North Shore Trail State?

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brian j
Participant
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I know there’s probably a thread about this somewhere, but I’m too lazy to search for it…

Anywho…what is the current state of the North Shore trail from the main parking area in Millvale? Is it ridable all the way to the North Side?

We’d like to ride down to the fireworks on Sunday night, and that’s the most convenient option.


stefb
Participant
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I rode on some of it today. I usually get on the road next to it by the Heinz plant cause of the knats on the trial. They are doing construction near the 31st St bridge. As I was on said bridge looking down, there was still part of the trail that was rideable while They were doing construction. They are doing patch work going toward the stadiums also. They may be setting up the fireworks to launch from over there but not sure.


Ahlir
Participant
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Stretch east of the 31st Bridge was passable as of a week or two ago. There’s a fenced walker/biker path that gets you through the construction zone. Not too pleasant but it works.


JZ
Participant
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I took that trail from Alcosan up to the boathouse on Saturday. No problem getting through the construction under the 31st St Bridge, although watch out for loose stone. A big patch of large loose stones by the boathouse.

This morning, I rode from the 16th St Bridge to the Cardello Building (just past the West End Bridge). No problem.


JZ
Participant
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Er, I mean “from the old penitentiary”, not Alcosan. I always get the two confused for some reason.


brian j
Participant
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Thanks!


Boazo
Participant
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You can check out the construction of the new part of the trail that’s overhanging the back channel. they have most of the cement blocks in place with support columns driven into the river bottom so far. everybody should take a ride down there and check it out!


Lenny
Participant
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Does anyone know if they’re expanding the North Shore trail past the old penitentiary heading northwest and past Millvale going Northeast??


reddan
Keymaster
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Northwest is tough. Even if you get past Alcosan via on-road use of Preble, there’s a whole lotta (6 sets?) train tracks to cross, and not much room betwixt tracks and big steep hill.

I’d love to see it happen (as, for me, heading home via a connector to Farragut Ave under 65 would be a nice option); but it’ll probably be a challenge to get the RR to grant permission for an at-grade crossing.

My neighbor Ray is a cyclist, works for Alcosan, and has been trying to get this going for years, with no result.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Before going to any fireworks event, be sure to check the direction of the wind here.

Downwind is bad. Scroll down a bit and check the Wind Speed indicator. If it says “NW”, for example, you would not want to watch from Manchester.


ejwme
Participant
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Anybody know about development of the trail further upriver? (I rode from Millvale all the way to Heinze Field, no issues, last Friday). I tried to shortcut from the 28 work but realized a ravine and tracks with a train in them were in my way, so I went up what I now know is called Cabbage Hill and down and around through millvale.

I saw a guy on a bike continue off the end of the trail as I was talking to another guy asking him if it linked up, he said the railroad hands out tickets if you tresspass, so he turns around. Seems like if they were serious or permanent, they’d put up a fence.


Boazo
Participant
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I ride from Sharpsburg to Dtown as part of my commute for over a year now and often go that way. One thing you should know is the road is just a big river of RR ballast as you get towards the 62nd Bridge. Also they’re doing alot of RR work there. I tend to be on it before they start work in the mornings and after they’ve left in the late afternoons and this has always gone smoothly except once towards the end of last summer the RR police stopped me. He just wrote my name down on a big list. We talked for awhile and at end he said he was Norfolk Southern whole police force between Pittsburgh and Kittaning or someplace like that and that I wouldn’t be seeing him very often. I think what happens is sometimes some construction forman or something calls in to the RR police about people on the RR’s road so they have to respond. So if you ride on it when they’re not working you should be OK. People even drive down it a ways from Sharpsburg in cars in the late afternoons, early evening.


Rimerman
Participant
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I ride from Sharpsburg or Millvale into Downtown every day via the access road and river trail. Three weeks ago they dumped a fresh bunch of very large ballast on the train track crossing area directly under the 62nd St. Bridge (the beginning of the railroad access road). I now walk my bike through this area.

As Boazo stated, the section of the access road closest to the 62nd Bridge consists of medium to large ballast. A quarter mile down river, the access road improves significantly. The closer you get to Millvale the better the access road becomes.

I have never had a problem with the railroad workers. The access road is pretty wide. They work quite a bit in the mornings but I never see them on my commute home in the evenings.

I frequently see others riding bikes, driving personal vehicles, walking, jogging etc… Last night, I saw two guys and a girl with two dirt bikes.

Boazo: What other route do you take to town from Sharpsburg besides the river trail?


Boazo
Participant
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@rimerman,

in the mornings sometimes I cross the 62nd Br and ride down Butler to 36th thence to Smallman then Penn after the 16th Br. There’s not much traffic on Butler when I’m on it around 6:30 esp since school let out so its not to bad. I used to climb up the steps of the 62 ST BR , but lately traffic is so lite I just ride up the ramp. In the afternoons theres much more traffic so I pretty much follow a route that Mark posted a few weeks ago that avoids Butler till 50 something. One of these days I want to try going along the RR all the way to 62St Br from that 50 something place, maybe sometime when its all dark and raining and nobody’s looking. Whatever the surface there is, it can’t be much worse than that other stuff.


David Watson
Participant
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@reddan, I wonder if you or anyone else here has ever taken the Farragut to North Shore trail route as you describe above? This too would be ideal for me as I’m moving to Bellevue shortly and would like to commute by bike but the alternative has got some issues.


Swalfoort
Participant
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My understanding is that access around/through Alcosan to the northwest has been made close to impossible by national security measures established after September 11, 2001, when wastewater treatment facilities in major metropolitan areas were identified as potential terrorist threats (as were drinking water reserviors, etc). And, as Reddan says, the right or way gets really narrow between the McKees Rocks Bridge and the Bellevue Borough line. Not a lot of room for trail development there. But, for David’s info, taking the trail to the Western Pen, then wandering right to the Eckert Street Tunnel to McClure Street will give you quiet access to Brighton Heights, and then into0 Bellevue.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Any real estate folks on this message board? My real estate training is WAY out of date, but I do remember a discussion in class about the difference between a de juris and a de facto easement. One is established by law – like on a subdivision plan, or a legal agreement between neighbors. The other is established by persistent and unchallenged use over time. So, if the railroad were to turn a completely blind eye to those who “trespass” over the stretch of trail between Millvale and 62nd Street, over time it COULD become a legal public use easement (if I remember real estate 101 correctly). By taking names and giving folks the occasional hard time, the railroad is protecting its real estate interests. I think.


Lenny
Participant
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Maybe they can put a trail on the other side of the river to go northwest from Station Square up to Neville Island.Then cyclists can get to the Montour Trail in Groveton, or have easier access over to Riverview Park,Bellevue area by crossing over the Mckees Rocks Bridge.


Swalfoort
Participant
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@lenny — work is already in progress on finding a decent route from downtown to Groveton


Lenny
Participant
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@ Swalfoort…..I didn’t hear anything on finding a route from downtown to Groveton??? I hope you’re right Swalfoort and if you hear any news,please let me know.I often have to go out to the Groveton/Coraopolis area.Hopefully, some day in the not too distant future, I will be able to cycle out there.


Swalfoort
Participant
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PennDOT will be working on the section of Route 51 from Station Square to McKees Rocks. McKees Rocks, Stowe and Neville are working on a community plan that SHOULD include better access through “the Bottoms” to connect to Neville Island. Neville is good riding now, perhaps to be improved with striping or signage. Sports Legacy Park is under development between the Coraopolis Bridge and the Groveton Trailhead. In a sort of “connect the dots” strategy, I would think that access to Groveton from downtown could be measurably better within the next couple of years. And, the Ohio River Trail Council is looking at extending trail access from Groveton to the river communities in Beaver County…. So, lots of focus on making Groveton connect to other places and other trails.

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