No bikes in the UPMC parking lot
A friend and I were commuting home via the jail trail. We were going to take the tracks through the UPMC patking lot and he noticed a no bikes sign that looked new. We went through anyway. No way am I taking that dangerous chute nor am I gonna get run over on second ave in PM rush hour. Even at 530am it is dangerous but I take a gamble and take second ave anyway, but I am not gonna get hit at 5pm.
Friday at 5pm, that place has a lot of downside potential – probably even more than usual at the front end of the fall semester.
Well not to mention there is a sign directing you to walk your bike if you elect to use the sidewalk that goes under the bridge on Second Avenue. I think this sign is new because I just noticed it as well. As far as I can tell, that lot has no sort of security there to enforce anything. I also prefer crossing the tracks over risking Second Avenue even briefly.
That walk your bike sign has been there as long as I can remember; anybody around when that tunnel thing was first setup?
There is a security guy in the white trailer on the UMPC lot, but he’s never bugged me before
I have never seen that a security person once walking around the lot. I guess they just sit in the trailer all day. He would have to do a lot of work in order to stop every single biker.
Kind of a ironic a healthcare organization is saying “no bikes,” you know, because 9-5 administrators walking five feet to a shuttle bus is much healthier
I usually don’t get to the lot until 8:30-9 so by that time it is pretty much full anyways. I rarely have any issue with drivers looking to park but I’m not sure if others have encountered this and can see how this could actually be a real issue.
The walk your bike sign has been there a long time. I have been going through there twice a day almost five days a week for 12 years and have no problems with taking the road heading towards town for the short 100 yards or so and riding the chute heading back up into panther hollow. Going downhill towards Second and taking the two sharp rights to ride up into the lot entrance is almost always trouble free. On rare occasion the traffic is backed up and you do need to brake a little.
Riding the chute the other direction is not a problem if you give warning at the tight corners- if everyone were willing to only use the chute heading east there would not be any problems, but it is wide enough for two bikes to pass single file.
I can understand there being resistance to having people cut through the lot and walking across the active railroad tracks.
I would much rather stay on my bike than have to walk across the tracks, so have never done so.
You cross the same active tracks on Neville I believe. I’ve only seen a train maybe twice. I try to minimize my interactions with drivers as much as possible especially on roads like Second Ave.
after multiple run-ins with people blowing the light inbound to turn onto second i stopped taking the road there. and after multiple bad interactions at the bus stop i just stopped going around that corner entirely. like @mjacobpgh said, its the same tracks that you cross on boundary. plus the trains are actually moving slower than the idiot car drivers through there and they make a ton of noise coming around the bend from either direction.
I can’t wait for the LTE to the Post Gazette from a train conductor complaining about bikers.
If we’re talking about safety, it is an order of magnitude safer to jump the tracks and roll through 50 yards of parking lot than either the chute or the street, for all involved.
Yes, can someone at bike Pgh please talk to UPMC? I don’t even know if they own the lot (well with the kind of money they have, I wouldn’t doubt it). If they won’t budge, can we get them to maintain that chute and put up convex mirrors? This is very discouraging.
Maybe start petitioning Bill Peduto, Rich Fitzgerald, Council Members, Friends of the Riverfront to prioritize move-pgh project PB-238 show on the http://www.planpgh.com/movepgh/projects
The description of the project reads “New trail construction along west side of railroad traciks; would depend on reconstruction of Frazier Street Bridge to create space against western abuttment” It’s already project ranking 1 (maybe sometime in the next 5 years) and it seems like they are already working on the frazier street bridge reconstruction (I could be wrong about this, but it does appear that they are workin on this bridge in some fashion since It’s been closed, likely to handle additional traffic due to impending closure of greenfield bridge)
Having a trail segment run along the western side of the tracks could connect the junction hollow trail directly to the eliza furnace trail without crossing tracks, putting you on to the road behind the pittsburgh DPW building which is adjacent to the UPMC parking lot.
Wait until the trail is too snow covered to ride and we have to take second avenue into and out of town. It will make that little section seem really nice as the cars, buses and trucks are not going 60mph.
I have a hard time understanding why everything has to be a multi-million dollar project requiring reconstruction of bridges. (Actually I do know that the answer often has something to do with lawyers)
A two foot wide at-grade crossing and a wooden ramp would be an affordable improvement.
@andyc they would have to approve the at-grade crossing and that’s really hard. Apparently no one wants more at-grade crossings, including the Feds. Too dangerous.
Building the western connection to the Panther Hollow trail is a major project because of the close quarters with the tracks and some points and the modifications you’d have to make with the Parkway embankments. I don’t see it happening any time soon. But with more and more cyclists, who knows?
The chute, as configured, doesn’t make much sense. Shouldn’t it be widened to a full lane? That would help immensely.
Somehow, despite the fact that it’s really hard to get hit by a train (they are really freaking predictable and only ever go in a straight line, and are loud as hell, and shake the freaking ground), people seem to find way to keep getting hit.
Ahlir wrote:The chute, as configured, doesn’t make much sense. Shouldn’t it be widened to a full lane? That would help immensely.
Seems reasonable, I doubth there is space under the bridge overpass though. If it did exist in a wider form I’d probably use it sometimes if it was wide enough for 2 way traffic preferably with a couple mirrors so I can avoid uber beginner cyclists coming around those blind turns.
Why does our society favor expensive solutions to easy problems?
Can’t check both ways? Spend billions going around train intersections.
Can’t eat healthy or exericse, take medication and get bypass surgery
Can’t use condoms or clean needles; spend trillions? on nonhuman animal studies
i haven’t noticed any new signs in the lot–i only go that direction once a week, if that–but if they were actually serious about keeping people out of there, they’d put up a fence.* Signs are probably just a liability cover of some sort…
* Which, of course, would likely be cut before you could say ‘Page’s Dairy Mart’, but anyway…
They are very small, white signs with a picture of a bike on them and the red circle over it. They say simply “No Bikers”. One is posted by the gate where the cars come in facing the Jail Trail and the other is posted on a street light facing the rail road tracks(by the time you see it you will be mid way through the parking lot already).
So, if I work for UPMC and also ride a bike, this means I can’t park my car there, either? Or just not my motorcycle?
It’s okay. I’ll just sue UPMC for negligence when I get creamed by a Rail-Trail Time Trialist in the chute while I’m walking my sensible, responsible commuter bicycle.
All kidding aside, I just take Second Avenue from Greenfield / Panther Hollow anyway. Less hassle. Coming home is a different story; depends on the time of day. If I have SPD shoes, I either jump the tracks if no one’s around, or play it really cool in the chute. Roadie shoes = Second Ave, caution be damned.
Roadie shoes are the suck if you have to get off your bike for any reason. That’s why I have sidi dragons instead.
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