Allegheny County

Major changes possible for Parkway East, including safety upgrades and improving traffic flow

PITTSBURGH — Big changes are in the works when it comes to traffic issues along the Parkway East.

PennDOT is looking to add major safety upgrades and improve the flow of traffic to the busy stretch of road.

PennDOT is working to secure $45 million for an active traffic management system.

It will target the Parkway East inbound and outbound from Grant Street in downtown all the way to Monroeville, where roughly 100,000 drivers travel each day.

PennDOT District 11 Traffic Engineer Todd Kravits says since they can’t widen the space due to the tunnels and bridges, they can better manage it with a series of tactics.

“The whole purpose of this project, again  is to improve traffic flow on (the) parkway and make it safer for the commuters,” said Kravits.

The master plan includes:

  • - Adding variable message boards to alert drivers to accidents ahead.
  • - Lane control signage warning of potential closures with red “X”s or a green arrow to keep moving on the road.
  • - Gates that will come down to keep drivers away from problem spots or accident sites.
  • - Variable speed limits to keep the speed at a reasonable pace, and reduce crashes and fender benders.

“As congestion begins to rise, the speed limit will lower and commiserate with that, so that can harmonize the speed,” said Kravits.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will vote on the proposal June 26.

Lifelong Pittsburgh drivers tell Channel 11 they are cautiously optimistic about the plan.

They say for true success, it needs to be a collaborative effort.

“Any improvement probably helps, but it’s going to come down to drivers being smart,” said Jason Kikel of Pittsburgh.

Work on the project could begin sometime between late 2024 and early 2025.

PennDOT is working to secure the necessary funding.

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