extending north shore trail

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cycleguy
Member
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Now that the city completed the Mon Warf ramp for cyclists riding into Point State Park, and over the Fort Pitt Bridge to the North shore, will there be any plans on extending the North Shore trail, both Northwest past Alcosan and Northeast past Millvale.It would be so nice if they could extend the North Shore trail in both directions.Any thoughts??


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Both have been discussed at length in other threads. In brief, yes. Up the Allegheny, expect a patchwork of segments to appear over the next few years.

Down the Ohio will be much tougher. Even if you could get past Alcosan, there’s no way to get across the railroad tracks until you get to the lock & dam, and no way to get into the tiny slot between the tracks and PA65, as if that’s going to be much better.

And even with the 200-foot climb up to California Ave (my preference is Eckert to Woods Run to Antrim to Fleming to Termon to Calif), that dead-ends in Emsworth at the landslide in Kilbuck.

When I’m not half asleep (4:30 am as I write this), I’ll link the relevant threads.


Steven
Participant
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I’d guess we’ll get a decent trail along the south bank of the Ohio (maybe all the way up to Rochester) before we get one through those problem areas Stu mentions on the north bank (and those aren’t the last ones either: check out the Conway rail yard farther along the Ohio).

The south bank at least has space for a trail almost everywhere. It just needs political will and (lots of) money. But the “easiest” way to get a long trail along the north bank would be for the railroad to decide it no longer requires tracks there. Otherwise there are just too many choke points.


cycleguy
Member
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If we could get a trail on the south bank of the Ohio,from Station Square to just hit Neville Island,(let alone all the way to Rochester),that would be great!! Once you’re on Neville Island you can cycle safely into Groveton to get on the Montour Trail.


NMR
Member
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Shaler Township just hired an engineer to develop construction plans for the Millvale to Etna extension in November, for what it’s worth.

Ballpark guess would be that they’ll break ground in 2021.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I want to say it was March 2010 when I saw plans to extend the trail up the Allegheny. At the time, the North Shore trail was basically mud beyond the 9th St Bridge, with here and there a patch of decent gravel or pavement. The tar-and-chip didn’t appear until maybe 2013, and the “no trespassing” sign on the trail by the ramp up to the 30th/31st St Bridges was there until at least early 2016.

Anyway, the plans in 2010 were that each municipality had bright-eyed ideas for having some sort of bike facility along the north shore of the Allegheny, all the way up to Ford City, but prior to that there wasn’t much vision about hooking them together. The best anyone could come up with was a patchwork of trails through one town or another, with on-road segments connecting them.

Now, much of a decade later, we are starting to see some of that patchwork happening. As Nick said a bit above, the Millvale piece might be happening inside of three years. Elsewhere the whadyacallit-47 project in Aspinwall. At least one other upriver — sorry, I never go that way, so I’m scant on the details. But that’s just it, bits and pieces, and that’s from plans put together in 2009-2010.

It would sure be nice to have a definitive plan for the whole thing. If it does exist, someone please link it.

Down the Ohio, we’re not beyond pipe dream stage, and on the south shore, tens of millions wasted on a road rebuild in the most critical part that did worse than nothing for cyclists. Exactly what we cyclists warned in December 2011 would happen with that lousy design did happen, and exactly what I warned would happen in a May 2013 letter to PennDOT is happening, in effect “we just worked on that, so have no plans to touch it anytime in the next 25 years.”

Get McKees Rocks to raise hell and put a chip under it about bike accessibility to town, like Millvale has. Knock West Carson down to 25 mph and 10-foot lanes smack up against the south edge of the road surface. There’s 34 (38?) feet of roadway to work with. I think they can find space to put in a jersey barrier protected bi-directional bike lane on the north edge of the road surface.

And how you get to that? By building a bike structure similar to the one between 40th and 31st, between the West End Circle and the Wabash Tunnel, get Port Authority to open the Wabash Tunnel to bikes, and rebuild the bridge they stupidly tore down over West Carson just downstream of the WEC. Not sure how best to get bikes over the WEC and Steuben St, probably an extension of that same structure.

That would at least get us from town to Rox.

A simple extension of that to West Liberty Ave would open up a swath of the Dormont-Brookline-West End to town, too.

  • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  StuInMcCandless. Reason: Added StreetView link to trail's No Trespassing sign

StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I do not know how to put this nicely, so I won’t try.

Oh, but let’s right away build a multi-hundred-million dollar swimming pool for rich people on the North Shore, next to the casino, to fuck up the existing trail. Yeah, get on that one, git’er done.

Anyone want to bet that by 2030 the Cool Kids Pool will exist and a trail extension will not? And in doing that, will push cyclists either into the river, or into traffic, long term temp if not permanently? (For precedent, see 2008-10 on the casino project, or since dinosaurs roamed, on the Strip District Trail.)


NMR
Member
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Oh, but let’s right away build a multi-hundred-million dollar swimming pool for rich people on the North Shore

Allow a developer to privatize the trail and I guarantee you it would be in Aspinwall by now.

As for public investment, our politicians love to talk about the economic and social benefits of trail development but priorities are found in a municipality’s budget, not its vision. The reality is we drastically underfund trail-building to the point that piecemeal development <i>is the only reality we know.</i> And lets not even get started on state of good repair.

Anyways, since you brought up the Esplanade, are any trail-building or maintaining entities at the table? Walk/Ride was able to get meetings at the extremely early stage when the idea of a project here was just beginning(I want to say summer of 2015?), but got shut out of discussions as soon as the proposal became real. We’ve only been given vague platitudes about the developer valuing the trail and intending to improve it for public use, which I do very much believe, but lack any detail on what that means during and after construction.


paulheckbert
Moderator
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Brackenridge (which is along the Allegheny River upstream of Aspinwall, Springdale, and Tarentum, but downstream of Freeport) is having a trail design meeting on Thursday 2/7.

https://triblive.com/local/valleynewsdispatch/14581137-74/brackenridge-plans-public-meeting-on-riverfront-trail-project


Eric
Member
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What would be cool is if, in 50-60 years, of course, the north shore trail connects to the buffalo/Freeport trail so one could bike from the prison to Butler. Or DC to Butler.


cycleguy
Member
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It would be “cool” if 50-60 years from now the Northshore trail connects to buffalo/Freeport,but unfortunately most of our generation and many of our children’s generation won’t be alive to see this happen.What would be much more “cool” is if the trail could be extended to Brackenridge or further to Freeport 5-6 years from now instead of 50-60 years from now.It’s been now been more than 30 years to just extend the trail a few miles upriver from Millvale to Etna for Gods sake!!!


bicycle heaven
Participant
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It would be fantastic if they could extend pass the water plant it could go all the way to Ohio and its flat no hills ,,,,anything can be done if you want to .


Eric
Member
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AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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Several years ago ARTEZ developed a common ordinance which member towns could adapt and adopt to ensure any future riverfront developments met certain minimum criteria and building standards, etc, including green space, open space, riverfront access and trail development. Via this ordinance (I know Aspinwall adopted it, I can’t say for sure the other towns), riverfront trail development is *required* of a developer (such as R-47).

It has been my understanding that from the get-go, R-47 intends a trail through their property to connect to the existing Aspinwall Riverfront Park… and from there who knows. I believe that R-47 has in fact hired an engineering firm and begun the actual planning for the trail through their property, which I expect when all is said and done would run continuously from the Etna Park between Etna and Sharpsburg right up to Aspinwall Riverfront Park. Beyond that is PWSA and it is anybody’s guess what happens next with that sh*itshow – they have enough other problems going on there.

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