A park road just for walking and biking — that’s no longer a fantasy in Pittsburgh.
Until recently, the portion of Pocusset Street in Schenley Park was a cars-only speedway for cut-through traffic. Now the cars are gone, and people walking and biking have free rein.
Network blog Bike Pittsburgh explains how this awesome intervention came about:
Pocusset street is a small, winding street through the south-eastern edge of Schenley Park, connecting Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, and Oakland. Pocusset Street was a regular cut-through for speeding vehicular traffic seeking a shortcut between these neighborhoods, but with blind curves, no sidewalks, and insufficient street lighting, it was a dangerous place to travel by foot or bike.
In 2012 Pocusset Street was deemed structurally unsound for automobiles. After the road shift proposal received vocal community support at a number of public meetings, the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works decided to take the portion of Pocusset Street that passes through Schenley Park off-line for automobile traffic, and redesign it for bike and pedestrian use.
The city repaved the entire quarter mile Schenley Park portion of the street, repainted it with bi-directional bike-lanes, designated pedestrian walkways, included LED street lighting, and installed reflective bollards to block traffic from entering at either end. The new Pocusset Street is now open and maintained by the city as a pedestrian and bicycle-only roadway; shifting the road’s use from a dangerous shortcut to a community asset that will safely serve bikes and pedestrians for decades to come.