Changes coming to intersections in South Side and Mt. Oliver.
The South Side Signal Project incorporating upgrades to five signaled intersections and adding another one in the 18th Street/Brownsville Road corridor was presented in a Zoom meeting for public comment last week by officials from the City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI).
The Signal Project will upgrade intersections on 18th at Sarah, Jane and Mission/Pius streets along with one at Brownsville Road at Arlington Avenue and another at Bausman Street. The Brownsville Road intersections are being updated in cooperation with the Borough of Mt. Oliver. A new traffic signal will be part of a redesign for the intersection at 18th and Josephine streets.
Most of the intersections will include some of the same features including audible countdown signage with pedestrian head start time, new sidewalks, black-gloss signal masts extending over the roadway and new ADA ramps. The head start on the walk sign gives pedestrians about three-seconds to begin crossing before traffic begins.
The intersection at Josephine Street will be reconfigured and a traffic signal will be added to allow left turns onto 18th Street.
Damian George, a design consultant/project manager with MS Consultants, explained the left turn was taken away from Josephine several years ago due to limited sightlines. The new design will extend the curb line out on the north side (the railroad track side) of Josephine to create more of a “T” intersection and lessen the distance for pedestrians to cross the street.
New sidewalks will be added on southbound lane, going up the hill, of 18th Street around where the bus stop is located. On Josephine, where the north sidewalk is being reconfigured, green space with native wildflowers will be added where the sidewalk is being extended.
There will be a loss of a total of three parking spaces on 18th Street, two on the northbound lane and one on the southbound lane, as part of the project.
At the intersection of Brownsville and Bausman, a phased left-turn lane will be added in the northbound lane (heading from Carrick) which will separate the Bausman left turn from the Hays Avenue left turn. The right through lane currently removes parking during morning rush hour will also remove parking from 3 to 6 p.m. to facilitate traffic flow.
An exclusive pedestrian phase will also be added. All crosswalks in the intersection will be activated at the same if someone pushes the button to cross the street.
The intersection will also receive new sidewalks, new lighting and the road surface will be milled and repaved. Work is expected to be performed during nighttime hours to lessen the impact on businesses in the area.
At the Arlington and Brownsville, the eastbound sidewalk will be extended to better align Arlington Avenue going through the intersection. It will also allow for better pedestrian crossing of the street. There will also be new lighting and road surface at the intersection.
Construction work is expected to take place during nighttime hours at this intersection also.
At 18th and Pius and Mission streets, in addition to the new sidewalks, signals and lighting, the road surface will be striped in areas where parking is restricted. The striping not only designates where parking is not permitted, but also defines the traffic lane better, Mr. George said.
“It kind of gets cars to stay towards the middle,” he added. It’s also hoped it will encourage people to park more on the road surface instead of the sidewalk as they do now in the area.
The Sarah and Jane intersections are almost carbon copies of each other. All corners at the two intersections will get curb extensions to shorten the distance pedestrians have to cross the streets and define the parking areas. Given that motorists aren’t permitted to park within a certain distance from the corner, the curb extensions won’t take away any legal parking spaces.
All the 18th Street intersection work will be performed during daylight hours to minimize the impact on residents. During construction it will be necessary for the contractor to close corners or intersections to traffic and/or pedestrians for a limited time. Detours will be posted during those closures.
Only one corner in an intersection will be worked on at time, but multiple intersections may be worked on concurrently.
Although the City of Pittsburgh is managing the project, in cooperation with the Borough of Mt. Oliver, the funding for the project is coming from the federal government.
Timeline for the project is: Design work completed by June 21; The project will be advertised July 21; The contract will be awarded and work should begin in November with the bulk of the work beginning in spring 2022.
The presentation is expected to be posted on the DOMI website and a video of the meeting on the DOMI’s YouTube channel. Eric Stein, DOMI project manager, is accepting comments on the project until May 27 at email@example.com.
Originally published in the South Pittsburgh Reporter.