Data Collection & Public Engagement
The first stage of the project, Gathering Information, consists of collecting data to learn more about the existing conditions in the study area. To do so, efforts have been focused on conducting public outreach and completing traffic studies. The combination of these efforts will help the project team identify the transportation needs of those who use the interstate and the surrounding transportation network.

Public Outreach
Public outreach opportunities during this phase of development have included holding stakeholder interviews, creating a project website, conducting a public online survey and holding Public Meetings. To learn more about these efforts and the results, check out the Public Outreach page of this website.

Traffic Studies
Traffic studies were initiated in October 2013, including traffic counts and origin-destination studies along the Parkway East and surrounding state and local roads extending from the City of Pittsburgh to Monroeville. Simultaneously, the Project Team was conducting a review of previous studies conducted related to the Parkway East and performing an analysis of existing crash data.

Previous Studies- A review of the following previous studies was conducted:

Tech Memo of Previous Studies

The following previous studies were included in the Tech Memo:

1991 Parkway East Initiative Study

1994 Squirrel Hill Traffic Study

2006 Eastern Corridors Transit Study

2011 Ramp Management in PA report

Crash Analysis- A safety study was conducted using data reported from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012 to determine the frequency and causes of crashes along the Parkway East. Below is a link to a summary of the findings by travel direction:

Westbound Safety Study Summary

Eastbound Safety Study Summary

Traffic Counts- Aerial traffic counts were conducted during the PM peak hour on October 22, 2013, and during the AM peak period on November 6, 2013. These counts were conducted for two-hour periods and provided a comprehensive look at travel patterns through the corridor. Automatic traffic recorder counts were also taken on those two dates at several locations on the Parkway East.

Morning Peak Hour Inbound On-ramp Counts

Evening Peak Hour Outbound On-ramp Counts

The project ream prepared the following Tech Memo to detail the findings of the traffic counts:

Tech Memo of Traffic Counts

Origin/Destination- To learn more about travel patterns in the project area, the project team studied traveler origin and destinations. Counts were conducted between October 22 and November 6. Counts were taken using equipment which detect Bluetooth devices, and compared device id numbers at key intersections. The below graphic summaries travel patterns originating from the east and traveling through the Squirrel Hill Tunnels to a destination on the western side of the tunnel.

Squirrel Hill Tunnel Graphic

In addition, a series of maps were developed to show what percentage of traffic generated from 3 eastern locations traveling to 4 western locations utilized the Parkway East via the Squirrel Hill Tunnel vs. those who used alternate routes to reach their destinations.

Origin and Destination Mapping

Alternate Routes Identified

Traffic Counts- were conducted at 56 intersections throughout the study area. These were primarily at Parkway interchanges, but were also on major alternate routes such as, Second Avenue, Penn Avenue and Braddock Avenue.