Grant Street and Fort Pitt Boulevard is a scary intersection — especially if you’re on foot or riding a bike, said Nina Chase, Riverlife senior project manager.
There are the 376 ramps, Grant Street ends forcing cars to decide where to go, and everyone on the Great Allegheny Passage comes into Pittsburgh right at that point. There are so many signs that the smaller ones for the Great Allegheny Passage are overpowered, Chase said.
But a revamp of the intersection intends to make the area more navigable for trail users and to improve access to the riverfront.
Riverlife’s Grant Street Crossing project started this week — you may have already noticed the green paint on the crosswalk and pedestrian/bike path.
Vertical pylons will be added to the pedestrian flyway in the first week of December. Chase said they’ll be angled so the view of the highway is obstructed, but the views of the hillside, Smithfield Bridge and the riverfront are not. The city will install upgraded pedestrian signals in December, too, Chase said.
The colorful paint and vertical pylons are eye-catching ways for people to notice that “this is clearly a space for pedestrians and bikes,” Chase said.
Although this project is on the smaller side for Riverlife, Chase said the organization worked with a variety of stakeholders from multiple city departments and government entities to advocacy organizations like Bike Pittsburgh and Friends of the Riverfront.
The $140,000 project and maintenance fund (in case the pylons are damaged) was paid for by the Benter, Hillman and Grable foundations, she said.
Once pedestrians and bikers cross the flyway, they’ll be able to use the Mon Wharf Switchback ramp — under construction — to the riverfront and eventually to Point State Park. The latter part is a DCNR project that’s still in the planning stage, Chase said.
Once it’s all done, the Mon Wharf landing will be more accessible and bike commuters will have an alternative route that keeps them out of car traffic, Chase said.
It also means there will be a continuous trail from the Great Allegheny Passage to Point State Park — finally.