Jail trail access, ride briefly on 2nd avenue?

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Anonymous #

There was a woman I saw on my ride home riding on 2nd avenue going west in that little area where there’s the barrier before the parking lot with the trail access.

I don’t often ride down in that direction, but was going up that way this time to try an less direct route with a shallower climb, avoiding sidewalk entirely. Was a good change of pace.

Anyways, my question for the forum is, are cars expecting you there? I kind of put 2nd avenue on my list of streets that were too fast for me to want to ride on them.

This is a really tiny section, but, dunno, oh wise message board, do cars expect bikes there? Do people generally ride west there in the street?

Going east behind the barrier, I know the answer, but do most people follow the post and hop off the bike, or stay on in the barrier-ed area. Or do people ride east on that stretch of 2nd avenue, too??

By the way, the woman waved and I’m guessing she may be on this forum since I recognized her from a dirty dozen video. Props there, and sorry I didn’t wave back, was having a klutzy moment.


Marko82
Participant
#

I suspect you will get a variety of responses to the proper way to handle this stretch, and some of it will be time of day dependent, i.e. is it rush hour.

My usual preference is to jump the tracks when headed outbound (east) & use the street when headed inbound (west). I rarely use the little chute due to its narrowness and propensity to collect glass and road debris. If you use the chute make sure you go slow and be prepared for pedestrians or other cyclist at the corners.


Anonymous #

Thanks Marko. I’m not a huge fan of the chute, alternatives are good, but I’m not sure I know what you mean when you say you jump the tracks headed east. Can you elaborate a bit?


salty
Participant
#

The chute is a stain on Pittsburgh cycling and the “walk bikes” sign is ridiculous and an embarrassment. One of these days I’m going to put up a “push cars” sign up.

I take the road going inbound, I think it’s reasonably safe but be careful taking the turn up the hill at speed, I’ve heard of people wiping out on gravel there.

Sometimes I take the road going outbound too, although I usually take the chute… slowly, and I ring the hell out of my bell.

I don’t really like jumping the tracks, but I do that at times as well – see the little gravel path headed down to Saline in the middle of this map? http://goo.gl/maps/SXvAS


Anonymous #

I normally ride the chute outbound, but slowly. Agree with ^ about watching for glass there and I ring the bell approaching the corners. My friend calls out “Bike! Bike!” as he approaches those corners. I get off the sidewalk and use the road at the light though because i almost always find glass on that sidewalk.

I avoid the chute and use the road inbound there, and also agree with the caution about taking the right turn up the hill.

To cross the tracks: instead of going down the hill from the parking area you go across the adjacent parking lot. When you get to the RR tracks, look for the path worn in there from others doing this. You have to carry the bike over the tracks and then go down a steep, gravel path on the opposite side to rejoin the sidewalk on the trail. Careful. Plenty of potential to slip on the gravel there.


Anonymous #

I use always road inbound and mostly road outbound (about 80%), sometime jump rails (15%), and use chute the rest of the times.


helen s
Participant
#

I ride through there daily on my commute – over 10 years now. I always take the road inbound- motorists usually have seen you coming down to the turn- and since you are going downhill, you don’t slow them too much although it seems most drivers floor it through there to save a few seconds before getting stopped in traffic.

I also always use the chute going east- ringing or hollering (my bell broke recently) at the corners. I have never taken the tracks- once I am on my bike, I don’t like getting off unnecessarily.

I do wish those that take the tracks and move rocks onto the trail would sometimes stop and move some of their blockage off the trail. The city did shovel it recently, but it has filled up again. I hope to get down there with a shovel sometime before it snows and they freeze in place.


mr marvelous
Participant
#

I always say do what makes you comfortable. I never hop the tracks because I’m not comfortable with trains or like getting off my bike. I usually take the road in and outbound. But if the chute is more comfortable go for it. I stopped using the chute because of 2 flats in a week using it.


rice rocket
Participant
#

Er, edited. I have reading comprehension issues…


helen s
Participant
#

I do sometimes get flats but can’t say where the that particular piece of glass comes from. Plenty of shards everywhere- and flats are usually not immediate- the piece gets picked up and slowly works it’s way through to the tube.


Pierce
Participant
#

I use 2nd Ave inbound, usually hop the tracks outbound, although sometimes I change it up and use the chute/2nd Ave outbound as well


cburch
Participant
#

Tracks. Since the trail opened. I also stop and kick rocks off the sidewalk when they are getting bad. You’re welcome Helen :D


Vannevar
Participant
#

Road inbound. Chute outbound, “bike bike bike“.

How do you spell FAIL? Crossing active railroad tracks and clambering down hills rather than using terrible pseudo-segregated-infrastructure.

Also, stoooopidest sign ever seen going into the Swinburne trailhead car-parking lot: Bikes must yield to Cars. What’s the provenance of that?

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Voting.


Anonymous #

So, sounds like there’s a strong consensus on biking inbound, will do that next time it comes up for me.

Not sure about possibility of getting the debris issue dealt with, but will certainly ask while I’m getting discouraged by negative answers to tenative suggestions on how to fix the mess.

Will also throw in mention of the ridiculous signage, the overly tight corners, and suggest sharrows on that section on 2nd avenue, at least going inbound.


Steven
Participant
#

Bikes must yield to Cars

Isn’t it “Bikes must yield to vehicles”? For that little bit of extra obnoxiousness.


Benzo
Participant
#

i almost always ride 2nd ave when I’m riding solo, inbound or outbound. I’m usually going inbound during busy hours and outbound during off-hours for traffic.


Ahlir
Participant
#

I’ve done all three but these days simply take the street.

Going outbound is best if you wait for the traffic from the west to thin out: you’ll easily reach the underpass before the next wave catches up with you. Inbound is reasonable since traffic is not up to speed due to the turn from under the bridge.

If it’s very trafficky I will venture into the chute but I really dislike it.

Crossing the tracks is a pain (I did it for a while), mostly because I’m too lazy to get off my bike and the rocks can (literally) be a pain if your shoes are thin.

I like the idea of sharrowing that stretch of 2nd, maybe also a nice blinking light at the corner (I can dream).


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Tracks. Always. Both directions.

I hate the chute, either direction, for differing reasons. I hate 2nd, either direction, for differing reasons. I especially hate the right off of inbound 2nd onto Swinburne. Not only have I almost wiped out there, you have to slow down A LOT not to overshoot the turn and run headlong into someone coming down Swinburne. If you have a car on your butt, that’s damn near impossible.

Trains moving 25-30 mph aren’t moving any faster than cars moving 25-30 mph. If I can cross a street with moving traffic, I can cross a pair of tracks, too, and it’s usually easier to hear a train coming than a car.

Next time, I’ll clear some gravel on my way past, too.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
#

Tracks, every time. Pretty much the same reasons as Stu.


Ahlir
Participant
#

I haven’t investigated this, but I believe that the rocks are on top of asphalt. I wonder if clearing a narrow lane (say down the middle) would make everyone happy: bikers can ride it and maintenance trucks have all-weather access.

But remember: we’re all bona fide legal vehicles and have full right to use the street. If you must, think of yourself as a tractor or as an Amish horse-buggy. No one believes that they they have no right to the road.


helen s
Participant
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I like the idea of a bike lane through the loose rocks. If I eveer get donw there with my shovel, I will give that a try.

Has a maitenence truck ever gone up that section?


Ahlir
Participant
#

Has a maitenence truck ever gone up that section?

Can’t say I’ve ever seen one but there’s definitely an access road along the tracks that starts at the top.


Pierce
Participant
#

I think I have seen CSX trucks around that section; whenever they go up or down they also dump a bunch of rocks all over the sidewalk


Anonymous #

CSX definitely uses access road. But most of the time they use tracks themselves by using small and not so small tracks that can go over rails.

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