Montour Trail – Airport Connector is (sort of) open!
From the Montour-Trail mailing list:
MTC volunteers have spent the past few weeks putting the finishing touches on the “upper” section of the Montour Trail Airport Connector. After a walk-through with the airport officials, it has been deemed “O.K.” to to allow a soft opening as a trial leading to a major grand opening in early Spring 2012. No major announcements or press releases will be issued until then so this might be the only notice you will see for a few months. There are a few minor tweaks we intend to make soon but for the time being YOU CAN NOW RIDE ALL THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT USING THE CONNECTOR.
Now, for the tips and caveats.
Feel free to report here about your experience – good AND bad. That is the purpose of the “soft opening,” to iron out any kinks in the route.
In regard to the “lower” section (old McCaslin Rd.), heading toward the airport, when you get to the fork in the road there are gates across both forks. You will be taking the left fork and it will be well marked. There is a path around the gate and you are welcome to continue even if the gate is closed.
From that point on, even if the gate is open… YOU CANNOT DRIVE A VEHICLE ON THE ROAD – bicycles and pedestrians only! That road is for airport employees only. And even then it is only for employees with business at the fire training center located about halfway down that road. Homeland Security is watching.
The posts for the trail rules signs are in place at each end of that road but the signs are still being printed. PLEASE FOLLOW ALL USUAL TRAIL RULES, such as
TRAIL OPEN DAWN UNTIL DUSK
WARN BEFORE PASSING (Sometimes it is hard to hear people coming from behind when the highway is on the hill above.)
STAY TO THE RIGHT (This is important as there “might” be legitimate motor vehicle using the road to access the fire training facility as well as the usual county cop or homeland security car keeping an eye on things. it IS airport property!
PETS MUST BE LEASHED
STAY ON BIKE ROUTE – Unless you have a thing for cavity searches, you might want to pay special attention to this one. Most of the side roads have signs that say No Montour Trail Traffic and you will want to mind those as well.
Please remember that we are guests using airport property. All it might take is one or two goofballs to lose the connector.
When you get to Clinton Road, remember that is is a fairly well used route to get from Route 30 to I376. We are trying to get a work-around for it, but right now it is the best we have.
IMPORTANT – when you get to the gate across Clinton Rd. after crossing over above the highway, the road gate might be open or closed. If it is open, proceed on through.
IF IT IS CLOSED, THERE IS A MAN GATE ON ITS RIGHT (next to the Montour Trail/Bike Route signs). THE MAN GATE “MIGHT” BE CLOSED, BUT IT WILL NOT BE LOCKED EXCEPT DURING PERIODS OF HIGH SECURITY. PLEASE OPEN THE GATE (it swings toward the highway) AND CONTINUE TO THE AIRPORT.
YOU CAN EVEN LEAVE IT OPEN.
Finally, turn right where the sign says to turn right and do not continue past the runway. A sign to that effect will be placed there soon.
Thank you for posting this Dan! I really needed some good news today! Yay, the Airport Connector is open!
I’ve been out on the “lower” section a few times. I’ve encountered vehicles most of the time; they’re very friendly, waving and smiling.
This is a photo of the left-right fork from the public road onto the airport property:
I’ve ridden this section in the photo. Nice ride, I’ve only encountered vehicles once but I was always riding on the weekends. The pavement is bit rough in patches but the lane is fairly wide (for bike traffic) and it goes through countryside. Please section.
“From that point on, even if the gate is open… YOU CANNOT DRIVE A VEHICLE ON THE ROAD – bicycles and pedestrians only! That road is for airport employees only. And even then it is only for employees with business at the fire training center located about halfway down that road. Homeland Security is watching.”
Translation: There are lots of young kids paid minimum wage who feel entitled to drive 60mph on this back road because, well, they can.
This is great news!
FYI, here’s the just-posted annotated route map from the Montour Trail mailing list.
Thanks for the map! My parents’ house is about 100 pixels southeast of the map, so this might come in handy.
Oooo, I might just have to check this out this weekend. One point in the trail would be an excellent place to do some plane spotting at the end of 10L/28R.
If the transit cuts go through, Pittsburgh may be the only city in the U.S. where you can bicycle to the airport but not bus there.
there will be buses to the airport but it will be about 15 bucks one way if a for profit company does it
Acording to their website SuperShuttle is $25 from oakland one way so your estimate of 15 bucks is rather low. I have no idea how much a cab is but I bet it’s at least double plus tip.
Public transportation allows too many poor people on dem dar planes anyhow.
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