Route 28 Commuter Looking for Info On Parking/Biking to Downtown

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Rimerman
Participant
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I am a daily Route 28 commuter looking to park my car in the vicinity of the Heinz Plant/Herrs Island and then ride my bike the rest of the way to Gateway Center. Where is a good, safe, free place to park my car every day?


bikeygirl
Participant
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You can park by Milvalle by the River (By Mr. Smalls Skate Park)… there is a parking area in there open to the Public & Commuters. The North Side Trail starts there & is direct to Downtown…. once you get to Downtown / by the Stadiums or before, you can choose whichever-bridge to cross the Allegheny River and get to work.

I think the parking lot closes at 9pm, so as long as you don’t put much overtime and can get there, you should be fine.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong…..


reddan
Keymaster
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For an option closer than Millvale, you can park on Herr’s Island, in the lot under the 31st St Bridge. Take the trail to the switchback bridge at the end of the island, and it’ll dump you right on the North Shore trail near the Heinz plant.

There’s a little parking lot along the trail even closer to town, but it’s only got a few spaces.


netviln
Participant
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Like reddan said, there are a couple parking spots for say 5 cars each along river rd between 31st and 16th.

You may also be able to park in one of the lots by heinz. I dont recall there being any signs on them indicating time or permit requirements.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Millvale Riverfront Park is a GREAT place to start. The park is a tiny bit hard to find, so test drive it once first.

Basically, when I get head there I am heading NORTH on 28. I get off at Millvale. At the stop sign, (where Lincoln extends out ahead of me) I turn left (onto Ohio). At the stop sign (one short block) I turn left again (onto Grant). I pass under ONE bridge. The road ahead of me starts rising to where it meets with Route 28 near the 40th Street Bridge.

Before I get on any part of the road that is heading uphill, I am watching for a turn to the left, which will take me under a SECOND bridge. If you have good eyes, you will see a white and blue sign for Millvale Riverfont Park.

At the stop sign, turn right (only real option, and follow it to the big parking lot near Three Rivers Rowing Association. The trail starts (basically) on the sidewalk/path located between the building and the river.

While you are in the parking lot, you will see a sign telling you that you are at riverpost mile 2.8 — or 2.8 miles from the Point. It’s an easy/straight ride from there. This group can give you detailed directions to your final destination within downtown.

A word of caution! If you miss the entrance to the park coming from town,, you will end up on Route 28 heading north or Route 28 heading south.

I think the entrance to the park is easier to find if you are coming southbound on Route 28. From Mapquest, it looks like you would exit Rotue 28 and find yourself on Ohio Street. Continue straight as if you were heading for Route 28 South. Pass under one bridge, watch for small road, second bridge on your left.

If you pull up Millvale on Mapquest you can zoom in on the Route 28 Ramps. I did not look at the aerial, but my quess is that the entrance road to the park is about where the Exit 3 marker is on the Route 28 ramp configuration.

Sorry for the detailed directions. I get this inquiry a lot. I figured I might as well just get detailed instructions ready for the summer riding season.


bikeygirl
Participant
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@reddan….. why park closer to town? Longer ride (NOT that much longer) = Fun!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Yeah, like she says, drive down there someday you’re not in a hurry. Scout it out. You’re looking to cross train tracks. Use Google Street View. Better still, park temporarily in the Family Dollar lot and go over by the bus stop facing 28 and watch traffic move.


reddan
Keymaster
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@bikeygirl: I used to commute from Brighton Heights to Cranberry a couple days a week. :-) I agree, long rides are more fun. But OP asked for something near Heinz/Herr’s Island…


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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maps.google.com has a two errors in the street naming in this immediate area. Maryland Ave actually does come right down to that circle; Google has it labeled East Ohio Street. Second, there’s a little side street labeled Wehple on their map, but Wehrle on the actual street sign. (That’s where Family Dollar is.)


Rimerman
Participant
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Millvale is a possibility but looking to park a bit closer to the city. Herr’s Island sounds acceptable. Reddan is the parking safe?

Hopefully someone can provide some more info on parking near the Heinz plant/lofts.


reddan
Keymaster
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I’ve never heard of any problems in that lot. (Worked in adjacent buildings for a couple of years…would not be too nervous about parking overnight, much less during the day…)

The lot is between the office buildings and the pricey condos, and directly across from the marina and restaurant.


Swalfoort
Participant
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There is very little parking available at Herr’s Island. You think you want to park there, but you don’t. Getting out at night is a real pain. Expect to wait through 4-5 cycles of the stoplights at 31st Street Bridge and Route 28.

That said, there are a handful of spaces available across the street from Washingtons Landing. Come down 28 and make like you are going to head to Washingtons Landing.

Where you would make the left to head down the ramp onto the island, stay straight. It’s like the first driveway on the right. It has a clear “trail parking” sign.

If you need to come closer to Heinz Lofts, you are on your own. There is some on street parking in the vicinity of Mullins Diner, etc., just off Progress Street, but I don’t know that I’d want to park my car there all day on a regular basis.

With the exception of the small lot above, there is no real ALL DAY trail parking this side of Millvale.

The lots on Washingtons Landing are really designed for use by the residents and businesses on the island. There are a few extra spaces, but the official trail doesn’t even really GO to Washingtons Landing. By parkihg there all day, you are imposing (a little) on the kindheartedness of those residents and businesses.

I am certain that they don’t mind that people park there while they are using the trail. I don’t think they are all that excited about becoming a satellite parking lot for downtown commuters, however.


reddan
Keymaster
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@swalfoort…good point re: the pain to get off the Island. I’d forgotten how long that traffic light was, much less how dangerous the intersection with people blowing by in the wrong lane on River to make the left onto the island…


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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In some post a while back, I suggested driving up Rialto off of 28 and parking up on Troy Hill. Roll down the hill in the morning, take a 6A bus back up in the evening. Not exactly sure where you’d park, but the suggestion meets all the other criteria. And the $2 for the bus can be avoided by pedaling back up the hill.


helen s
Participant
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What about the lot next to Mullins diner? Is that restricted during the week? There is a Saturday am running group that meets there in the near empty lot.


Willie
Participant
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Rimerman,I actually work at the restaurant that is on the island where the parking lot that the above posts talked about is. I honestly wouldn’t see any problem with someone parking there to ride the trail. In a few weeks all the boats parked in it will be put in the water and there will be more then enough parking. The only time the lot really fills to capacity is the weekends. Also as far as I can tell it is pretty safe. I am going into my second season there and haven’t heard of anyone having problems.


Rimerman
Participant
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Thanks for all the responses and information. I did some recon along River Road.

The trailhead parking by Madison Street (basically right under I579 – Veterans Bridge) has about 12 spaces. There is a sign that says “Trail parking for trail recreational & commuting use only”. This parking area was completely full the last two mornings when I drove by.

There is another trailhead parking area a bit up river directly in front of the Heinz Lofts with about 8 spots. There is a sign that says “Trail parking 4 hours for trail recreational and commuter use only”. The lot was full yesterday morning but not this morning. Note the “4 hours” comment that was not on the previous trailhead sign. Seems contradictory to have commuter use and a 4-hour limit.

Even further upriver the trailhead parking area that is near the entrance to the island has about 15 spots and has been empty each morning.

The parking lot on the island (underneath 40th St. Bridge) has a lot more parking and had very few cars parked there in the morning or the late afternoon. The sign at the lot says “public & restaurant parking”.

I also checked out the parking areas around Mullins Diner and under the 16th St. Bridge. There are several pretty shoddy looking surface lots but they all seemed to have a sign to the effect “shuttle service for Delmonte employees only”.

I am also curious if anyone has ridden the section from Millvale to Herr’s Island recently. With all the construction around the railroad tracks and Rt 28, is the trail still accessible and if so is it in decent shape?


reddan
Keymaster
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I am also curious if anyone has ridden the section from Millvale to Herr’s Island recently. With all the construction around the railroad tracks and Rt 28, is the trail still accessible and if so is it in decent shape?

Rode it, uh, two weekends ago? The trail had been re-routed due to the construction, but was open, if a bit narrow, and perfectly ridable.


Boazo
Participant
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I ride this every morning and its fine. They’ve made a special effort to keep the trail open to Millvale while the elevated trail is being built. Parking at the Millvale Park parking lot as others have said is your best bet. I think (not sure since I haven’t driven in so long)you’ll get back to Rt28 in your car after the 31st Bridge that way in the afternoon, so you’ll miss most of the congestion. I’d bet you’ll be getting home faster than you do by pure car, plus its free parking. Time how long it takes to get from downtown to Millvale in your car and then by bike and I can pretty much assure you its faster by bike.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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I know he specified parking closer to town, but with all of the construction on 28, he’ll have to sit in traffic anyway just to park – if he considered parking a little further out, he’d get a little longer ride in about the same time. Not to mention the added bonus of seeing all of the cars creeping along.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Doing a “hide and ride” somewhere in Millvale, and using the Maryland Ave-to-goatpath approach, you get the further high of having a policeman stop Rt 28 traffic at rush hour for you so you can get to the 40th Street Bridge.

*That’s* a feeling of power!


Rimerman
Participant
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I have been parking at the Millvale Riverfront Park and riding my bike from there. So far it has worked out wonderfully for me. It is a nice short ride and takes roughly the same amount of time had I parked in a downtown garage (but a lot cheaper).

Thanks so much for all of your responses. You folks have been extremely helpful!!!!!

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