Detour to start on Eliza Furnace/Jail Trail

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Ohiojeff
Participant
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@erok, be a shame if they take that ramp out. But maybe they plan to expand it? If I remember my camera I’ll try to grab a photo in the morning.


buzz1980
Participant
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The biggest thing that bothers me about these projects is that there are, or will be 3 major projects taking place on the trails, that aren’t even related to trail-specific improvement. The Bates St bridge, tunnel raising and the water pump house on the SS trail are taking away lots of trail access.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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I think the Bates St project is a-ok if it means a semitrailer doesn’t rip the overpass down as I’m biking across it…


Lyle
Participant
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I used forbes to get home today. I think I prefer it to liberty now. It’s not quite as jammed up as grant st at the start, the average speed is about 12-15 mph which is quite comfortable for controlling a lane, and the only bad part is the bit right after the bham bridge. But even that is manageable.


HoffmannJ
Participant
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I don’t mind Fifth and Forbes to get between Oakland and Downtown, and I’ll probably use those rather than the detour. If you’re going right at rush hour, though, it can be intimidating to people who are less comfortable in traffic.


salty
Participant
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I took Bates->2nd->Hot Metal at about 6pm. I was actually planning to take the bike/ped bridge but then I saw there was no curb cut and wasn’t about to try to jump it with a car up my ass so I took the normal bridge – screw it.

This was after I saw a cop car on Bates nearly splatter a guy in a crosswalk carrying a pizza with his family in tow. I guess those “yield to peds in crosswalk” signs are only a suggestion – big surprise.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Here are some photos of the area at 2nd Ave and “Middle Access Drive”

The Technology Center Side:

IMG_1255

The jail trail side of the street, lots of gravel piled up where that curb cut is located:

IMG_1257

Looking down the ramp:

IMG_1256

And the entrance to the ramp from the trail:

IMG_1258

In the first photo, you can see the push to cross button on the far side, I neglected to see if there was one on the trail side. If not, that’s a serious problem that the city ought to fix. These were taken around 7 a.m.


Lyle
Participant
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That looks like a fine, ADA-compliant ramp. For someone on crutches, or in a wheelchair.


Steven
Participant
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I’m not sure that’s the ramp for the detour. Based on the posted diagram, it looks like there will be two ramps. The original ramp is aligned with the western side of Middle Access Drive. The new one is aligned to the eastern side. It’s also supposed to be ten feet wide; the old one looks narrower.

I wonder if the other elements of the detour are built yet. The diagram shows a path off the bridge that seems to go around the back of the bus stop there (the cross-hatched area), for instance. If the detour will go into effect Wednesday as the P-G reported, and they really do follow the plans, they have considerable work to do before then.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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They haven’t started any other construction in that area, that’s for sure. They did clear some vegetation up toward the parkway east on-ramp at Bates Street. (Maybe bikes will get routed up on the parkway!)


Impala26
Participant
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I checked out the area myself as well. The two curbs at the north end of Bates/2nd are still gravel at the moment. If anyone is planning on using Bates to get to Hot Metal, stay on the road, or at least get on the road around the vicinity of the Hideout/Parkway underpass and proceed straight across 2nd toward the PTC or like an oblique left to get on the sidewalk there. I think with traffic it’s easier to proceed straight across, then wait for the intersection to clear to get to the sidewalk.

Getting to the trail/Hot Metal from Bates is so much simpler with the dirt path… thus why I’m so frustrated with this project. I’m also frustrated like everyone else about how all these construction projects are going on at once. The Bates corner sidewalk has been gravel for around a month already…


JZ
Participant
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Yeah, I’m hoping that ninety degree turn onto Second doesn’t end up being the detour.

I switched to using Penn Ave for my commute home. Not as nice as the trail, but seemingly nicer than the detour.


erok
Keymaster
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i feel the frustration too, but look on the bright side – in less than a month there will be a new trail open from the northside to milvale, and soon a new trail by the convention center.

yeah it sucks, but they are at least going to be doing this work in the winter when trail use is down.

there are road/bridge closings all the time in this town. i’m glad that people are active and complain enough that they have to throw a bone and provide the detour.

also, why is the pitt news the only one talking about this aspect of the project:

Using $3.6 million of city, state and federal funds, the city will replace the old railroad bridge with a taller, wider bridge, said Chuck McClain, the city’s project manager for bridges and structures. The new bridge will accommodate the proposed Mon/Fayette Expressway into Oakland — and 17-foot-6-inch tall trucks…. The city acquired the bridge from PennDOT about 20 years ago, and because car drivers don’t use it, officials don’t give it high priority, McClain said.

“If the bridge was not part of the Mon/Fayette Expressway, I doubt if we would be replacing it,” he said.


erok
Keymaster
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BradQ
Participant
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The Mon/Fayette Expressway? I thought that project was buried long ago.


Tabby
Participant
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there’s no funding for the MFX, but it’s never been officially killed or pulled off the table. If there was a budget windfall that project would be shovel ready. ::shivers:: I’m hoping that by the time they find the funding someone will have the sense to kill it.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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I’m hoping that by the time they find the funding someone will have the sense to kill it.

Don’t worry, we’ll all have hoverbikes in the year 2317 anyway…and teleporters.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Now that I’ve worked through my frustration about the “Surprise!” nature of this detour announcement, honestly the detour itself isn’t that bad–just a little more time consuming. I don’t mind riding on Forbes, or Liberty, or Penn, or etc. but if you don’t like riding with a lot of traffic, the trail is still the way to go, just allow more time.


Tabby
Participant
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I totally wouldn’t count on it jeff. The MFX was initially proposed in the 1950s- the region was totally different economically and of course transportation planning was just starting to really focus on moving car and truck traffic. We’re already so far from the vision of the MFX that I can totally imagine being on our hoverbikes and teleporters and that road being built anyway just because the paperwork has been signed off.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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MFX^H^H^H Mon-Fayette/SOuthern Beltway -> MFSOB

It’s a zombie, I tell you. You cannot kill the damned thing, no matter how many times you kill it.

Thank you for the heads-up. Yet even one more wiggle towards building it.


Kordite
Participant
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They closed the trail Thursday evening after rush hour.


Tabby
Participant
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didn’t see that anyone posted this yet, it’s a detour map from the URA website: http://www.ura.org/pdfs/ElizaFurnace-TrailDetour-Map.pdf


msprout
Participant
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I tried the detour out tonight. It’s a bit tight, but actually not that bad. They really put a lot of amenities to help people find the detour. I’m a fan.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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The detour is well marked, and yes a bit tight in places. On the way in this morning I just stayed on 2nd Ave up to the ramp and went back to the trail there. It was fine, though probably only a good idea if you can ride at a pretty good clip through that stretch. I’ll probably use the detour on the homebound leg.

My main concern about the detour is that they built the temporary ramp (which is nice and wide by the way) up to the trail out of wood with a plywood deck. Not sure how well that will withstand rain and winter, but I guess it’s easy enough to replace if it warps, and there’s always the wheelchair ramp 20 feet down the walk.


chinston
Participant
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Yeah, not so terrible coming in this morning. I think it added only a couple of minutes. Snow could make some of the narrower stretches treacherous, though. I also have to think this is going to hurt the bike rental place’s business, though. I’m not sure how eager people are going to be to rent bikes if they have to take the detour just to get to the Hot Metal Bridge. Maybe more folks will start by heading over Smithfield St.

I suppose I should appreciate the fact that there is at least a well-used bike path in the first place, for there to even be the possibility of a detour.


Erica
Participant
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coming from southside in the dark, I don’t remember seeing any detour signs facing toward me (I only saw the ones facing the northern side of the HMS bridge, on my way back down to the detour). once I stopped and turned around, I saw the signs and the detour, but tbh, the traffic was pretty heavy on 2nd this morning, and I was really nervous. I’ll probably just catch the bus from downtown on my way home until this is done with…


Marko82
Participant
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I took the detour to the Bates street light, then went up Bates toward Oakland. Do-able, but with all the traffic coming down the hill it is almast impossible to get to the sidewalk, and the entrance to the Parkway is um, interesting.


Kordite
Participant
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Thought this was tangentially relevant.

http://11foot8.com/

Lots of fun watching trucks have their tops pealed off.


sloaps
Participant
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Traffic was light on the trail from downtown, or maybe I left work too early.

Anywho, the pedestrian signal at the designated crossing on second avenue was pretty fast. There was a car waiting for a green to turn left into the technology center and it gave me the signal less than a minute after I hit the button.


Erica
Participant
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I might just be nitpicking, but there still don’t seem to be any visible signs about the detour when coming across the HMB from south side works….second time I’ve absent-mindedly bypassed the little walkway to try to get to the trail, heh.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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but there still don’t seem to be any visible signs about the detour when coming across

I don’t think that’s nitpicking at all. There ought to be a couple signs that say “Detour to Eliza Furnace Trail toward Downtown” or something like that with an arrow pointing into the walkway.

But here’s my nitpick. Yesterday I watched a guy on a mountain bike ride across the parking lot of the building by the hot metal bridge and then down over the grass to the walkway to get up to the bridge. Okay, so you saved possibly sixty seconds and the possibility of having to slow down to pass a pedestrian on the sidewalk sure. But that grass will die when you do that enough times, then you’ll have a rut and erosion etc. It’s not the best executed detour ever, but why kill the grass to save at most a minute?


Jim
Participant
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Detours always suck. If they didn’t then that route would be the primary, lol. Whether you are walking, riding or driving… it is always annoying to the the detour signs in front of you. Even if you are just walking into a building and the door is closed for some reason and you have to walk around to the other side… I am like “Ow man!!!” HA


sarah_q
Participant
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Why not just take Second Ave and forget about the whole trail detour?


chinston
Participant
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Traffic on Second Avenue can be murder.


Mick
Participant
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@chinston Traffic on Second Avenue can be murder.

You’re exaggerating there.

Traffic on 2nd ave is a $500 traffic citation, not murder.

I mean, the cyclist is still dead and all, but “murder” would be a crime.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Never mind the traffic. The damn pavement alone can kill you.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Ohiojeff
Participant
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The stretch of Second Avenue from the underpass to the trail detour is actually fine, and I do go that way inbound sometimes. (I’m getting a kind of enjoyment out of the detour, it’s something different). On the way home the traffic waiting for the Hot Metal Street light and then roaring along toward Greenfield Ave etc.–while certainly not unmanageable–makes the detour more peaceful.

On the inbound leg, once you get down near Brady Street and Metaltech though the pavement goes bad quickly and doesn’t get better until you get to 10th street. No problem if don’t mind pinch flats but otherwise not much fun with cars around. But the trail is actually a tad less ‘congested’ these days and better route along there anyway.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Wow, edit seems to have duplicated.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Just past Metaltech, just before Brady, is where that path up to the trail is. Use the curb cut by that equipment yard.

My major beef with Second’s pavement is outbound by the jail. Inbound is bad, too, but at least there are no parked cars between Brady & 10SB, so the longitudinal crack is less an issue. My bigger problem there is speeding cement trucks.

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