PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — While morning rush hour is far from normal these days, there is a disturbing trend emerging.
This trend has city leaders concerned and KDKA’s John Shumway looked into this issue for more.
The issue is traffic flow and people returning to the roads.
For months, so many people have been working from home that the norms of morning and afternoon traffic have become free flowing.
With the exception of when we have accidents, the major backups on our parkways have been far less since the stay-at-home order went into effect in March.
Even now under the ‘green’ phase, our parkways and interstates, not to mention the traffic on main streets downtown Pittsburgh or in Oakland is not close to normal.
Those who study traffic patterns are seeing a very concerning trend in just who is on the road — currently only around 40% of the commuting public has returned to their daily commute, but those numbers don’t add up.
KDKA’s John Shumway spoke with Karina Ricks, Director of Mobility and Infrastructure for the City of Pittsburgh.
“We have seen a return of about 80% of the motor vehicle traffic. That is a big problem if we ever want to resume full economic activity in the city and not lead to massive traffic congestion. We need to support bicycle and alternatives so we don’t have gridlock throughout our city,” Director Ricks said.
Director Ricks says around 25% of the population do not have a motor vehicle and need to have the safe alternatives to get around.
That’s part of the reason that the city has 120 miles of bike lanes planned — that represents around 10% of the city’s roads.
Director Ricks says for Pittsburgh’s traffic patterns to work, mass transit needs to be used.
The Port Authority tells KDKA that they are carrying between 30% and 35% of their normal amount of passengers right now.