East Carson Street part 2:Electric boogaloo

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Erica
Participant
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(Part 2 of everything should be called “Electric boogaloo.”)

So, since I’m moving away from E Carson in about a week, I finally had a fairly decent and not-at-all terrifying ride to work using that street.

Monday-friday, I usually work late enough to take E Carson without running into drunk drivers/pedestrians, and I might even see another cyclist (by later, I mean 5am, heh).

Yesterday, I was on my way to my 3:30am shift, and instead of heading west toward S18th on Arlington and following Arlington to Station Square, I headed East toward Josephine, took Josephine to 26th, and turned onto 26th.

That was when I realized that I’d gone the wrong way – and it was 3am. I realized that I was truly terrified of the south side at that time of night. I felt frozen, helpless almost, as pathetic as that sounds. I wasn’t early enough to take the Jail Trail into town, and the side streets freak me out as much as E Carson.

I went down East Carson as fast as I possibly could, and at first, I was being as aggressive as I could, taking the lane, visibly moving as far away from drunk pedestrians (even the ones on the sidewalk) as I could. Around 18th street, I realized that it didn’t seem to be that bad. I don’t know if it’s the season, the cold, or just a general slow night, or (least likely) that people decided to not be idiots and mess with me anymore, but I completed the next 8 blocks with no incident, riding decidedly non-aggressively as well. I even took the sidewalk across the 10th st bridge, which I typically wouldn’t on a saturday morning, due to drunk pedestrians.

All in all, an unexpectedly decent commute.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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southside any time after 2am sounds like a true battle. yikes


Greasefoot
Participant
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The police have been out in full force in the SS for the last 2 weeks giving out hundreds of tickets and towing cars. Maybe this is starting to have an effect?


Pseudacris
Participant
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I took the west side of both the 10th street tunnel & bridge/sidewalk for the first time the afternoon before the Bridesmaid Dress ride: what a crappy route! Even with dismounting my bike & flattening myself against the tunnel wall, it was, um, socially awkward for me & a portly priest to squeeze past each other. Then, once I was on the bridge I was passed by a dude on a Segway who was moving at a good clip.

RF: when you leave work (market sq, right?) what bridge & route do you normally take back to the south side?

I work near 5th & Grant & getting onto the Smithfield Bridge from the downtown side seems awkward. Any tips?


Erica
Participant
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I usually catch a bus right downtown, or take blvd of the allies–>second ave–>10th st bridge.

I typically ride at night, so this may not be any real help, but the shared sidewalk is pretty good – and if the foot traffic is too slow, it’s a nice walk, too.


Pseudacris
Participant
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Thx!


Erica
Participant
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shared sidewalk on Smithfield st bridge – 10th st bridge sidewalk is just awful, heh. I do prefer it to being in traffic on that bridge though.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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last week i took the walkway thru the armstrong tunnel, biking very slowly… as i got to the exit on the bridge side there were these two duquesne students coming in, one of whom screamed at me, “side-WALK! side-WALK!” i actually take up less space on my bike than if i were to dismount…


stefb
Participant
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i hate using sidewalks on bridges. there are so many oblivious pedestrians walking in the middle of the sidewalks. i have had it with coming up behind someone listening to their ipods at a volume loud enough that they don’t hear me wanting to pass until i have to practically stop behind them and yell at the back of their heads.


Erica
Participant
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10th st bridge sidewalk was just poorly made – too bumpy, and I just CAN’T move quickly on it – it feels as though both tires are flat.


Pseudacris
Participant
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@ Noah, I suppose a retort could be SIDE-walk, SIDE-walk?


Bikelove2010
Participant
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i don’t use the walkway in the tunnel. I’m kind of a big girl, and walking past someone there is bad enough, let along with a bike. I just ride the rode. If I get caught, I’m good at playing dumb “what do you mean you can’t ride through tunnels!?”


Greasefoot
Participant
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On the Golden Gate bridge one sidewalk is bikes only and the other side is for people to walk on…don’t know if this could work here in the burg with all the bridges?


salty
Participant
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@bikelove: “get caught”? Are you really not allowed to ride through the tunnel on the road? If so, I had no idea…


Noah Mustion
Participant
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i’d be less worried about getting caught and more about getting run over. that tunnel can get a little hairy sight lines-wise.


Bikelove2010
Participant
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not sure about it’s legality, the bike map says “use sidewalk”. any time i think im gonna use the tunnel i light up like a christmas tree.


Steven
Participant
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I think it’s legal to bike through a tunnel unless a sign prohibits it. No signs like that for the Armstrong.


Mick
Participant
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I take the Armstrong tunnel outbound from Forbes. It’s downhill. I would hesitate in the other direction. Particularly as the drunkards drive home.


Erica
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UGH. On the subject of the 10th st bridge sidewalks, I was riding over them an hour ago (mind you, I recently fixed a flat, and haven’t had a chance to put “real air” into my rear tire yet, as I only have my handheld pump), and I almost could not make it. I stopped on the side, wheezing for a few minutes, and when I caught my breath, I checked my tires to make sure they weren’t flat. Front, 3/4 full, rear, 2/3 full. If felt as though I was riding on tires that were only 1/4 inflated. I’m still breathing irregularly from it (I have mild asthma/no inhaler).

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