PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The region’s first “Super Stop”—a hub bus stop with innovative amenities for bus riders, cyclists, and pedestrians—will have its Grand Opening at 10:30 am on Tuesday, July 29. Local, regional, and state dignitaries will attend the celebration, organized by the nonprofit Airport Corridor Transportation Association (ACTA; www.acta-pgh.org/). ACTA works to foster economic vitality while encouraging robust and varied commuting options.
For the Super Stop Grand Opening event, featured speakers include Governor Tom Corbett (invited), State Senator Matt Smith, and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
Located in front of the Pittsburgh IKEA store at 2001 Park Manor Boulevard in Robinson Township, the Super Stop is the busiest bus stop in the Airport Corridor. It’s also the transfer point for the popular RideACTA shuttle, which carries hundreds of workers daily between the stop and workplaces up to 1.5 miles away.
The Super Stop—which is already drawing attention across the region—will represent a major advance in safety and convenience. Set safely back from the roadway, it will be accessible and will offer ample room for riders to sit or stand while sheltered from the elements. An unusual touch will be the application to the backs of the bus shelters of a plastic film with images of IKEA furnishings within a room-setting, so when riders sit on a shelter’s bench it will look like they’re in a living room. Swedish retailer IKEA has taken this approach previously in Europe, where it was well received by transit riders.
Amenities will include bike racks, picnic tables and benches, and trash receptacles. A new pedestrian crossing on Park Manor Boulevard will link the Super Stop and IKEA to Robinson Town Centre.
The stop will also house the Airport Corridor’s first bike workstation—a self-contained, free-standing facility where cyclists can make simple repairs.
Super Stop is centerpiece of improvements
The Super Stop is the centerpiece of a range of improvements in the immediate area, also being publicly introduced on July 29. Among the improvements, all designed to enhance safety and mobility for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists:
- A new four-leg intersection, including a new traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalks, will enhance safety on Park Manor Boulevard where it connects the IKEA Driveway and Robinson Town Centre (western) Driveway.
- On Park Manor Boulevard at the PNC driveway—site of many accidents—a new protected lane will help drivers making the left turn.
- Bicycle/vehicle lanes with new signage will support sharing the road between the Montour Trail and the Super Stop.
ACTA initiated and managed the project, securing a $700,000 competitive grant from PennDOT. The planning was based on two recent ACTA studies (“Rethinking the Suburban Bus Stop” and “Moving Around Within a Suburban Commercial Area”), which attracted attention from planners in other cities. Many suburban areas across the US are in the same situation as the Airport Corridor—they are thriving economically, but their infrastructure is dependent on automobile traffic and the areas are often widely spread out, so it’s difficult for public transportation to provide service, and for pedestrians and cyclists to get around. The project addresses these issues.
Bike Connections Map to be introduced
Also to be introduced at the July 29 event: the Airport Corridor’s first Bike Connections Map, designed to help bike commuters by showing the connections among local bicycle trails, the roads to which they connect, and local worksites.
With major funding from PennDOT, the map was produced by volunteers from more than a dozen local organizations coordinated by ACTA. It’s printed on waterproof material, and will be available from ACTA and partner organizations and permanently displayed at the Super Stop. An interactive version of the map on which users can zoom and move about will be available online at www.actabikemap.org and as a smartphone app. The online map will be available on July 29; the Android map is available now and the iPhone map will be available soon (search both Android and iPhone stores for “ACTA bike map”).
Successful project relied on many partners
The project is an example of a successful public-private partnership, combining the vision and resources of governmental, nonprofit, and for-profit entities.
Financial partners for the project, including the Super Stop, include PennDOT, IKEA, PNC Bank, and Robinson Township.
IKEA contributed more than $250,000 toward the project and the bike map, including donating the land for the right-of-way for the new Super Stop, and also spent more than a million dollars on improvements to its own property, to coordinate with the public improvements.
Designers and builders of the new project include Donegal Construction, Informing Design/Bob Firth, Mackin Engineering Company, Maynes & Associates, and Michael Baker Jr., Inc.