Commuting from Upper St. Clair
Anonymous 05/29/2012 at 8:35pm #
I live at the boundary of Allegheny and Washington counties — of 19th and Boyce Rd. I started to think about summer work commuting to work (Technology Drive, USS). Don’t want to use T — I’d like to use distance as an exercise. Distance around 15 miles going through Liberty Tunnel. Don’t like 19. Any suggestions? 20-25 with one or hills similar to Henderson would be OK.
I’m a frequent commuter from Mt Lebanon to the Strip District. Personally, I don’t mind West Liberty Ave on the way in, because for the most part I move at the same speed as traffic. Route 19 between Boyce and Mt Lebanon would be ugly, but there are back roads you can follow that will bypass 19. They will, however, involve climbing.
Obviously you can’t go through the Liberty Tunnel, so you have several choices on how to get up and over Mt. Washington. I go up either Warrington (badly torn up) or Bausman (harder to get to) and I know several people who go up Southern Ave.
Let me look at MapMyRide tonight and see if I can make a suggestion for you on a complete route.
I like to get away from the suburban south hills neighborhoods as quickly as possible. Something like:
What John suggested would work as well as can be expected given how difficult most of that area (between Rt. 79 to the west and Rt. 51 to the east) is to navigate by bike. I’d add these comments on his suggested route: 1) there isn’t much of a shoulder on South Park Road and I’d guess there’s a lot of impatient drivers on it in the mornings; 2) I would keep going up Curry Road to the South Hills Country Club, then cross Rt. 51 and ride into the city on Brownsville Rd., rather than working your way over to Streets Run Road. It is less climbing, faster and for the most part safer.
With all that said, I would look at whether you can go west and safely ride parallel to Rt. 79 through Carnegie, Heidelberg, etc. Years ago Danny Chew showed me a good way to get from that area to the West End Circle without much traffic or climbing. That may be a much easier way into the city that dealing with the South Hills’ outer ring suburbs, which were built without much giving thought to anything but cars.
Anonymous 05/29/2012 at 10:23pm #
Thanks for the suggestions.
South Park road is bad during rush hours. And, I believe, intersection with Broughton is still closed due to construction. 2nd is also very bad during rush hours — 50-55 is routine speed. And if go 35 you are passed on left and right. See it everyday. So I would rather walk 300 yards and hit the trail.
Is Streets Run Rd low traffic?
I can get to west part pretty easily. I regards of Denny route, I think he uses Noblestown Rd through Carnegie and to the West End. I know this route. We did 100 miles ride last Saturday in revers.
Between Brownsville Rd. and Prospect Rd, Streets Run Road is fair at best. You will encounter a bit of traffic, no shoulder, higher speeds and cars which have little expectation of bike traffic. The best I can say is that it’s mostly downhill.
After you pass Prospect Road in Baldwin there is a decent enough shoulder and the cars have enough sight distance, and lack of oncoming traffic, to safely pass bikes. Traffic will back up a little around the city border, in Hays, between 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. What’s problematic for bikes is that there are a few places where you can’t filter forward without grinding yourself against the guardrail or grinding your bike against the side of someone’s car.
I occasionally bike the latter section of Streets Run in the mornings, but almost never in the late evenings as I’m afraid of being stuck from behind by drunk drivers coming home from the South Side.
Anonymous 05/30/2012 at 2:20am #
Well, it looks like I will use more familiar roads I used to ride with different groups — http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1253382. Around 20 miles and 2 very manageable hills.
Thank you very much.
The basic google bike directions going up to Library Rd and picking up Brownsville after crossing 51 look pretty decent to me and cut 6 miles off what you have on the ride with gps route. I might tweak them get off Library early and wiggle over to 19 somewhere between Orchard and Shady and then take West Liberty down to town. If you’re really doing it for exercise the 6 miles won’t matter, but if you are doing it for the commute it brings the time down pretty substantially.
That it does – though the 88/51 intersection is pretty wretched. I wouldn’t want to try to push my way through that on a bike during the morning rush, and the evening rush is even worse.
Plus, given the starting point in Mikhail’s previous map, getting to 88 will either add those 6 miles right back on force him to go up the hills he’s trying to avoid.
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