PennDOT/CMU Forbes Avenue Improvement Projects

PennDOT/CMU Forbes Avenue Improvement Projects

On, August 31st, a public meeting was held to share the design plans and schedule for the Forbes Avenue Betterment Project and the Oakland/CMU Forbes Corridor Improvements Project. Over 250 people attended the meeting held at CMU’s University Center, Rangos Ballroom.

Click here to view the presentation. (attached)

For more information about the initiative and history of the project, visit the project microsite.

Linda Barsevich's picture
Linda Barsevich (not verified) Thu, 2016-10-06 16:23

It would be extremely helpful to have a left arrow at the light at Forbes/Craig to turn left into the Museum/Library parking lot.   It's hard to make that left turn and backs up traffic. 

Michael Miller Yoder's picture
Michael Miller Yoder (not verified) Wed, 2016-09-21 21:40

I attended the public meeting on August 31st. The emotion in the room was palpable; a cyclist was killed on this road last year.

First off, I want to thank PennDOT and CMU for proposing bike lanes on Forbes between Craig and Beeler. This is much-needed, not just to accommodate cyclists, but to slow down traffic on what right now is a multi-lane racetrack. A few things about the bike infrastructure:

* It appeared that officials from PennDOT believed that protected bike lanes aren't really any better than painted lanes. This is wrong. They give a MUCH greater sense of safety (and real safety) for attracting cyclists who aren't comfortable with just paint or space separation from traffic. We should build infrastructure that people will use, and protected bike lanes attract the most potential cyclists out of their cars and onto sustainable, efficient transportation. See for more information. As for snow removal, I just heard from somebody at the facilities management service at CMU that their snowplows are the perfect size and probably could be used. Difficulty in removing snow should not be used as an excuse not to install the safest, most efficient cycling infrastructure.

* Cyclists should be protected in intersections as much as possible, since these are the most dangerous areas in our road system. Protected lanes with protected intersections ( are the safest, most comfortable, but the bike boxes installed at Bayard and Craig Sts are models for safe left turns and allow drivers to see cyclists out in front.

* The CMU Bike Advisory Committee did a bike count at the intersection of Forbes and Morewood last fall, and there were over 60 cyclists/hour during weekday rush hours (highest on-street in the city). Yet cyclists weave through traffic on the Morewood side and there are no special indicators for these cyclists--no accommodation in signaling or dedicated space for the hundreds of people cycling there to and from CMU every day. Cycling signals might be something to look into, as well as accommodations such as bike boxes for those taking left and right turns into CMU at that intersection.

On pedestrian infrastructure:

* Taking away the all-walk signal at Craig and Forbes is a step in the wrong direction. With no separate signal and lots of turning cars, there will be lots of conflict between pedestrians and vehicles, adding stress and danger. PennDOT cites improving level of service for autos, but what about the efficiency of moving PEOPLE through that intersection? The all-walk is a glorious, safe time when cars for once don't own the road--right at the most dangerous point, the intersection. There are so many pedestrians at that intersection and the all-walk is much more efficient to cross catty-corner or however.


Michael Miller Yoder