biking to airport.

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dbacklover
Participant
#

Hey everyone. I posted the good news about the bike corral at mad mex on my blog

http://fatguyorangebike.blogspot.com/2012/11/good-news.html

and when I tweeted it it go retweeted by yajagoff. I then got an email from them. here is the text of the email.

“Hey there..

someone sent us a pic of a bike corrall at the Pgh Airport. It seems like a perfect Jagoff blog post concept given that someone paid to have those installed but the likelihood of someone cycling to the airport is pretty low. I had asked on Twitter and found out that it is not illegal to ride your bike on 376 which would have made the installation even more ridiculous in my mind.

However, I don’t want to look like a Jagoff for making fun of this if it really is a practical idea to have bike corrals at the Pgh airport.

Any thoughts?”

I did not know there was a bike corral at the airport since I don’t really like to fly and so haven’t spent much time out there.

anyone know anything about this. Would you (have you) ride (ridden) your bike to the airport?


stefb
Participant
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I thought that the montour trail goes to or will go to the airport?


cburch
Participant
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Yes. There is a trail extension that goes to the airport. It’s a little under an hour if you bus/bike from downtown by way of coraopolis. Totally reasonable, quite a pleasant ride and very welcome addition to the bike infrastructure. Stef and I will probably take advantage of this on our next vacation.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Clearly, Ya Jagoff doesn’t do much biking, or he’d know the trail has been “soft open” for over a year. Lemmesee if I can dig up the thread from Oct-Nov 2011.

I’ve been planning on trying that trip myself sometime. Today may not be the day to do it, since they’re calling for rain later, and I’m not really set up for any distance riding.

EDITs: There was this post, but I was looking for another one, which had several photos, maps, a long discussion. Still looking.

Link: http://www.bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/montour-trail-ride

Other threads:

http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/riding-to-the-airport-to-fly-somewhere

http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/montour-trail-airport-connector-is-sort-of-open (do read this!)

http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/bike-to-the-airport

http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/montour-trail-airport-connector


Vannevar
Participant
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This is a GPS track showing the route the Airport Connector takes from Imperial to the Terminal. (sorry, can’t embed in the forum). I ride this about 6 times a year:

The commercial wisdom of it is that there are people who fly into the airport with their bicycles as checked baggage. When they land, they want to assemble their bikes and start riding to DC. (I’ve met a few of these folks)

It’s really very smart of the airport. Even though the trail near the terminal itself is new and shiny, 98.4% of the connector trail is an old service road (for airport and navaid maintenance) that’s been designated as joint use.

The PIT airport and the Midfield Terminal are generally excellent but one of the things that’s design-wrong is: it’s an airport for people with cars. The old terminal (built in the 1950s) was more public-accessible than the midfield terminal opened in 1992.

So let’s think about another group: service workers, people who aren’t going to Paris for the weekend but are trying to make the week last as long as the money. Now they can ride their bike to work.

Stretching the topic almost too far (sorry), on Friday I was fortunate to ride the B-A and the BWI trail (around the Baltimore Airport). Major trail infrastructure, it connects to the B-A (Baltimore-Annapolis Trail) and it was a great ride.

Here’s a trail sign that I really liked. It includes pointers to the airport and the train station (both places are bike-friendly). That’s what cities and airports are doing in terms of “airport bike trails”. There’s a lot of federal money for projects that make airports “multimodal”.


Swalfoort
Participant
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The bike racks are located at the far end of the parking lot walkway. That’s near the new connection to the Montour Trail. Connecting to the trail provides great opportunities for )mostly inbound) trail related tourism. The racks are used occasionally by outbound travelers, but more frequently bypeople who work in the airport complex and hotel.for an employee living in Coraopolis or Robinson, commuting via the trail is probably faster and cheaper than commuting via transit.


dbacklover
Participant
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Clearly, Ya Jagoff doesn’t do much biking, or he’d know the trail has been “soft open” for over a year.

no reason to be so snarky Stu. He wanted to find out more about the idea of bike corrals at the airport before posting anything about it. I ride and I wasn’t sure about the trail and if it actually went all the way to the airport.

He is simply gathering information and asking those he knows that might have that information. since he knew I had just written about bike corrals on my blog he asked me and I my first thought was to ask you guys.

I have already forwarded the link to this post to them and I hope that they get in touch with us in the future when they need information on the Pittsburgh biking community.

Wouldnt it be great if we could take yajagoff on a ride out to the airport, or on one of our flock of cycle rides. say the dec 14th ride.


Steven
Participant
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The Montour’s Airport Connector officially opened in March 2012, and the rack is right at the end of the connector.

found out that it is not illegal to ride your bike on 376

Yes, it is. In PA it’s illegal to cycle on all limited-access roads (such as interstates) unless explicitly permitted otherwise. The section of I-79 that runs over Neville Island is signed to permit bikes, but I’m not aware of any other local interstate that is. Before the Airport Connector opened, there was no legal way to ride a bike to the airport.


Vannevar
Participant
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dbacklover: Wouldnt it be great if we could take yajagoff on a ride out to the airport, or on one of our flock of cycle rides. say the dec 14th ride.

I think so. Seems like it would always be a good idea to get media folks and politicos out on a bike in a designed, intentional situation where they’re going to have a good experience and come away with one or two points that we’d like them to get. Not an intervention, not a high-pressure mindmeld, just a ride with one or two takeaways.

(and I suspect that happens already with the BikePgh folks)


Anonymous #

Ha-ha, PMTCC, March of 2012

http://ridewithgps.com/users/31945 — from mile 8 (7.9) of Montour to airport.


Anonymous #

@steven “Before the Airport Connector opened, there was no legal way to ride a bike to the airport. “

Well, there was kind of. I have a friend living in Clinton, PA and we used Clinton Rd to spot planes (Clinton road was kind of opened in 90-s and there wasn’t a problem with security) :)

From 16th Bridge get on 51, Proceed to Neville Island, make a right of Neville Island on 51 and stay about 1 mile, jump on Montour mile 0 and go to mile 7.9, Get on Main through Imperail and hit US-30. In about 4.6 miles right on Clinton.


Steven
Participant
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Interesting. Maybe they closed the access from Clinton Road to the Landside Terminal after 9/11, until the Airport Connector reopened it for bikes? Perhaps I should have said “Before the Airport Connector opened, there hadn’t been a legal way to ride a bike to the airport for many years.” :-)


Vannevar
Participant
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Short answer: USAir-Dicks. (had to)

Mikhail is right, originally Moon-Clinton Road passed around the approach end of runway 10L which was a prime airplane watching spot in daylight, a key passion parking™ location, and may or may not have been an impromptu beer drinking spot after an evening shift (ahem).

The Moon-Clinton Road closure/opening/closure wasn’t a 9/11 issue. The death knell for legacy Clinton Road’s continuity from Imperial up to the Flaugherty Run Road area was when USAir reduced their flight schedule at PIT.

When the airport was airplane-busy, it was a hopping and cash-flowing place. USAir reneged on their obligations and, although the airport is still totally one of the best in the country operationally, for revenue purposes they started developing the land around the airport. (Have to pay the bills, n’at)

Pittsburgh-based Dicks Sporting Goods was growing rapidly and they’d outgrown their previous two HQ complexes in short order. The airport sold/leased land at the approach end of runway10L and Dicks built their new campus there, with room built in to expand two more times if they need to.

Dicks have a taxiway off the runway that goes into their hangar and HQ-complex. People flying into Dicks-HQ land, the plane goes into the hangar and they’re at work. wow.

When the airport developed the Dicks real estate deal, they sealed off the original Moon-Clinton Road because it conflicted with the new plan.

Kudos to the airport for adapting and doing what they need to pay their bills. As a taxpayer I completely get it.

As a bicyclist, they’ve developed plans for free-trade-zones, office parks and development all around the airport, and those plans include bike paths connecting to the new Montour segment.

Shifting from “was” to “next”, I do nurture a personal notion. The fence that seals the original Moon-Clinton Road has a man-bike-gate in it, just like the airport perimeter fence at I376 that we’re allowed to cross. If they would open that man-bike-gate for bikes (like they do the other one), then we’d have a bike connector from Moon-FlaughteryRunRoad to Imperial/EnlowStation. Opening that one gate would provide a lot of new bike-friendly route connections. Please?


steevo
Participant
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When my wife an I flew to Europe to do a

9 week tour, literally the only reason that

we flew into Amsterdam is because we KNEW that

we could put our bikes together and ride from

the airport. Sure enough we could.

If it is built, people will use it.


mrs_pinchy
Member
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I’m going on a quick trip and thinking of biking to the airport from downtown. I’m wondering if the bike parking is covered? Has anyone else done this? How long did it take you? With all the airport security I suppose it would be safe to leave a bike there for the weekend. Thoughts?


Kristopher
Member
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Just wanted to add a note. I live in Moon Twp and have cycled from the Montour Trail to the terminal a number of times. The road is a bit rough, but good enough. Anyways, the extension to airport is currently closed as they are completing construction right were the trail crosses the airport exit rd. You can still take the extension from the trail to Clinton Rd, even though there is a huge sign saying it’s closed. It’s there just to head you off so before you ride 5 miles and then find the closed section.
Also the Montour Trail is closed from Mile 0 to the .5 mile (1/2 mile) as it’s a Superfund toxic waste cleanup site. That makes it a bit harder to get from 51 or Neville Island to the next access point at 1.5 miles (Hassem Rd).


Swalfoort
Participant
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It’s funny. The airport was really amenable to a trail connection, and the placement of bike racks at the entrance to the terminal building once the idea was presented to them. It was simply an idea that had not occurred to them. They sort of “poo-poo’d” the idea at first, not believing that there was need/interest but, I think once Mary Shaw and Roy Weil showed them photos of airports in Europe, and talked about putting their bikes together in the baggage claim area in Amsterdam (or someplace), they realized that there is a segment of the travelling public for whom this is a benefit. It all proceeded pretty quickly from there. They now report that they have employees who use it somewhat regularly as well (or did before the construction impediments.)


Kristopher
Member
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More details from the Montour Trail website about the closures.

Airport Connector Milepost 5.8 CLOSED! From July 7 to November 14 the road crossing in & out of the long-term parking lot is CLOSED due to road reconstruction. The rest of the Connector remains open

see link for more detail.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/timkillmeyer/media/Connectorclosurenotice_zps1fa7e622.jpg.html

Mile 0 Trailhead & Trail Mile 0 – Mile 0.5 CLOSED JUNE 12 TO OCT 24. A Superfund Cleanup mandates this closing. Details in link. PLEASE OBEY CLOSURE AS THIS IS A DANGEROUS EPA CLEANUP.

See link below for calendar of closure dates.

http://www.montourtrail.org/shorttime/breslube.pdf


Steven
Participant
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This page says the Montour Trail’s airport connector is open again (2 months ahead of schedule). And the airport now has a bike assembly area in baggage claim, with tools and a pump.


Marko82
Participant
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Two interesting tidbits from @steven‘s link :

“The link (road) now has a new asphalt surface and guide rails…”

“In the future, the ACAA plans to build a covered shelter at the airport for people to store their bikes in”.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Great news from Steven and Marko. I think the airport is doing something great here. The costs of installing an assembly area and covered parking is probably relatively small. If even a few cyclists a year decide to fly to PIT (as opposed to driving or ??) it will probably pay for itself in “new business.” And, it is a great “best practices” model for airports around the country. Hats off to the Allegheny County Airport Authority.


Kristopher
Member
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Well, since I live close I thought I’d give the Airport Extension a go to see what (if anything) is new. I discovered that it’s not completely open as the article mentions. See pic. The exit road from the terminal (which the trail crosses) is still under construction and not passable….at least not legally as it’s technically closed for the work. A dismount and walk through the ditch is feasible for the daring. From the looks of all the activity it won’t be long though.

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