New sign up in panther hollow.
On my commute home, I noticed a very tall trail rules sign near the soccer fields. It is new. One of the rules says that the trail is open from dawn until dusk. I believe many of the other trails say that also. I recall hearing that some people were told by police that they couldn’t ride on the south side trail because it was after dark. I wonder what I should do if I am told by a cop that I can’t commute through there? I often pass through at 530am when it is dark. There is usually a cop sitting in that parking lot for some reason. Hopefully they just don’t give a shit.
it’s a pretty interesting question. Assuming the cyclist has the right gear (and Stef I know you do have some lights!) the dawn-dusk policy has the effect of telling cyclists, get off the trails and get out on the roads!
So when the driver yells “get off the road” is the answer, the city told me to get off the trail? Of course, there’s no profit in that dialogue.
But it is an interesting question for Scott and perhaps the new Bike-Ped Liasion: why the sunset restriction for properly equipped bikes? Because the days are getting shorter.
Also, I’m all for signage communicating trail protocol, just because so many people have clearly never heard of such a thing and it can’t hurt to offer the message.
If police start enforcing this, I think we should work to get the law changed.
This is probably a conditionally-enforced law. I suspect that if a cop saw something that he took to be possible drug activity, he’d shoo people out of the park citing this law, but if he saw a cyclist, he would leave them alone. As more and more people use trails and the ratio of cyclists to urchins rises, police should be less inclined to enforce it.
This topic came up on the mayor’s reddit community Q&A tonight. Wish I could copy and paste here, but it’s not letting me. About half way through the session if you want to read it
Parks rep said although the trail is closed at night that “transit” is allowed. Can’t loiter, but you can transit. Didn’t provide any reference to where he got that interpretation and I don’t know how much help that’ll be if a cop says you can’t be there.
Agree that Bike-Pgh should probably ask for clarification on this so commuters can commute without worrying about it.
The rules for city parks say they’re open 6 AM to 11 PM, unless otherwise posted. Dawn is sometimes earlier than 6 AM, sometimes later, though dusk is always before 11 PM. So these dawn-to-dusk signs are mostly but not always more restrictive than the default park rule.
As mentioned above, the city parks are also supposed to be closed overnight. When I lived in Pittsburgh I would often go running before work (between 4 and 6 am) while wearing a headlight, and would often see police cars patrolling both in Panther Hollow and near the Schenley Oval. I was always worried that they would kick me out, but no one ever did, and after awhile I just started waving to them.
That being said, I really wish trails were treated like roads (winter maintenance, open 24/7, detours posted when construction is going on, etc.).
This is all a reflection of the long-standing use of that area as a hookup spot. Thus the no loitering edict.
the soccer fields in junction hollow are a hookup spot?!? kids these days…
here’s a direct link to the thread with Parks Director Jim Griffin’s dismissive yet informative comments: http://www.reddit.com/r/pittsburgh/comments/2azj1y/mayors_night_online_ama/cj0c8l4?sort=old
“Just like cars, cyclists can transit through, but not loiter on the bike trails. So have at it and make sure that your lights and helmet are on.… Like parks, the trails close at dusk, but are open for transit, as necessary. Keep calm. Bike through and Carry on.”
“Regarding snow clearing for trails, I encourage you to brave the elements, throw on some gnarly tires and have at it. It’s great fun.”
(as an aside, here’s Operations Director Guy Costa saying drivers can just ignore the 4-foot law if they don’t have room to pass you safely: http://www.reddit.com/r/pittsburgh/comments/2azj1y/mayors_night_online_ama/cj0dmhy )
Incidentally, the new park signs don’t say no vehicles. They do have an illustration of a moped or something with a red no circle on it, but nothing about cars.
I’ve also reported two cars parked off the Panther Hollow trail by the train tracks. Not sure if the police are actually checking it out or ticketing though. Last two Mondays a car was there around 8:30ish pm, different cars
I had to get off the Panther Hollow Trail recently because a car–definitely NOT official–was driving through. All they have to do is close and lock the gates.
I’ve seen a LOT of tire tracks from cars/trucks in the winter snow. I’ve also seen how the spacing between a few of the boulders bordering the parking lot is wide enough for cars/trucks and was frequently used as a way to bypass the southern gate.
People drive up the trail to the dirt road to unload hockey stuff all
winter. I thought ‘whatever’ until one played chicken with me as I was coming down toward the end of the trail. What is wrong with people?
Also – one of the best new years eves I spent was midnight mountain
bike ride in frick. It was a warm year and it was awesome. Its hard
to believe that the city doesnt want people recreating at all hours. It
would keep everything safer in my opinion.
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