Detour to start on Eliza Furnace/Jail Trail

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Ohiojeff
Participant
#

Stu,

They’ve built a nice big, 10 foot wide, plywood ramp up to the trail at Second and Middle Access. It’s easy to get up at the moment. Winter won’t be kind to the plywood but we’ll see how they handle that.

Also, they adjusted the push to cross buttons so that they actually work. Longest I’ve waited is about 50 seconds after pushing the button. (Or, in reality, touching the button and having it chirp at me).


jeg
Participant
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I was walking down 2nd today and almost got run over by 3 different cyclists who came up behind me on the sidewalk, going quite fast and not bothering to signal. I know it’s the trail detour, but there’s nowhere else to walk, either!

Also, is the sidewalk of Bates going to be closed, as someone said? I go 2nd -> Bates -> Boulevard of Allies, so that’s going to be a problem.

I could just get on a bike, but with the choices of a) Boulevard of the Allies, b) Swineburne Street, and c) Bates Street, I think I’d rather just walk the 2-3 miles at this point. Any secret Greenfield -> South Oakland routes I don’t know about?


dwillen
Participant
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Are you starting from the Run, or somewhere higher up in Greenfield?

If you are walking, there is a bushwacking trail from the beginning of junction hollow up to some stairs to the Blvd of the allies bridge on the Oakland side, but you’ll have to blaze a trail through the japanese knotweed this time of year.

If you’re riding, just go through the park, or take junction hollow and pick your way around the side streets east of Forbes to get to south Oakland.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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i go up swinburne pretty regularly, and i find it to be quite pleasant. sure, it winds a good bit, and the shoulders aren’t exactly large, but (at least for the times of day i go through) there’s really never much traffic going up, and they usually give me tons of room. plus i think it’s the least steep way up the hill, after you get up the bottom of greenfield.


jeg
Participant
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I’m on Haldane.

I’ll have to check out that trail. Japanese knotweed just might be better than drunken Bates Street cat-callers (at 6 pm? really? can’t wait until it’s dark at 4!).

It seems kind of silly to go all the way up to Schenley Plaza then back through side streets. I mean, I’ve done it and it works no problem, but it’s twice as long as the most direct walkable route, and I like walking, so meh.

Thanks!


jeg
Participant
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For what it’s worth, I’ve never actually biked up Swineburne, but it’s basically unwalkable and seemed nasty from the car. I’ll be commuting right in the middle of rush hour both directions. Maybe I’ll give it a shot, though.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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and for what it’s worth to you, i’ve been commuting around pittsburgh for about 8 years now, and i’m quite comfortable in most traffic. if taking the lane to force cars to go far around you makes you nervous, i could see it being not the best way. it’s basically like walking up it – you’re totally “in the way”, but there’s enough places to pass you that most cars don’t seem to mind.


dwillen
Participant
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I walk from 5th Ave and McKee through the park. I live the next street over. I never even thought of going down the hill and over to Bates, the park trails are just so nice.

From your place to South Oakland:

2.2 miles

or

2.0 miles

vs.

1.7 miles

For the extra quarter or half mile, I’d take the park over Greenfield Rd and Bates. They have lots of gravel trails that are shaded and much more pleasant than Bates. You’ll save yourself a walk up and down the hill too.


jeg
Participant
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I have to get to the very south of Oakland. So through the park is a ~50 minute walk, vs. a ~30 minute walk down 2nd (formerly the Jail Trail) and up Bates.

I know I’m nitpicking here. An extra 20 minutes is worth feeling/being safer (although the perceived un-safeness of Bates etc. might be in my head/due to unfamiliarity more than anything). After all, I said I like walking, and if I card about time so much I’d suck it up and ride a bike up Swineburne. :)

Coming from the person who used to have a 2 hour each way car + bus commute, ANY of these options is just fine (and I’ll probably try all of them at least once), I’m just exploring my options.

Thanks again!


Impala26
Participant
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Jeg, keep in mind that starting Sept 5th there is going to be a new bus route, the 58 Greenfield. The route is literally a combined route between the former 56E and the 56U. It continues to operate Greenfield-Downtown service via Second Ave, but also does a loop around Greenfield and goes to Oakland via the Boulevard of the Allies and Forbes and Fifth.

I’ve been trying for some time now to get a path built from the Junction Hollow Trail to the steps near the Boulevard of the Allies Bridge. I really think primarily it would simply be a matter of maintenance because much like an earlier poster stated, the area around there is vastly overgrown with Japanese Knotweed.


Impala26
Participant
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Also, how long is it going to take to rebuild the sidewalk corners on the north side of the Bates-2nd Avenue intersection? Downhill is fine, I just take the lane, but uphill I take the sidewalk and it’s really hard to access when it’s just a pile of loose gravel.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Impala26, is this the trail we thought about hacking our way through, back in April or somesuch?


spakbros
Participant
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jeg:

If you take junction hollow to boundary, then make the left at the first street sign (forget the name) that looks like a driveway, walk about 20 feet straight ahead and ascend the staicase there, it takes you right up by Iron City bikes.

Might be faster honestly, and more pleasant at the very least.


Impala26
Participant
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Yeah Stu, it is. Though, it might be slightly modified compared to my original idea.


Kordite
Participant
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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.

Your wish is granted. Sometime today they put up a sign that said “Trail Access to Downtown” so that people coming across the Hot Metal Bridge will know to take the detour.


Ahlir
Participant
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@impala26:

I’ve been trying for some time now to get a path built from the Junction Hollow Trail to the steps near the Boulevard of the Allies Bridge.

Gondola. Rope-tow. Incline.

I sincerely think something like this can be a solution. It’s all well and good for us bikers to puff up about our climbing chops, but if we’re serious about bike commuting in Pittsburgh we really do need solutions for the hills. This is why the city had inclines all over the place, way back when.


dwillen
Participant
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It really isn’t that steep. If a few people spent an afternoon trail building, it would be easily bikeable, up to the stairway, at least.

I think the problem is, it really isn’t clear who we need permission from to build said trail, and there is a property owner at the end of the [PUBLIC!!!] stairs who didn’t seem too excited about more people walking by her house.


Kordite
Participant
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> Gondola. Rope-tow. Incline.

An escalator.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryCWIjdVF0g


edmonds59
Participant
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Totally OT but this seems like a must-do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BruRHA-wRwU&feature=related


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Bump…

Why there is a detour: episode 25 (or more)

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10260/1088251-100.stm

[Not so]Swift!

By the way, anyone want to fess up to being the cyclist in the photo?


Mick
Participant
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On the pathway from Parkview (next to the Blvd of the allies) to Juno st.

@dwillen I think the problem is, it really isn’t clear who we need permission from to build said trail, and there is a property owner at the end of the [PUBLIC!!!] stairs

I need to recontact the city folks about this. The first time, they said they didn’t know but some work was starting on public walking right-of-ways and that I should get back to them.

There are a lot of highly politicized details about both paths in general and this path in particular.


Kordite
Participant
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I was riding by on Friday evening when they started demolishing the bridge. I imagine it’s gone by now.

Bates Street Construction: Week 4


Noah Mustion
Participant
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went by there last night – it was hard to tell but i think it is down… they were working quite late on a saturday night


Pseudacris
Participant
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Another view of what I imagine to be the Last Bump.


Ahlir
Participant
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Went by there today… way too much daylight.

Also when I started thinking about it, why didn’t they have some kind of “maximum height” sign warning truckers? I mean, I see one on one side (per @pseudacris), but wouldn’t it have been cheaper to just add one on the other side? (Even one with sensors and flashing lights?) Was this actually a trucker problem and not an underpass problem?

Looking around, I noticed the big pile of stone on the east side. Will it get reused as part of the rebuild or just hauled off as junk? It’s pretty good stock; I keep wondering about the human labor that went into it: each stone had to be cut and dressed, individually.

When MacAdam invented the first modern roadbed the surface (essentially crushed stone) was created by hand: people chipped away at stone to render it in the specified size (some fraction smaller than the prevalent width of a carriage-wheel thread). I can barely imagine the amount of human effort that went into it.

Anyway, it was a nice week-end for riding.


Steven
Participant
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Southbound, there was a warning sign on the bridge itself, a sign on Bates just north of the parkway (with blinking lights, I think) and even one up on the Blvd of the Allies warning tall trucks not to turn onto Bates.

But they just had the usual yellow warning signs showing the height limit with some arrows. Maybe they really needed better graphics on the signs: Truck Stuck under Bridge, Driver Swearing and Waving Arms, Boss Firing Driver, Spouse Screaming at Driver. A bit more creative signage and they might have been able to keep the old bridge. :-)


Erica
Participant
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we could just put one of these up:


Lyle
Participant
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Why don’t they put those signs (or something like it) up everywhere there is a low clearance bridge or tunnel? That seems so sensible.


edmonds59
Participant
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That’s a great simple idea. Definitely not a PennDot jurisdiction.

Assuming this is not in Britain, seems like they could have gotten it a little more over the lane heading TOWARD the bridge.

Picky, picky.


ejwme
Participant
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the problem with signage is that drivers have to not only SEE the signs, but UNDERSTAND what they mean for their vehicle.

It could have also been a GPS error – if the GPS told him that route was clear, he might have thought the signs were out of date/wrong. With all the weight limits on bridges, height restrictions, and other funky pittsburgh traffic nonsense, I can’t imagine trying to get a vehicle that size anywhere in the city with ease.

I also admit I biked past it and gawked, laughed, and took pictures with my cell phone. I felt bad about it while doing it, but couldn’t stop.


Kordite
Participant
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There was a sign but the problem was that you approached the underpass on a downward grade. So, while the functional height below the bridge was 11’6″, the grade made it practically less. A short truck that was 11’5″ might have made it, a full length tractor trailer that was 11’5″ would get wedged.

Well, that and people are, in fact, stupid.


erok
Keymaster
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well, the cynic in me thinks it’s not so much the trucks hitting it, and will refer back to that pitt news article that says that the raising of this bridge is critical for the mon-fayette expressway to happen. the less-than-cynic in me thinks that it increases options for the port authority to send buses.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Well, the sky is limit (literally) right now on the trail bridge. Still gotta clear the parkway east but the old B&O bridge has gone the way of the B&O itself.


Lyle
Participant
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The cynic in me says this was the Turnpike Auth’y making sure they never put a railroad back in there.


Tabby
Participant
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I think it’s just all about the MFX


dmtroyer
Participant
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is the eliza furnace trail detour-less yet?


Pseudacris
Participant
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^ Not as of Sunday evening.


scott
Keymaster
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I just drove under the new bridge yesterday. It is still under construction, but it looks pretty far along.


chinston
Participant
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Looks like the ramp on the east side is now complete. I’m not sure about the ramp on the west. Railings, etc., still need to be added, I think, and there are several big piles of dirt and gravel. But it looks like the big pieces are almost complete. I would love to get an expected finish date!


rsprake
Participant
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Longest project ever.

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