I’m scouting a new place to lock up for when the office moves and am wondering about people’s experiences with the Oliver Garage near Fifth and Wood. I’ve read that others have dealt with petty theft and vandalism of their rigs in Parking Authority garages. Any thoughts on this one? Good or bad experiences? Is the bike parking near an attendant’s booth? Thanks in advance for the beta.
I took a look at this garage yesterday. It’s a little weird. The vehicle entrance is on Oliver, opposite the entrance to Franktuary. There is no pedestrian access on that side of the building however, and the ramps clearly says “no pedestrians.”
Pedestrian access is via the Piatt Place Sales office lobby, on Fifth Avenue. It’s pretty upscale, so I suspect all bikes come in and out via the Oliver Ramps.
The bike racks are in the standard Parking Authority “off in a corner” location. They are located at end of the car ramps, but the incline of the ramps make them pretty much invisible from passersby on Oliver Street. There appears to be a staff office in the general vicinity, and it has a window overlooking the bike rack area, but I don’t get the sense that there is anyone there full time, or anything.
Bottom line, I think this garage is the most fortresslike garage I’ve ever seen in Pittsburgh — it’s sort of hard to figure out how to get in or get out. I like that element. The bike rack location is not ideal, but it is far better than some I have seen, and is not “in the public view” the way many racks are. I saw four bikes parked there yesterday, with room for about 4 more.
Go for it, but be careful, and lock your bike securely. If you hear anything as you use the racks that seem to confirm that there are no problems at this location, or that there are problems at this location, let us know, huh?
Hey, thanks. I hoofed it up there the other day and had a similar confused reaction to the set up. Couldn’t figure out where the pedestrian access point was and the vehicle entrance looks like Cheyenne Mountain or some type of fallout shelter. Will keep you posted. I have to talk to the other folks who commute in and see what their plans are, it seems we’re not all going to be at the same place after the move. Who knows?
I work in the general vicinity, and find the racks in the portico area of the parking authority garage on Smithfield, just north of Sixth Avenue (opposite Weiner World), to be the ones that I am most comfortable leaving my bike chained to. When we did a survey of downtown parking garages, the one that APPEARED to be the safest was off the Blvd. of the Allies, where the bike racks are located immediately adjacent to a very busy office/pay area, with lots of windows. There were a lot of bikes there — maybe because of the proximity to the Art Institute? I have no personal experience there — just a feel based on layout.