evaluating their educational choices. It is also providing multimodal access to Schenley Plaza and the neighboring Forbes Avenue business districts. The block also serves 15 University of Pittsburgh events throughout the year as well as 5-8 events from outside groups. It is truly a civic space and the Bigelow Streetscape Project enhances this function. 

Historical use of land served by the project: 
The historical use is a north/south roadway connecting south Oakland to north Oakland specifically connectivity to Schenley Park. This section of Bigelow Boulevard also bifurcates the civic center of the University of Pittsburgh thus it assumes significant pedestrian crossing traffic. 

Estimated start and end dates of construction: 
Construction started Summer 2019 and is anticipated to be completed in mid-August 2020.

Facilities in the area to be served by the project: 
Bigelow Boulevard is an artery that is heavily traveled by pedestrians, bicyclists, shuttle buses, and vehicles. This stretch endures significant University pedestrian traffic given two iconic Pitt structures lie to the east, (Cathedral of Learning), and west (William Pitt Union) of Bigelow Boulevard. Its contribution to the City fabric is its approach to Schenley Plaza, a highly popular pedestrian plaza in central Oakland that represents the entry to Schenley Park. Bigelow is a significant historic link from the Schenley Farms Historic District to Schenley Plaza and eventually Schenley Park.

June 7 2018 Meeting Presentation Slides: Link(PDF)