Bike and Rides
I live in Irwin, PA (Westmoreland County), and last fall I took a position in downtown Pittsburgh. Thus far, my commute has been a mix of driving and taking the Westmoreland County Transit – but the last express bus home is 5:40pm, and I often have trouble making it.
I’d like to begin driving to the outskirts of the city, parking and biking the rest of the way in. To avoid sitting in any traffic, we are talking somewhere near Wilkinsberg off of the parkway east or from Rt 30.
Hopefully this post will serve two different purposes 1) help me find the best bike n ride route and 2) perhaps get people talking about creating more “official” bike and ride routes for others like me that live outside of the city.
There are usually a bunch of free (as in no $$, and available) spots near Hamnett Station in Edgewood. From their you can either bike downtown, or via the busway.
I know someone who lives in Plum and catches the bus to oakland this way.
I’ll second Hamnet Station. I used to live right behind the busway parking lot. Get there before 8:30 or so to make sure there is a parking space. Ride down Whitney Ave toward Regent Square. Whitney Ave might look a little scary at first, but once you go under the railroad tracks things begin to improve. Once you hit Braddock Ave. there are many route options to get downtown.
There’s an actual sidewalk/trail along the busway from Hamnett all the way to South Avenue. Just watch for pedestrians.
Thanks. This is what I’m looking for, and I’d also like to explore some options off of Rt 30 as well (forest hills, etc). Also realized the title of my thread may be misleading. Should be Drive n Park n Bike.
You can also take route 148 down to Mckeesport, Duquesne or the waterfront in Homestead and ride from there. Pick your distance based on how you feel. The are buses that can take you back to your car if you don’t feel like riding after work. Help me out here Stu, the 61 to Mckeesport…
Once you’re at Hammett Station (or the Wilkinsburg Park & Ride for that matter) I find that there are a number of effective routes downtown.
(through Wilkinsburg, Point Breeze, and Squirrel Hill to Neville, and go down to the Jail Trail; take Penn or Liberty all the way into town; Penn to Fifth and Fifth all the way in; etc)
In my fondest dreams, PAT extends that trail that runs alongside the busway all the way into town. I can’t really see it happening (the bridge over parts of Homewood is pretty tight), but I like to dream.
We might sooner get the path extended through Edgewood. (Long story short: Edgewood gov’t for the last 35 years has been so afraid of “those people” that they’ve twice kiboshed the busway, most noticeable in the absence of a busway station there or the trail along it.)
Trail along busway past Wilkinsburg, not gonna happen, no horizontal space.
One more time, we need a trail structure over the tracks by Duck Hollow and a saner method of connecting Irvine/Second to the Jail Trail. Then Shawn and half the Mon Valley can bike a level, car-free path all the way in from Braddock.
@Marko, the 61C runs from Homestead, 61D from Summerset, 61B from Braddock, 61A from Wilkinsburg. Jump off by South Craig or Dippy and hit the Jail Trail.
Also, with a little wandering, you can pick up Forbes Ave at Peebles… then down forbes -> Wightman -> Beacon(?) -> Greenfield Ave -> Jail Trail.
That’s my favorite, since you get a little bit of Schenley in there. Oh, and nice hill from Forbes & Braddock to Forbes and Shady.
Thanks everyone! I’m going to start trying a few different routes. It’s going to come down to convenience and TOTAL commute time including the time to drive/ability to avoid traffic. So, I’m open to alternate suggestions as well. I think if the GAP trail was done by sandcastle, etc, I be way more inclined to drive to the waterfront or somthing in homestead to park there.
But I love the idea of parking by the bus stop in case the weather turn bad or someting comes up with the kids and I need to take the bus to my car.
I’d say your Plan A is: drive to W’burg, use the park & ride there, P3 (former EBO) to Oakland on a bus rack, hop off by Neville/5th, down Neville/Boundary to Jail Trail. If lousy weather at day’s end, you can always P1/P2 straight from D’tn to W’bg to get to the car.
What about Turnpike to Harmar? Freeport Road to HPB or 62nd, then Butler Street?
Anonymous 04/12/2012 at 8:57pm #
Personally, I would avoid the Wilkinsburg Park & Ride lot (next to Popeye’s on Penn), especially if you’ll be there after dark. There have been several shootings in Wilkinsburg this year, including one at that bus station. There have also been cars broken into at that lot and a couple of armed robberies, all in about the last year or so.
That whole area seems to be rife with violent crime this year. The Hamnet station *might* be a safer option. I’ve used that bus station before and it seems alright. If you’re going all the way to downtown though, you might consider something further west than Wilkinsburg, but that’s just my $0.02.
One idea: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5403722
You could cut out some climbing by doing 2nd Ave and the duck hollow trail, but that adds about a mile, and an illegal railroad crossing.
you’ll have to experiment with what suits you best. I haven’t had any personal safety issues with that part of Wilkinsburg over the past 7 years that I’ve been working in the area, so I wouldn’t shy away from it on that reason alone. I guess I would vouch for my parking lot then, since I feel safe there. PM me for details if interested.
I’ve posted a number of rides out of Wilkins Township, including three different routes that I take into the city: http://www.mapmyride.com/site/search/?q=%22wilkins+township%22&search= . The one that I’ve labeled “hillier, less traffic” passes through Forest Hills. If you want to park in North Versailles (not sure if there is parking there), you could head down Ice Plant Hill Road or Greensburg Pike #2 (both fast/steepish descents and nice leg burners going up), get 130 north out of Turtle Creek, and hook up with my other two commute routes.
It wasn’t perfect, but try #1 was a relative success. The Hamnet station lot looked ok, but I did see some “busted out window glass” that made me kinda nervous. We will see.
I try coming up the jail trail on the way home.
what time do you leave? I ride from RT. 148 down the GAP to the Waterfront. It gets dicey from there…Homestead, Glenwood Bridge, Hazelwood then Jail Trail. Takes about an hour on my 29er. http://g.co/maps/sb6pu
Sorry for the double-post. I ride in on the Steel Valley Trail (between 7 & 7:15 AM) taking the route posted above. I love the ride as it is quiet and no cars during the first 30 minutes or so. I’ve seen doe & turkey running along the route. For the most part, cars are cool with me through Homestead and Hazelwood, though I pull over when there is a ton of traffic. The traffic lights control the flow nicely to allow me to go without problems. The way home is much easier because the gates at Sandcastle have been open. I can’t wait for the 1100 feet to be completed at Keystone Metals.
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