Connellsville Bicycle Master Plan

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City of Connellsville

Bicycle Master Plan

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction


Chapter 2 Goals and Objectives


Chapter 3 Exiting Conditions


Chapter 4 Bicycle Network


Chapter 5 Sign Network and End Point Facilities 17 Chapter 6 Recommendations 24 Chapter 7 Implementation Plan 32 Appendix


Acknowledgements The City of Connellsville Master Plan was prepared by the Mayor, City Council, the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, Sustainable Connellsville and the Trail Town Program. Steering Committee Members: Charlie Mathews, Mayor Tom Karpiak, Council Brad Geyer, Council Marilyn Weaver, Council Gregroy Ritch, Council Geno Gallo, Sustainable Connellsville Michael Edwards, Connellsville Redevelopment Authority Will Prince, Trail Town Program Manager Jeff Malik, Trail Town Program Project Leader Emma Strong, Trail Town Program Project Leader Joe Crumbley, Trail Town Program Intern Michelle Rapp, , Trail Town Program Intern Rachael Christie, Trail Town Program Intern Peter Grella, Trail Town Program Intern Chad Crumrine, Trail Town Program Intern

Prepared for: City of Connellsville City Council 10 North Arch Street Connellsville, PA 15425 Prepared by: Aspect, LLC 1529 Harlow Street Pittsburgh, PA 15204



Chapter 1 Introduction

Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race. ~ H.G. Wells The City of Connellsville is poised to become a world-class bicycle community. The completion of the Great Allegheny Passage and commencement of the Sheepskin Trail have provided the off-street infrastructure for the City to begin capitalizing on bicycle tourism. Expanding and enhancing the City’s on-street bicycle facilities will augment the City’s redevelopment efforts that can improve the tourism economy and significantly aid in attracting and retaining residents. The City of Connellsville Bicycle Master Plan defines a community vision in maximizing redevelopment and economic development opportunities associated with a world-class bicycle community. The Plan provides goals and recommendations as well as a capital projects plan.

Vision The City of Connellsville’s Bicycle Master Plan envisions Connellsville as a world class biking community. Due to the City’s investment and commitment to biking, residents will have premium active transportation infrastructure and visitors will experience a community that tempts them to stay long-term.


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Chapter 2 Goals and Objectives Goal 1: Encourage residents and visitors to bike in Connellsville Objectives o Install bicycle facilities on corridors identified in the bicycle network map •

Connect business districts, cultural and recreational amenities with premium bicycle facilities

Install end-point facilities including sidewalk racks and on-street bicycle corrals.

Install a bicycle wayfinding sign system

Goal 2: Improve safety of cyclists Objectives o Install protected bicycle infrastructure where feasible including cycle tracks and buffered bike lanes. o Increase highway caution signs to improve bicycle safety. o Increase enforcement against aggressive and impaired driving Goal 3: Establish Connellsville as a major bicycling recreation community. Objectives o Maximize the potential of the regional trails including Great Allegheny Passage Trail and the Sheepskin Trail. o Advertise Connellsville’s ideal proximity to the Pittsburgh Metropolitan region o Establish Connellsville as a home base for Laurel Highlands outdoor adventures o Market Connellsville’s proximity to mountain biking opportunities


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Goal 4: Use bikable amenities as a catalyst for economic development. Objectives o Support existing businesses •

Connect them to residents and visitors

Promote them to residents and visitors

Install end-point facilities adjacent or near

o Attract new business •

Food Service industry such as coffee shops, restaurants, night life venues (bars, clubs, etc) tailored to biking

Retail (boutiques and outdoor needs)

Office (Design, medical, etc)

o Re-use existing industrial facilities to attract fabrication and manufacturing related to bicycle o Nurture tourism related to Great Allegheny Passage



Chapter 3 Existing Conditions Picturesque Connellsville is nestled in the foothills of the Laurel Highlands on the banks of the Youghiogheny River. The City’s topography offers ample flat areas for leisure riding as well as challenging grades for exercise. The weather allows for nine (9) months of reasonable climate. Combining the potential of resident cyclists with the needs of touring cyclists will create a community that attracts population while maximizing tourism revenue. Bicycle Infrastructure Currently Connellsville has very little infrastructure, although it has a rich history for on-­‐street cycling infrastructure. The 3rd Street separated facility installed as part of the Great Allegheny Passage, was one of the first separated facilities in the country. As separated facilities become the norm, Connellsville can point to this history as an innovator. The City has also commenced the installation of bicycle racks on Crawford Avenue. End point facilities will be key as the City continues to expand its on-­‐ street infrastructure. Due to their bicycle unfriendliness, Connellsville’s bridges, Memorial Bridge and Crawford remain a significant impediment to a connected City-­‐wide system



Tourism In 2013, the Great Allegheny Passage finally completed its trek into downtown Pittsburgh. Until that completion, the trail connected only to Homestead. The trail is now poised to realize its full potential. As a result, Connellsville will experience a significant increase in cycling tourism. Connellsville is approximately fifty (50) miles from downtown Pittsburgh and its metro population of 2.6. million people. That mileage is ideal for weekend and vacation trips to the Laurel Highlands. In addition, Connellsville will continue to see recreation cyclists from Ohiopyle, and to a lesser extent from western Maryland and the Washington D.C. metro area. Finally, Connellsville has established connections to adjacent communities including Dawson Borough and Dunbar Borough via the Sheepskin Trail. The Sheepskin Trail will eventually connect Connellsville to Uniontown as well as Morgantown, WV, where the trail will tap into over 50 miles of trails in the Morgantown area. As the Sheepskin trail expands southward to Uniontown and Morgantown, WV, the regional tourism component will become more lucrative. Urban Context Connellsville’s industrial economy has faded and its downtown economy is dormant. Vacant lots and buildings offer opportunities to establish bicycle related retail and commercial potential and bicycle tourisms support services. Restaurants, coffee shops, outdoor retail shops, bicycle retail, hotel, bed and breakfast and clothing boutiques rank high on customers that visit business corridors via bicycles. Retrofitting the City’s business corridors to maximize cycling numbers would lay the ground work for economic redevelopment.



Chapter 4 Bicycle Network Quality of Life is an indicator comprised of several factors that measures a community’s health and attractiveness. A bicycle friendly community provides recreation, commuting and social opportunities that enhances a community’s quality of life. Bicycle friendly communities are generally safer communities, both from a crime standpoint and a traffic standpoint. Bicycle friendly communities generally have active streets, with people occupying sidewalks and roadways, providing eyes on the streets. Having eyes on the streets allows the community to self-police against crime. Bicycle friendly streets also add more bodies to roadways. Active roadways comprised of non-motorized transportation slow down motorized transportation. Slower motorized transportation causes fewer and less severe injuries. Bicycle Network Summary The Connellsville Bicycle Network is a Citywide pathway network that incorporates on-street and trail facilities to provide access for residents to the City’s business corridors, cultural and recreational amenities. The network also aims to capitalize on tourism opportunities associated with the Great Allegheny Passage. Business Corridors Bicycle infrastructure is


proven commodity to boosting economic development. Bicycle infrastructure provides access to business corridors, essentially increasing customer capacity, consequently raising revenue and expansion opportunities. Connecting Connellsville’s business corridors to residents and tourists is paramount. West Side



The West Side business corridor is the most convenient corridor for touring cyclists to visit. The Great Allegheny Passage travels through the corridor via the 3rd Street cycle tracks. Existing business would greatly benefit from the additional customers. Additional economic development opportunities exist in vacant storefronts and vacant properties for bicycle touring related business ventures including restaurant, coffee shop, outdoor retail and bicycle retail. The West Side business corridor is isolated somewhat to the Downtown business corridor, Pittsburgh Street business corridor, the East End and South Side due to the bicycle and pedestrian unfriendliness of the Crawford Avenue Bridge. As stated, the Plan identifies where premium bicycle infrastructure can be installed based on curb to curb widths. Crawford Avenue is wide enough to accommodate buffered bike lanes from 7th Street to the Crawford Avenue Bridge. Existing on-street parking would need to be relocated to side streets. Based on a parking audit conducted in December 2012, on-street parking on this corridor is severely under utilized and existing volumes can relocate to side streets with minimal to no impacts on businesses. In addition, bicycle racks installed on sidewalks will provide convenient bicycle parking for cyclists. Downtown The Downtown business corridor is significantly accessible to residents of the North End, East End and South Side. Existing businesses would benefit from the improved access to residents. Vacant storefronts and lots could experience economic development as well. Downtown’s access to the West Side business corridor and Great Allegheny Passage is somewhat restricted to the bicycle and pedestrian unfriendliness of Crawford Avenue Bridge. Improving the Crawford Avenue Bridge’s bicycle and pedestrian friendliness will substantially improve the Downtown business corridor’s economic potential.




Crawford Avenue is wide enough to accommodate buffered bike lanes from the Crawford Avenue Bridge to Prospect Street. Existing on-street parking would need to be relocated to off street lots that underutilized as well as side streets. Based on a parking audit conducted in December 2012, on-street parking on this corridor is severely under utilized and existing volumes can relocate to side streets with minimal to no impacts on businesses. Pittsburgh Street The Pittsburgh Street business corridor is defined by cross streets of Peach Street and Wills Road. Pittsburgh Street business corridor is conveniently accessible to the North End, East End and South Side areas of the City. Pittsburgh Street directly connects the North End and South Side areas of the City as well as South Connellsville Borough. Pittsburgh Street’s existing businesses would benefit from the increase in customer traffic associated with bicycle and pedestrian friendly infrastructure. Vacant buildings and lots provide additional development and economic development opportunities. Pittsburgh Street is limited in providing premium bicycle infrastructure to do its narrow curb to curb width (24’). In order to accommodate premium bicycle facilities, Pittsburgh Street would have to be evaluated for a road diet and one-way configuration. This strategy would require a traffic study to determine impacts of such a design. In the short term, shared lane markings would provide indicators that encourage cyclists to bike through the corridor.



Recreation Amenities Due to the recreational aspect of biking, connections to recreational amenities such as parks and playgrounds provide enhanced recreational opportunities for residents, future residents and visitors. Connecting residents and visitors to parks, playgrounds and offstreet trails improves the city’s quality of life, augments efforts to attract and retain population and spurs economic activity. Community Parks Connellsville has two (2) Community Parks, Yough River Park and East Park. Community Parks provide vital recreation opportunities for residents as well as respite for touring cyclists. ●

Yough River Park: The Great Allegheny Passage directly connects to the Yough River Park. The riverside park is conveniently accessible to residents on the West Side. Connections to the North End would be via Memorial Bridge, where cyclists must dismount to cross. Due to the bicycle unfriendliness of the Crawford Avenue Bridge, access from the East End and the South Side is limited.

East Park: East Park is conveniently accessible by residents in the North End, East End and South Side. Due to the unfriendliness of the Crawford Avenue Bridge, touring and recreational cyclists’ access is limited. Access for trail using cyclists would be directed via the Memorial Bridge.

Neighborhood Parks ●

12th Street Park: The 12th Street Park is easily accessible by West Side residents and touring cyclists using the Great Allegheny Passage. North End residents can



use the Memorial Bridge, but due to the dismount regulation, use of Memorial Bridge is limited. Residents in the East End and South Side neighborhoods have severely limited access due to the bicycle unfriendliness of the Crawford Avenue Bridge. ●

North End: The North End Playground is conveniently accessible to residents living in the North End, East End and South Side neighborhoods. Residents of the West Side must cross the Memorial Bridge and dismount in the process.

Recreation Loops Recreational loops are on-street recreation opportunities that offer residents and touring cyclists access to the City’s neighborhoods and business districts. The loops also act as commuter routes providing access for residents to such cultural and recreational amenities such as the Carnegie Library, the Connellsville High School Campus and Highlands Hospital. ●

East End Loop: The East End Loop provides an opportunity to tour the City’s East End areas as well as provide access to East Park, the Connellsville Area High School campus, the Carnegie Library and Highlands Hospital. The East End Loop is convenient for residents in the East End, North End and South Side areas. West Side residents and touring cyclists have in convenient access do to the Memorial Bridge and Crawford Avenue Bridge.

South Connellsville Loop: The South Connellsville Loop offers a significant route through the City South Side neighborhood and South Connellsville Borough. The South Connellsville Loop also offers access to off-road cycling in the Laurel Highlands as well as the Connellsville Area Senior High Track and Field/Football Stadium. The South Connellsville Loop is convenient for residents living in the South Side, East End and North End neighborhoods as well as the Downtown and Pittsburgh Street Corridors.



Trails/Off Road Connections ●

Great Allegheny Passage: The Great Allegheny Passage is one of America’s great regional trails. The trail offers direct access to Ohiopyle, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Laurel Highlands, Western Maryland recreational amenities and Washington D.C. The Great Allegheny Passage travel through Connellsville’s West Side via 3rd Street. It offers direct access to Yough River Park and the West Side business district. West Side residents have convenient access to the Great Allegheny Passage. Resident in the North End, East End and South Side must cross the bicycle unfriendly Memorial Bridge and Crawford Avenue Bridge.

Sheepskin Trail: The Sheepskin Trail spurs from the Great Allegheny Passage just south of the City of Connellsville. The trail connect Connellsville to Dunbar Borough. The Sheepskill will eventually connect Connellsville to Uniontown, PA and Morgantown, WV.

Laurel Highlands Off Road Opportunities: Off-Road Cyclists will have access to the trails and fire roads of the Laurel Highlands. Ingress/egress to the Laurel Highlands is via the South Connellsville Loop.



Cultural Amenities Schools Connecting students to the City’s schools offers opportunities for students to increase physical activity while decreasing transportation costs pertaining to bus service. In addition, bicycle and pedestrian connections can be used by faculty and staff to decrease vehicular traffic near schools and serve as a benefit in attracting new faculty and staff. ●

High School Campus; The Connellsville High School Campus is accessible via the East End Loop. Students and faculty will have a route to the Downtown and Pittsburgh Street business corridors, East Park, and the South Side Loop, which consequently offers access to the Falcon Stadium. Students traveling from the West Side will be directed to cross the Memorial Bridge.

South Side Elementary: The South Side Elementary school will be accessible via the South Connellsville Loop. Students, faculty and staff will have convenient access to Falcon Stadium, the Connellsville High School Campus, Downtown and Pittsburgh Street business corridors and the North End. Access to the West Side amenities will be less convenient, with access across the Crawford Avenue Bridge and Memorial Bridge.

Highlands Hospital: Highlands Hospital will be accessible via the East End Loop. Residents in the North End, South Side and East End will have convenient access to Highlands Hospital. Visitors will have to traverse the Memorial Bridge and Crawford Bridge (both are less than ideal for cycling) to access the hospital. Carnegie Library: The Carnegie Library is accessible via the Pittsburgh Street business district, East End Loop and South Side Loop.



Chapter 5 Sign Network and End Point Facilities The City of Connellsville Bicycle Network will encourage residents to bike and attract tourists to visit. On-street pavement markings and trails will provide the framework for a cycling system. A way-finding and destination sign system will aid in providing residents and visitors with a comprehensive bicycle network. End Point facilities will provide short term and long term parking options. Sign Network The way-finding and destination sign system will provide information for cyclists to conveniently travel through the City and reach destinations both safely and quickly. The sign system will consists of four (4) way-finding divisions: 1. West Side 2. Downtown 3. South Connellsville Loop 4. East End Loop The sign system will also identify various destinations consisting of business districts, services and cultural/recreational amenities. Destinations will include: 1. Downtown 2. Pittsburgh Street Business District 3. 12th Street Playground 4. Connellsville High School Campus 5. Casparis 6. East Park 7. Great Allegheny Passage 8. Highlands Hospital 9. Carnegie Library 10. West Side Business District 11. South Side The Sign information is included in the appendix.







End Point Facilities Trails, bike lanes and signs get cyclists to their destination. End point facilities provide the storage for bicycles as cyclists visit stores, go to work or simply need a brief respite. End point facilities range from short term needs (rack, corral, etc) to long term needs (lockers, cages, etc). The end point facilities will be focused in the business corridors as well as the cultural and recreation amenity locations.




Chapter 6 Recommendations Infrastructure Implementation Plan The Infrastructure Implementation Plan outlines the capital improvements including on-­‐street pavement markings and sign system. The on-­‐street pavement markings are separated into three (3) phases. The phased strategy will allow for infrastructure to be installed at costs that are feasible as well as accommodating cyclists with infrastructure. On-­‐Street Infrastructure Phase 1 Phase 1 includes both the West Side Business District and Downtown with connections to West Side hill (via Leisenring Avenue) and South Connellsville Borough (via Arch Street). The recommendations include: 1. Crawford Avenue: Alternative A Buffered bike lanes from to 7th Street to Prospect Street (excluding Crawford Bridge) With some revisions to existing conditions, Crawford Avenue on the West Side could host buffered bike lanes. Buffered bike lanes will attract the maximum amount of cyclists to the West Side business district. On-street parking would be relocated to the perpendicular side streets. A parking audit was conducted in December 2012 that illustrated that parking demand was low and could be accommodated on side streets. Bicycle parking would be added to the corridor providing adequate parking for cycling customers offsetting any possible short term impacts. The short-term impact to existing economic conditions is expected to be minimal. The long-term benefits to economic conditions are expected to be substantial with the increase in customer capacity reflected by cycling customers.



2. Crawford Avenue: Alternative B Shared Lane Markings from to 7th Street to Prospect Street (excluding Crawford Bridge) Shared lane markings could be installed instead of buffered bike lanes. Shared lane markings don’t have the impact of separated infrastructure. The facilities impact is not known to attract cyclists to a corridor. The symbols serve to accommodate existing cyclists, confirming their place on urban streets. Shared lane markings should be considered a temporary treatment on major streets. 3. Meason Street: Shared Lane Markings from 7th Street, Leisenring Street and Arch Street, Hyndman Street and Baldridge Avenue. Shared lane markings provide adequate visibility and wayfinding on low volume streets such as Meason Street (7th Street to 1st Street), 7th Street (Meason Street to Leisenring Street) and Leisenring Street (7th Street to 11th Street). Arch Street, Hyndman Street and Baldridge would benefit greatly from bike lanes or buffered bike lanes, but the streets are not wide enough to accommodate so shared lane markings are recommended. 4. Crawford Bridge: Due to the narrowness of Crawford Bridge, only shared lane markings can be applied. Due to the importance of the bridge’s connection to Downtown and bicycle unfriendly sidewalk, green shared lane markings are should be installed.




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Street W.$Crawford$Ave Crawford$Bridge Crawford$Ave 7th$St Meason$St 6th$St Arch$St Leisenring$Ave Material(Costs Planning(and( Engineering Total

Cross(Streets Crawford$Bridge$to$7th$St Crawford$Bridge$to$Prospect Leisenring$Ave$to$Meason$St 7th$St$to$Frank$St Meason$St$to$Memorial$Blvd McCormick$St$to$W$Fayette$St 12th$St$to$7th$St

Symbols Lines Units Unit(Subcost Linear(Ft LF(Sub(Cost Costs 24 $4,704 2392 3588 $8,292 14 $2,940 681 56182.5 $59,123 20 $3,920 2014 3021 $6,941 16 $3,136 $3,136 14 $2,744 $2,744 4 $784 $784 146 $28,616 $28,616 20 $3,920 $3,920 258 $50,568 $113,556 $25,000 $138,556


Bicycle(Network(Phase(1(Alternative(B Symbols Lines Street Cross(Streets Units Unit(Subcosts Linear(Ft LF(Sub(Cost Costs 1 W.$Crawford$Ave Crawford$Bridge$to$7th$St 24 4560 0 0 $4,560 2 Crawford$Bridge 14 2660 681 56182.5 $58,843 3 Crawford$Ave Crawford$Bridge$to$Prospect 20 3800 0 0 $3,800 4 7th$St Leisenring$Ave$to$Meason$St 16 3040 $3,040 5 Meason$St 7th$St$to$Frank$St 14 2660 $2,660 6 6th$St Meason$St$to$Memorial$Blvd 4 760 $760 7 Arch$St McCormick$St$to$W$Fayette$St 146 27740 $27,740 8 Leisenring$Ave 12th$St$to$7th$St 20 3800 $3,800 Material(Costs 258 49020 681 56182.5 $105,203 Planning(and( $25,000 Engineering Total $130,203



Phase 2 Due to the relative low traffic volume on most of the Phase 2 streets as well as the narrow curb to curb width, it is recommended that shared lane markings be installed on the following corridors:



Phase 3 Due to the relative low traffic volume on most of the Phase 3 streets as well as the narrow curb to curb width, it is recommended that shared lane markings be installed on the following corridors:


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Sign Design Bicycle wayfinding and destination sign design can differ based on a community’s preference and priorities. The Manual of Uniform Control Devices (MUTCD) offers a baseline design that communities are permitted to revise. Since the Great Allegheny Passage travels through Connellsville, it recommended that Connellsville use a design that mimics signs used in other communities on the Great Allegheny Passage to establish conformity and predictability. Pittsburgh is using the basic MUTCD design and Washington D.C. is using a design. As a result, it is recommended that Connellsville use the basic MUTCD sign design seen below.


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End Point Facilities Like the sign design flexibility, bike rack designs can offer creative interpretation. Many communities treat bike racks as public art, but this strategy can be expensive. It recommended that Connellsville implement basic inverted U shaped racks to establish sufficient end point facilities. The racks should be placed in a symmetric pattern along blocks that establishes predictability. Infill of racks would constitute a second phase with the location being based on demand.


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Chapter 7 Implementation Plan The recommendations in this plan in this Plan provide a basis for going forward with improvements that will significantly improve Connellsville’s bicycle friendliness in the short and long term. The strategy is to implement projects that have short term impacts and substantial long term benefits. Funding for bicycle improvements can come from a variety of sources. Funding will mostly come from local, state and federal transportation funding sources as well as private sources such as foundations and endowments. Foundation/endowment support can be used to seed projects and/or provide match commitments for larger state and federal projects.


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