Ever Bike Route 30 East?

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jakeliefer
Participant
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I’m going to be heading out to a conference in Ligonier on Thursday and want to bike out. I’m trying to plan out a route, but options look somewhat sparse heading east towards the Allegheny Mountains. After looking up some routes on Bikely, it looks like I’ll be taking 130 & 993 from Braddock to Greensburg.

After getting to Greensburg, I’m at a bit of a loss. It looks like either take Route 30, or zig zag back and forth on roads up and down hills. Has anyone taken route 30? Some parts look great around this area, with a nice sized shoulder. However, I’m still a bit sketched out about riding on a state road this size. What have your experiences been?


Andrew
Participant
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I just looked at it on google street view. It seems like there is a fairly good shoulder without rumble strips from greensburg to ligonier but, it seems like 18 wheelers will be going past you at 65mph tho.

I would probably take 30 but, be careful if you do.


salty
Participant
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I’ve biked to Irwin before via 130/993 so I can at least tell you that part is pretty decent. You definitely do not want to be on 30 between Irwin and Greensburg, but once you get past the mall I don’t think it would be that bad although the traffic will be 55+ which kind of sucks. I’ve never ridden it myself but I think I’d give it a shot if I was heading that way, 130->711 is another option but a fair bit out of the way.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I haven’t ridden out that way but lived in the Greensburg area for 8 years. Just in terms of traffic alone, I’d stay on 130 all the way to Greensburg, but beyond that, I really don’t know.

Looks like what I’d try is Roseytown Rd to Donahue Rd into Latrobe, then Ligonier St to 30. There’s a two-laner that runs west out of Ligonier almost to that point.

Check everything I suggested with Google Street View, but it’s gotta be safer and more pleasant than 30.

Oh, and there’s no bike-rack option for Westmoreland Transit buses AFAIK. The closest you’ll see is PAT’s 67F in Trafford.


Rob
Participant
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Once you get to Greensburg, I would just hop on 30. Once you are past the mall and car dealerships, it isn’t that bad. I’ve taken 130 the whole way out to 381 before, and there are a few killer climbs. Plus, traffic on 711 is just as fast as on 30, only there isn’t really a shoulder on it that I can recall. The hills on 30 are much more gradual.

Are you riding back too? If so, you could take the very scenic, much hillier route. Take 30 to 981 through Latrobe, past Keystone state park and Loyalhanna, to 286 and then hit Frankstown back to town. Make sure you bring your climbing legs though…


steevo
Participant
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I personally would add a few miles and a beautiful

climb by taking 130 all the way to 981 or 982.

130 over chestnut ridge is an awesome 15 minute 5%

grade that we just dont get this far west.

It would also put you on the east side of greensburgh which would be good.

You could make up the few miles by taking 993

between trafford and irwin (Notice how they meet up

twice) 993 is a way bettter road.

If it is early enough and you dont mind too much

traffic, you can also take 30 to the turtle creek

exit. I take brinton road to the left at the 4 way

stop, drop down to 30 then go down to turtle crick

cause as far as i know, braddock is still not an

option


dmtroyer
Participant
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I often drive 30 east to Breezewood instead of the turnpike. Like others have mentioned, it isn’t too bad (still trucks at 60mph) after the mall in Greensburg. The stretch between Youngstown and Ligonier is a beautiful windy jaunt through the woods but once again, be careful, cars will still be doing 60mph


jakeliefer
Participant
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Thanks for all the help everyone. It’s a little intimidating riding a new area that I’m not too familiar with, but all of this is really helpful.

Once I hit Greensburg, I’m going to follow 130 to 981. Looks a lot more beautiful than the strip malls and car dealerships along Route 30. With it being right around the peak of fall foliage, it would be a shame to head out to the mountains and only see pavement. After that, I’ll jump back on 30 till Ligonier.

The area that I’ll be going to is outside Ligonier, up 711, and for awhile I was tempted to try to cross over the mountain ridge next to Ligonier. I’ve driven past it before and thought it would be a crazy difficult hill. They say you can see the USX Tower from the top of this mountain. However, it looks like the road I’d take (S Ligonier St / Derry Ridge Rd) used to be connected, but has lost a half mile chunk. If it’s just an unmaintained road with potholes and grass growing through it, I could do that. However, it looks like it’s been years since the road connected and may not even be visible where to go.

Here’s the area: http://bit.ly/27WO8a

I could take the one route further south (Y St Extension / Ridge Rd), but if I could take the route I posted, it would get me closer to my destination. It’d be about a 800ft climb out of Derry. I’ve done a climb of similar elevation change in West Virginia, but not as steep of a grade. No doubt, this would be a challenge if there’s a route.


Schmoo
Participant
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Jake, I live in Greensburg and I would take Stu’s route if I were doing this. 130 to 981, after you go through the Greensburg business district is hilly with narrow shoulders, sharp bends (for cars) and speedy local drivers. If you do go that route, be extremely careful once you pick 130 back up off of East Pittsburgh St. It’s like I described there pretty much half way to Pleasant Unity. If you do go this route, scream when you cross Slate Run Road at the light at the bottom of the hill. I may hear you.


Mick
Participant
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To put all this in perspective, there used to be a bumper sticker (for, y’know, cars and other fatal vehicles) that said

“Pray for me, I drive Rt 30.”

Mick


jakeliefer
Participant
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Well I made it to Ligonier, but their was one major issue that threw me onto a shoulder-less Route 30 in North Versailles. A bridge on the Tri-Boro Expressway is completely closed. Here’s a map to show you where it’s at. There were no detour signs posted and I had no clue how much of the closure was, so I climbed O’Connell Blvd. This takes you up to Route 30 and I saw a detour sign for the Tri-Boro Expressway. Unfortunately, detour signs for cars don’t always work for bikes. After the Westinghouse Bridge, any shoulder and sidewalks disappear. I hoped that I could reconnect at the East Pittsburgh & McKeesport Blvd, but after riding down a hill to find it was closed, I had to trek back up a hill to Route 30. So I did what I know, took a lane and cranked as hard as I could through the lovely sprawl of Route 30. For the next few miles, the right hand lane became my personal bicycle lane. While it wasn’t fun, it worked. Around 3.5 miles into it, a detour sign was posted at Route 48. I jumped on 48 and scooted down the hill to Route 130, my intended route. From there I made it to Greensburg without a hitch, 993 is a nice country road without many cars.

Because of the previous detour, I was running late, so rather than take the longer route outside Greensburg of 130 & 981, I headed straight on 30. Fortunately, right outside of Greensburg it’s a downhill run with 3 lanes (but no shoulder). I took up the righthand lane again and had some hillbillies cheer me on as I passed, I think they were impressed. Just as the land was flattening out and I was running out of steam, a shoulder appeared. It wasn’t enjoyable, but at least there was a shoulder. Once I got to the windy part about 10 miles outside of Ligonier, it was a wonderful freshly paved shoulder. The shoulder was pretty large, about 7ft and no rumble strips. I don’t know if they plan to add rumble strips later. It’s a beautiful ride all along here.

I’m still glad I did it and would do it again (just without the Tri-Boro detour). If you want to ride this route, I’d recommend it only for experienced riders, exercise caution and be willing to mash it as fast as you can on the sketchy parts.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Glad to hear you made it OK, Jake!

I drove out 30 to 148 a couple of nights ago, and would not wish that part of 30 from Forest Hills to past the Westinghouse Bridge on an enemy.

As an alternative to the sketchy, sprawly part of 30 between 148 and 48, when you get to 148, turn left and drop down into Wilmerding, where you can ride through Wall to get to 48. Even before that, hook back onto that overpass over 30, and that will get you into Wilmerding, too. Much more pleasant than 30.

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