Mt Washington and Duquesne Heights Neighborhood Traffic Calming
Grandview Avenue serves many interests, and at times they may compete for use of the right of way. These include tourism and sightseeing, business district operations including valet and loading, special events, and everyday neighborhood activities.
Council District 2 identified the following issues along the Grandview Corridor when requesting Capital Budget money for improvements to the street:
- Excessive speeding and late-night drag racing east of P.J. McArdle Roadway
- Issues with pedestrians crossing the street at intersections
Based on these concerns, the following data was collected on the corridor:
Average Daily Traffic: 3,800 vehicles per day
Median Speed: 27 mph
85th Percentile Speed: 33 mph
Percent of Motorists Driving over the Speed Limit: 61%
Full Stop: 183
Rolling Stop: 161
No Stop: 39
Total Vehicles: 386
The City has received requests for additional stop signs along Grandview Avenue over the years, to assist pedestrians in crossing the street. Stop signs are typically used to control motor vehicle conflicts, and are generally not used for traffic calming. Studies have shown that unwarranted stop signs tend to cause motorists’ to “make up lost time”, and also may not be properly obeyed if there is little or no conflicting motor vehicle traffic (i.e., motorists will perform a “rolling stop”).
To test the efficacy of new stop signs on Grandview Avenue, DOMI evaluated stop compliance at the stop signs on Grandview Avenue at Sweetbriar Avenue. The stop signs were installed in the fall of 2017 at the request of residents in the area. Vehicles were counted from 3:00pm – 4:00pm on June 18, 2019. The weather was overcast, and dry.
Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Improvements on Grandview Avenue
In Fall 2019 DOMI will be installing temporary rubber speed humps on Grandview Avenue between P.J. McArdle Roadway and Shiloh Street to discourage excessive motorist speed. Residents requested in advance that the speed humps be removed after a 60-day evaluation period.
Additionally, DOMI will be installing pavement marking improvements from Oneida Street to Shiloh Street. These improvements will include 27 paint bump-outs to reduce pedestrian crossing distance and discourage illegal motorist parking near intersections, which reduces visibility of pedestrians crossing the street; upgrading 17 existing parallel-style crosswalks to high-visibility continental-style crosswalks; installing 10 new marked crosswalks.
The estimated construction cost of Grandview Avenue improvements is approximately $110,000. Post evaluation data will be published here after the project is complete.
Merrimac and Woodruff Streets
The City received numerous request for a marked crossing across Woodruff Street at Merrimac Street. Additionally, residents have reported excessive speeding on Merrimac between Grandview and Virginia Avenues.
As one of a limited number of access routes to and from the Mount Washington and Duquesne Heights neighborhoods, Woodruff and Merrimac Streets have moderate traffic volumes of around 4,000 vehicles per day. Merrimac Street is 30 feet wide, and operates as a “yield street”. This means that opposing motorists must share the center of the roadway, and pull partially into a vacant parking space to allow the other motorist to pass. At current vehicle volumes and street parking occupancy, these opportunities to pull over are too rare. Due to this reason as well as excessive speeding, residents typically park vehicles completely on the western sidewalk. This provides more roadway space for motorists, it allows them to pass without slowing down or negotiating the right of way, and causes increased speeding on the street.
Aggressive driving and maneuvering was observed at the intersection of Merrimac and Woodruff Streets. Contributing factors include excessively wide effective roadway (up to 30 feet). PennDOT crash data reported 5 vehicles crashes during a five year period.
Average Daily Traffic: 4,300 vehicles per day
Median Speed: 27 mph
85th Percentile Speed: 32 mph
Percent of Motorists Driving over the Speed Limit: 60%
Average Daily Traffic: 4,000 vehicles per day Median Speed: 29 mph 85th Percentile Speed: 33 mph Percent of Motorists Driving over the Speed Limit: 81%
Monday, December 10 at 3:45pm: 23 cars (33%) Thursday, December 20 at 3:00pm: 25 cars (50%) Monday, January 14 at 10pm: 70 cars (100%) Weekend, January 13 at noon: 45 cars (65%)
Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Improvements at Woodruff and Merrimac
In Summer 2019 DOMI installed a concrete pedestrian refuge island on Woodruff at Merrimac, and made modifications to the existing concrete traffic island. DOMI is evaluating the effectiveness of the improvements and may make changes based on those evaluations.
Due to parking utilization on Merrimac Street by residents who live on the street, changes to parking patterns were not desirable. Painted bump outs were installed at Merrimac Street at Sycamore Street to decrease pedestrian crossing distance and to reduce the perceived width of the roadway.
The estimated construction cost of the Merrimac and Woodruff Streets improvements is approximately $80,000. Post evaluation data will be published here after the project is complete.