Strip District trail closed again?
Concrete road dividers are now blocking the 21st Street entrance to the Strip District portion of the Heritage Trail. “Closed” has been spray painted on the dividers. I haven’t checked to see how far the closure extends, but I was able to get back on the trail at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
This is similar to when it was closed for nearly 2 years between 2013-2015 – http://bikepgh.org/2013/11/01/trail-alert-strip-district-trail-closure/
Does anyone have more info?
The Riverlife representative at the Pittsburgh Bike Plan Open House meeting mentioned something about expanding that section of waterfront. It might be related to the trail closure. As it is not on my priority list, I didn’t ask for more information.
It is my understanding that the trail is going to see some repaving. You could see a bunch of markings on it that indicated as much. I think there’s a forum topic out there with more information on this. I can’t recall how long the closure is going to take.
it would be really sweet if they opened up the new roadway through the buncher site for bikes to use in the interim.
Looks like the work that was slated to start in May is finally underway.
(as per PaulH’s post back in April)
“I heard from Jeffrey McCauley at Friends of the Riverfront:
Re Strip District Trail: Also starting in May the Strip District will be closing for five months while Buncher upgrades the trail. They will be closing the trail in sections and doing upgrades to 1-2 block sections at a time. We will work to have proper detours in place.”
So, a proper detour is to place jersey barriers up that say “closed”, without signage, without recourse, and almost three months late, on zero notification?
If that were done on a road project, there would be hell to pay.
Ugh. Buncher’s project shouldn’t take three months to do. They should open Waterfront Place to bike traffic. It feels like we only just got the trail back.
Nina Chase of Riverlife confirmed the information in that FOR tweet, at the Bike Plan open house, yesterday.
Regarding the construction project:
From LV United:
Strip District Trail Closure
Please note the following update from Friends of the Riverfront.
ATTENTION TRAIL USERS: Please be aware that the Strip District Trail from 11th to 21st street will be CLOSED for construction starting Monday, August 1. Two construction projects will be under way — Buncher will be performing a trail clean-up project from 11th to 16th street, and NRP will be working on sanitation pipes from 18th to 21st street. Buncher’s project is scheduled to be completed in November, at which time the Trail will reopen from 11th to 15th street. The Trail from 15th to 21st street will remain closed until early summer 2017 for this portion of the NRP project. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve the Three Rivers Heritage Trail!”
I noticed the 11th to 15th street section was not completed in November 2016 as scheduled. Friends of the Riverfront have updated the wording: “The Trail from 11th to 15th street will be closed until further notice. The Trail from 15th to 21st street will remain closed until early summer 2017 for this portion of the NRP project.” Really hoping this doesn’t turn into another 2+ year closure.
I agree it sucks but an extra 4-5 blocks from 11th to 16th isn’t all that helpful as most people using the trail going past 11th are also going past 16th. Others are on smallman at that point.
Waterfront place is also an alternative route but unclear how far it is actually open from 11th where it starts to 21st when it turns into Railroad. I know that the 21st street part is blocked off.
But will be great when we don’t have to worry about this section being closed !!
Waterfront place has several barricades. You’re better off just using Smallman.
I can see the trail from my office… they have repaved it, added lighting, and cleaned the area up. I’m not sure if the far end of the trail is done yet but the end closest to the convention center is looking good. My guess is they have some additional work to do and then will be planting stuff along the way before it is reopened. It seems like they are making a lot of progress on the work they wanted to do there though so my guess is it will not be another 2 years of the trail being closed with no work going on.
Global climate change works in our favor with this one. More warm days to get work done. Thanks for the update.
So, is the new city bike infrastructure committee going to concern itself with trail closures like this and ensure that developers reopen trails on schedule? Maybe they should have to approve trail closures and whether detours are acceptable as well?
- This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Benzo.
Out of curiosity, does anyone know whether that trail is owned and controlled by the city or by Buncher corp? It seems to me like it is owned by Buncher in which case I’m not sure how much the city can do besides exert pressure in this sort of scenario. Admittedly though I have no idea how this sort of thing works if the trail is privately owned.
As of Monday, April 10th, the section between the convention center and 16th St bridge is open! Freshly paved with some new benches and clearer views of the river. There is a well marked exit at 15th street that will dump you out into the giant parking lot section from which you can meander through to Railroad or Smallman.
> Out of curiosity, does anyone know whether that trail is owned and controlled by the city or by Buncher corp?
According to the County’s Real Estate website, every piece of land under the Strip District Trail, except for one at each end, is owned by Buncher Corp—with, I was surprised to note, a “Use Code” of VACANT COMMERCIAL LAND and a listed ‘market value’ of $30K each.
0009-K-00281 – $36,700
0009-K-00282 – $46,000 * (*use code listed as ‘parking’, unlike the others)
0009-G-00203 – $38,200
0009-G-00204 – $30,000
0009-C-00014 – $37,600
0009-C-00016 – $33,100
0009-D-00268 – $28,100
This contrasts with the North Shore Trail segments along River Ave, 009-E-00200-9 and 0024-M-00100-9, respectively “R.R. – NOT USED IN OPERATION” and “R.R. – USED IN OPERATION” properties owned by the City with a combined value of nearly $49,000 despite being considerably larger than all seven Buncher properties above put together…. I don’t have time to go through the whole South Side Trail right now, but it appears to be owned, in several segments, by either the URA or the City directly as well.
(I’m also a little disturbed that the two segments of Waterfront Place itself, including the western half that’s been open as a road for quite some time as well as the eastern half that’s brand new, are also both owned by Buncher Corp…although I suppose I could be glad someone paid $700 in taxes on them each of the last several years…)
- This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by buffalo buffalo. Reason: apparently the board doesn't like but can't be bothered to ignore it properly?
@zz you can call buncher and ask them. They really haven’t been too forthcoming with info.
I emailed buncher on 12-5 and never heard back. They must have A+ customer service.
So, based on the PG article linked below, it looks like Smallman Street adjacent to the produce terminal will be worked on over the summer to replace utilities. Since this is currently the detour for the closed strip district trail, do we have any new ETA on reopening the trail so we would possibly avoid this construction mess?
They’re just trying to help cyclocross racers train…. just ride through their parking lots, hopping off your bike and over the barricades about 10 times to get across, then ride through the gravel lot behind the produce terminal.
Looks like the answer is that we’re going to have to fight for it.
Went to the meeting. There wasn’t much info beyond PWSA’s construction schedule. HOWEVER, they did say, and the City (DOMI) confirmed, that the City is now working to get a new Smallman St design to the 30% mark by May, where they will then have their own public meeting and process to finalize the design. There were no details on what that will be. But looking at the timeline, PWSA won’t be done with their work until December, and they are leaving it with temporary pavement, which means the City won’t be striping or putting down any new asphalt or anything new until Spring of 2019.
Here’s a twitter thread https://twitter.com/BikePGH/status/978765532462764032
@erok – Thanks for the info, good details. Hoping to go to the DOMI meeting in may…
Still wish buncher could give an estimate of when the perpetually closed strip trail would be completed though, as that would be a big help towards improving conditions for cycling through. Heck, you could easily go from the penn ave lanes down 15th street to the trail and right around the whole mess (if the trail was open).
@erok – I don’t mean to read too much into the blog post Benzo linked above, but is it essentially an official position of BikePGH that the Penn Ave cycle track has no chance of being extended, so we better fight to make sure the produce terminal project at least gets us up to 21st?
Because that would suck, a lot, even if it’s understandable given the city’s reluctance to plan anything over the past four years.
Inspired by this thread, I rode through this area on Monday exploring detour options near Smallman and the only one I can come up with is Spring Way. Or just stay on Smallman if they leave it open to traffic.
I was hoping that the new road called Waterfront Place would be rideable even though it is closed to traffic, but you can’t get through. There are only some jersey barriers on the southern end by 15th street, but there is a giant chain link fence across it at a construction site toward the northern end.
Too bad, because Railroad Street is a nice road to ride through the rest of the strip… less traffic and fewer stop signs than Smallman. When Waterfront Place finally opens to traffic, I’d say the preferred route through the strip would be Penn Ave. bike lane > 13th or 15th > Waterfront > Railroad.
Or go with the obvious solution: Extend the riverside trail to Lawrenceville.
I miss this idea… A green boulevard through the strip and lawrenceville.
I emailed buncher a whole bunch of months ago about this and got zero response. So I’m not sure they really care about the trail, and a good guess would be that unless the city pressures them to reopen it they’ll just keep it closed until the project is done.
Any update on the Strip trail? I biked over the 16th street bridge a few days ago and the trail just looked sad — neglected, covered with all kinda of crap (sticks, leaves, overgrowth…).
It’s not aweful between downtown and 15th street, but could use some cleanup. It’s only open till 15th street though, so you still need to detour to waterfront place (aka, the extension of river ave) or Smallman.
It’s closed from 15th through 21st, which is a pain. Hope they can reopen that sooN? Not sure if there are any plans to though. I would even expect them closing down what little is already open for more construction and giving bullshit dates for reopening.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Benzo.
I honestly have no idea why it even needs to be closed for construction. I think from what I read on here they own the land but let the trail go through, so, given this is the U.S., they can always take away what they give (in England there is a “right to roam” and it opens up private land for public use)… But it’s still a PITA
I keep reminding people that the trail downstream of Millvale was kept open during work on the 31st St Bridge, despite it being a very active construction area. I have video.
I think it is public vs private land and the City ignoring the issue/refusing to push Buncher to reopen the trail.
When I asked about this in August 2018 I was told by Councilwoman Deb Gross that the developers stated that it would be open “before end of year.” Obviously that date is past. We probably need to complain more. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Railroad Street is OK but it’s not great. With new developments and the construction on Smallman there is increased traffic on a road that isn’t designed for it. Crossing the tracks perpendicularly is a real adventure when you don’t know if the car behind you is going to try and pass.
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