Anyone been on the jail trail since Fri eve??

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IHeartMyBike
Participant
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I use the jail trail for my daily commute during the week. I didn’t head home until 11-11:30pm Fri night and I had a very hard time when I got on the trail because I kept slipping on ice patches. I am currently using touring tires with minimal tread (for now, but looking to buy some studs soon). I had to ride very slowly the entire way and it kind of sucked. I would have gone through downtown if I had known. I was just wondering if anyone has been on the trail more recently and knows how slick it is. I am trying to decide if I should take an alternate route tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading!


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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I was on it Saturday afternoon. It was fine on a ‘cross bike with ‘cross tires (Clement PDX)

One thing you can do in that situation is ride in the grass. Less freeze/thaw there.


brian j
Participant
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I didn’t ride it this morning, but the sections I could see from the Birmingham Bridge were still snow covered and rutted with various sorts of tracks.


sgernot
Member
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Iheart, I have some studded tires for sale.


helen s
Participant
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I rode it yesterday and today. It is rideable with 700 x 25’s without much tread, but needs constant attention to your handlebars.

I really wish the city could do a quick brush job on the trail before it gets all rutted and lumpy. I also wish somehow the riders could take one side and the pedestrians the other.

But as I said to the biker I passed at the west end “It still beats Second Avenue!”


erok
Keymaster
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please call or email 311 for this.


sloaps
Participant
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Jailtrail and southside trail is packed and windswept. Oddly, the jailtrail is clear along the second avenue parking area – which is the exact opposite to last year.

either 25’s or knobby 32’s will motor through it.


helen s
Participant
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I contacted 311 this afternoon- see post in that topic.


Kordite
Participant
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The Hot Metal Bridge and trail to the Swinburne lot was marginally plowed yesterday. Of course, because they let the snow get packed down it wasn’t a very good job. The trail between Bates Street construction and the Second Avenue lot has been not been touched.

What has been done will be made entirely moot with the additional snow we are expecting later today and tomorrow.


scott
Keymaster
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Any update on the jail trail from yesterday/today? I made a 311 request 2 days ago about it.


Pierce
Participant
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I was on it last night, it looked clear. The panther hollow trail has also been cleared. Hot Metal Bridge was also good. Don’t know about North of the bridge though


Pseudacris
Participant
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Jail trail has been plowed, both sides of Bates!!!

There are a few exceptions: the wood detour ramp up to the trail on 2nd Ave, and the trail section alongside the outdoor parking lot on the West side of the jail. I’d recommend cutting through the lot, around the jail & garage to 2nd Ave, but be super careful of cars on weekdays.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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How about the ramp from 2Av to HMB? Easy to overlook/forget, and hardest to bust the ice out of, since it gets zero sun.


Pseudacris
Participant
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I was able to get up & down it today. There was a melted area ~ 2 ft wide with slushy snow on the edges. I can imagine it icing up overnight.


Pseudacris
Participant
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@stu: here ya go…


scott
Keymaster
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Thanks for posting photos. I’m concerned that the City just doesn’t seem to be performing their duties as it relates to bike/ped infrastructure.

I’m curious how many people on here have submitted complaints about HMB using 311?


Pseudacris
Participant
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There were a lot of tire tracks and human/dog footprints on both trails yesterday. People are using the trails year round and the city needs to get with it, especially when the buses are stuffed to the gills. A lot of people use the trails to get to work, on wheels and on foot. I can see how some cyclists would get to a trail head and turn around, discouraged, thinking it had not been plowed. In fact, I did that. It’s hard to tell from a hundred yard away (or more) that the trail is clear, if the access point is still snowy. I think they skip it because the plows don’t go there. Time for some shovels, city!


Ahlir
Participant
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This morning I came down the Panther/Junction Hollow path and on to the South Side. On the whole it was almost ok, but I agree with Pseudacris that some stretches qualify as daunting. Here’s the rundown:

1) The small rise on entering the trail from Boundary looked like it was all snow. But this was the powder that came down earlier in the morning, and had pavement underneath. It’s probably gone by now.

2) The trail itself was clear, except for the occasional jogger. (The track is narrower than in the summer, so everyone needs to pay attention.)

3) The plowing stops short of the bridge, but you can follow the truck tracks through the lawn and on to the parking lot. Of course this was frozen mud with serious ruts. I just powered through and hoped for the best. It worked. The parking lot road was icy. It could have used a better scrape and some salt (which only started at the RR bridge).

3) The Swinburne parking lot was a mess: packed icy snow with asphalt hardly visible. The same was true of the Jail Trail (though it did have a narrow strip of naked asphalt on the right edge). If I had arrived in a car, I probably would have turned around and left.

4) The bridge over 2nd and the HMB were fine, though again the dusting of powder make things a bit tricky.

5) The ramp at the American Eagle end was a lot more exciting: I couldn’t tell what was powder and what was ice. So I wiped out coming around the first switchback. (Just like skiing! Get up, dust the snow off and keep going.) Although I had slicks on, I doubt knobbies would have helped given the lateral force, studs could have helped). This is a *great* place to have salt.

All in all, I’d say this passage is open, as long as you pay attention. Yes, I will call 311 and make suggestions [BTW, do they have email? Explaining this stuff and expecting the guy on the ground to get it right sounds a lot like playing post-office). Past that, pretty much all major roads I rode today were snow/ice free. Bundle up and get out there!


Pseudacris
Participant
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@ahlir, you can fill out the report on line here:

http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/mayor/html/311_request_form.html

As dwillin has noted elsewhere, if you decide to cut n paste your complaint here, consider leaving off the Ticket ID# they’ll send you, unless you want to share all the personal info you entered on the form with the internets.


Pseudacris
Participant
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Hmmm, I was thinking that trail reports might be one really useful use for twitter. Are there existing hash tags anyone knows of (e.g. #bikejailtrail) that could be used for instant updates?

[edit] ok, I am behind the times, per usual:

pghtrails on twitter


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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I’ve pushed for a hashtag but I don’t know how to start one nor do I want to start a parallel channel.

That said, the current system relies on PghTrails retweeting your tweet about conditions.


rsprake
Participant
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All you do to create a hashtag is add it to your tweet. The trick is to get everyone to use the same one so that when you create and save a search for it there is data there.


sloaps
Participant
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Something to discuss at the members meeting? #pghbike #bikepgh #completelyvoluntaryreportingofroadandtrailconditionsforcyclistsinpittsburgh or something.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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Seems #pghtrails is the easiest.

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