I always used to take Penn out to Beulah right on Beulah and then left on Churchill, follow Churchill down to Nottingham, left on Nottingham across William Penn, next right (the road there has different names but eventually becomes Old William Penn). You can follow Old William Penn as far into Monroeville as you want. Eventually you’ll turn right, say on Duff Road for Miracle Mile Shopping Center for example.
I’ve done it the way you’re saying, too, up Laketon. It also works. But I think my route is easier to follow and no worse in term of traffic, and may be flatter.
@jonawebb, There is a massive hill along Penn Ave. between Ross Ave. and Graham Blvd. that is an entire mile long! Do you think I am crazy enough to climb a relatively steep, mile-long hill in speeding traffic?
There are lots of places in Monroeville to eat; just look at Google Maps to plan. But not a lot of bike racks etc. I always search around the way I would at any place with limited parking, and lock to a bench, or something fixed like a pole, or, failing that, something like a shopping cart or something big and heavy.
The biggest problem with hills are the approach to Beulah (whether you take Laketon or Penn, there’s a hill involved) and then three hills on McCrady / Old William Penn as you go over watersheds of the creeks out there. No shame in waking your bike if you have to. The steepest hill is at the end, when you go from Old William Penn up towards Garden City. Heading up Center (the dog boarding place will be on your left) is less steep than Duff.
Once on William Penn you can ride along the sidewalk if you don’t want to deal with traffic on that road. The sidewalk is more or less complete, but be careful at the driveways, of course. It’s not a bike friendly area, but it’s also not especially crowded.
I don’t have much experience riding out there except in the morning before say 8. That seemed to work OK. But I think that if you’re worried about traffic to Monroeville, you generally are OK outside of the afternoon / evening because of rush hour.
The rule about riding on sidewalks, as I understand it, is so that you (A) don’t run people over walking on said sidewalk, and (B) don’t wallop people walking out of businesses whose doors open onto the sidewalk. Absent those concerns, I don’t see a problem.