Anyone commute from outside of Allegheny County on a bike?

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Anonymous #

I don’t know if it is possible, but I figured I would ask. I have been searching around a little to see if there is a nice bike commute from Westmorland or really any county outside of Allegheny to East Liberty. My first thought was down the new bike trail towards Elizabeth or down that way, but that looks pretty long. I guess a commute could be around 15 miles one way, but I would have to ride that for a bit just to see what it would be like. Anyone ever look into this?


Pierce
Participant
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I used to commute to CCAC Boyce in Monroeville to about East Liberty

Coming from there I took Betty to Logans Ferry, Frankstown/Lott, Main St, Universal, Rodi, Frankstown

http://goo.gl/maps/XCtcQ


Anonymous #

Well, I kind of almost out of Allegheny. Next street to one I live on is the last street in the county and then Washington county starts. It’s about 23 miles if I use secondary roads. Look at my profile at endomondo (http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/user/4740379)/workouts, the one on September 20, or on http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1253376 with change anticipating that Presto-Sygan road is closed. It’s less than 2 hours one way even in traffic. I don’t do it more often since my whole family is concerned about safety.


Anonymous #

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1384866 — our regular club ride sometimes with modification http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1801746.


Anonymous #

Wow, the CCAC looks like a tough go. Riding out there isn’t all that fun, but thanks. That is getting pretty close.

Mikhall, that is pretty far. Looks pretty tough as well, but your second one, you regular club ride. That looks very interesting and could be quite relaxing to be honest. Thanks

Thank everyone for responding. I know my question was… well out there, but I am interested.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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We’ve had inquiries from time to time about riding in from (or out to) Cranberry Twp, but I don’t know of anyone who’s doing it regularly.

I think as well we’ve had regulars on the board who crossed a county line, though I don’t think they’re doing it today.


mboyd
Participant
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The route Pierce suggested could work. As an alternative you could take Beatty to Old William Penn Highway, hang a left of 791 to cross 22 into Churchill, climb up Nottingham, and then take this route into Pittsburgh (it’s my typical work commute): http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/54837142


Anonymous #

Thanks for the replies. It might be a bit too far to do that every day and my work is on my feel and lifting much of the time, so that adds to all of this, but what prompts me is the tax situation in Allegheny County and the tax increases yearly with school and the 22% increase the county added right before this new assessment that killed me, not to mention the 7% drink tax and the extra 1% we pay as a sales tax. I don’t mind paying taxes if I feel we get something in return. I haven’t been very impressed with what everyone does with this tax money in this region. At least out of the county the taxes are much lower.

Anyway, thanks for the replies. I will have to give ride some of those routes. Can’t imagine having to drive a dumb car to work.


salty
Participant
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I think your last sentence answers the question about what you get for your money. Every cent you “save” in taxes you get to spend on a car instead, plus the pleasure of wasting your life away sitting inside it.


Anonymous #

New Kensington and Arnold are in Westmoreland county. I ride to work in Point Breeze occasionally from there, either old 28/Freeport Rd. or ARB will get you there in well under an hour. Or you could always hop up onto Verona Rd through Verona, Penn Hills and then East Hills.


Anonymous #

@salty so if gg chooses to commute by bike then no waste of life? :)

Personally I don’t mind to commute by bike from my place and spending 4 hours to ride 44-46 miles a day since I spend in car about 70-90 minutes a day (if I use T and buses then 3 hours: 10 minutes to get to T, 45 minute ride, 5 minutes to get to bus, 10 minutes wait, 5 minutes ride) and then I ride after work 2-3 times a week for 25-35 miles each time.


Anonymous #

Salty, my last sentence isn’t a consideration, hence me saying “I can’t imagine.” I am not going to drive a car to work. Worst case I live in a crap neighborhood and duck the bullets.

Ben, New Ken and Arnold are possibilities. The commute is doable, but not very nice in terms of auto traffic. I wish there was a trail from the New Ken Bridge to O’Hara. That would make it really nice to ride along the river car free for that long and then finish the commute up through the zoo. I think that is good for a daily.

Mikhall, I thought about using the T, but that would be another expense and not a cheap one in comparison to just cycling.

Thanks for all of your thoughts on this. New Ken is a real possibility. I am going to look a bit closer at that idea. I don’t want to ride ARB from Verona. Maybe the other side of the river?


Anonymous #

Looking at the New Ken area, it would be around 16 miles via bike on not the greatest roads. I am not sure if you could run the tracks to Oakmont, but that still would be pretty rough most likely.


WillB
Participant
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Don’t get anything for the money? The 1% sales tax goes to the Regional Asset District, which gives funding to our major cultural institutions like the zoo, the aviary, Phipps Conservatory, the county parks, the Carnegie and county library systems, along with countless museums and local arts organizations. It’s pretty much the reason we continue to have world class cultural amenities in our small city/county. As for the drink tax, it funds a public transit system with higher ridership than most comparably sized metros. As for the rest of the taxes, they fund the infrastructure that supports the economic activity that gives us all a reason to commute in the first place.


Anonymous #

WillB, we will never agree on this. Most of the money doesn’t go to what you say, it goes to waste. I would imagine 70% waste is a good number. Have you ever seen County workers work for example? Actually, I wouldn’t call what they do work at all. Oh and what about the teachers not paying into healthcare and in some districts making 6 figures? Do you know how much healthcare costs are rising? My district has raised its taxes three years in a row and the past two years they raised them the maximum allowed without some hoops to go through. All the school districts in our region are going to get crushed as each year rolls by. I don’t want to endure those increases year after year and with my new assessment that is wildly high, I am really in for it. Sorry to be a downer, but I am looking to a future that I feel comfortable with.

Anyway, I was looking down past Elizabeth. Would be nice to ride the trail, then across the Highlevel Bridge and down Beechwood Blvd. That would be a joy of a commute.


jonawebb
Participant
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I didn’t realize I work so close to the county line. I commute to the far end of Monroeville most days when the weather in nice, taking the bus (67 or 69) when it isn’t or I want to sleep in a little. I can still ride home. This gets me to Route 43/Mosside Blvd near Pitcairn. The county line is just a little bit farther, in Trafford. So you could do the same (the ride down Wall Ave through Wall, Wilmerding, and Turtle Creek is not bad) or take the 69 bus the other way when you felt like it.


Anonymous #

Jonawebb, how long does it take you to commute that far? I never have ridden out that way to be honest. Thanks.


jonawebb
Participant
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A little over an hour each way. I live in Squirrel Hill. And I’m not terribly fast.

BTW when I get to Turtle Creek I ride up through East Pittsburgh to Brinton and follow that to Edgewood. I used to go up through Chalfant to Ardmore but Google Maps kept wanting me to go the other way and it seems less scary.


Anonymous #

We used Greensburg Pike from Turtle Creek to Penn to Woods to Hamilton to 16th Street Bridge on club rides. Greensburgh Pike real nice road with good shoulders and very mild traffic. And it’s a good long uphill. :)


Mick
Participant
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@gg I don’t mind paying taxes if I feel we get something in return.

“WE” got two new sports stadiums! (or at least the team owners did. And shouldn’t our tax money go to deserving but needy billionaires?)


jonawebb
Participant
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I tried Greensburg Pike the past couple of days. It is definitely faster than Brinton Road or Chalfant/Ardmore. Greensburg is two lanes all the way to the Parkway and the right lane is used for parking until you get to the top of the hill, so it is not used by cars much. The road maintenance is not great but it is acceptable. Brinton has a certain abandoned Pittsburgh charm, though, and I think the overall climb must be less than Greensburg.


Anonymous #

Mick – I’m sorry to say you are WRONG!

3 stadia, Steelers (~$250mil), Pirates (~$250 mil), Penguins (~$300mil), AND a conversion from a convention center ADDITION to a new convention center (~$400mil), AND a hole under the water to supply 2 of the above stadia with customers (~$600 mil)

To be fair, of the above $ expended, there were some private and non-local tax $ involved.

Steelers ~$55mil

Pirates ~$30mil

Penguins ~$0

Convention Center ~$0

Hole in the water ~$480mil from Feds (80%)

oh… and don’t forget the biggest issue with the stadia –

2 public votes to fund the stadia with tax $ BOTH resulted in an approximate 3:1 vote AGAINST.

note: the costs I am trying to use are actual completion cost – NOT – original estimates, and most of these numbers are from memory, so no flames please if they are far off. :)


HiddenVariable
Participant
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@been_there_done_that: you will no doubt hear a great “whoosh!”ing sound very soon.


CommuterX
Participant
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@Mikhall – I think you’d save yourself a fair bit of time on your commute with an alternative route. McMurray/Bethel Church/Broughton/Baptist/Brownsville/Becks Run/Carson/Hot Metal/2nd. My time varies according to the time of year and weather, but it takes me a little over an hour from South Hills Village. And you have an excellent shoulder (except for Becks and Carson) the entire route.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Jonawebb has a good idea there. A while back (2 summers maybe) there was a thread about riding from the east end to Monroeville. Many suggestions for routes to the JCC that traversed parts of the Turtle Creek Valley. If you can get to Turtle Creek, which people seemed to be doing from Squirrel Hill on a regular basis, it’s only another 4-6 flat miles to Trafford, in Westmoreland County via the local roads around the TriBorough Expressway, then out SR130 through Pitcairn.


Anonymous #

@commuterx Thanks. But it happens to be a battle against family not the distance. :) If they knew that I am using heavily traveled roads then commuting is out of questions. Even now it’s very rare. I don’t mind to ride 40-50 miles a day. :) I need to exercise.

But I’ll try to play a card that only 2.5 hours a day I don’t need to go to group rides more often (I do around 3-4 per week during mid spring/summer/mid fall).

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