Turtle Creek Rail Trail

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MattK
Member
#

Hi Paul,

Could you elaborate about the section of Braddock Ave between O’Connell Blvd and the ramp SR Route 2183?  That is next to the parcel where USS wants to allow fracking, and I was hoping that if they were going to let a fracking company use the land, they might let us use a small strip of it to run a cycle track just south of where Braddock Ave becomes high speed.  Real estate is kind of tight through that corridor, but if US Steel were to move their fence back a few feet, that would give us all the room we need to safely get from O’Connell to the floodgate road.

I was inclined to raise a little more noise about this, but if something has already been finalized, I’ll hold back until I see the plan.  All I know of it right now is Pashek MTR’s general suggestion of expanding southward from Braddock ave to give the bikes some breathing room, though the plan that I saw still had them using the 2183 ramp, with the acknowledgment that the intersection with the TBE would be problematic.  If USS works with us, a path to bypass this problem area seems all but ready-made:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.3918002,-79.84007,3a,50y,285.31h,91.55t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_Lvv9hy1OnTBWGmNDbEv_w!2e0!7i3328!8i1664

 


paulheckbert
Moderator
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Regarding the piece of Braddock Ave between O’Connell and 2183, I didn’t mean that this stretch had been finalized, I meant that I hoped cyclists would not have to bike on road, mixed in with the cars driving 50 mph. I hope a protected bike lane can be created along there.


ccorbran
Member
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Can anyone give me some additional information about the 5 Boroughs group?  Is this a formal group, do they have a website?  Any upcoming meetings?

Thanks!


MattK
Member
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The 5 Boroughs group does have a Facebook page, though there doesn’t seem to be too much action there: https://www.facebook.com/Multi-Community-Trail-System-992190900913796/

I don’t know of them having a website.  The best source of information I have for them is actually this thread on BikePGH that we are all reading and posting in.  So if anyone hears of any upcoming public meetings, please post them.  Getting the word out and getting some butts in the seats at meetings can be critical to keeping projects like this going.

The last I’ve heard on the project is that Pashek is working on finalizing their work.  I don’t know if this will involve any more public meetings, or just more time on there part to insure that everything is correct and up to their professional standards. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.  Given the obvious implications in connecting the WHT to the GAP, many others have taken an interest as well.


zzwergel
Member
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Would an on-street connection through Braddock using sharrows on Braddock Ave. between the Rankin Bridge and 11th St., 9th St., on Rt 837 between the bridge and Waterfront Dr., as well as on 11th St., 9th St., and Washington Ave. be a good idea? A trail should be built past the steel mill from 11th St. bypassing the high-speed section of Braddock Ave. and Tri-Boro Expressway into East Pittsburgh. There might be a problem with acquiring right of way from the steel mill.

Also of note. The “No Pedestrian Crossing” signs were removed, pedestrian signals/crosswalks installed across Rt 837 at the Rankin Bridge.


MattK
Member
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As far as the section of Braddock ave west of the steel mill goes, I’m not sure yet what will happen.  Sharrows offer little if any improvement over the status quo, in my opinion.  I’d much rather see the cycle-track idea that Pashek-MTR has suggested.  That would be quite a bit safer, and while it would eliminate one of the on-street parking lanes, that can be made up for with more off street lots.  There are plenty of empty lots next to Braddock ave that could be used for parking, and many if not most drivers would prefer separate lots to the challenge of parallel parking, so making such a change could benefit both cyclists and motorists.  It would also offer an excuse to fully re-pave Braddock ave, which would also make both car and bike users happy.


MattK
Member
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The Murrysville March for Parks will be held on this Saturday, March 24, 2018 at the Murrysville Community Center at 3091 Carson Avenue, Murrysville, PA 15668 (just North of Route 22 alongside phase 3 of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail).  Registration starts at 8:30 AM and the march starts at 10:30.  Pedestrians, cyclists and dogs are welcome to participate (I think the dogs may have to stay outside the buildings, but are allowed to march on the trails alongside their human friends.)  To save the limited parking spaces for those marching on foot, cyclists are requested to park about 1/2 mile upstream at the Roberts Trailhead and to ride into the community center.  If the weather is good, I’m actually planning on just riding in all the way from Trafford.

It is a fundraiser for the parks in general and for the trail in particular.  Donations of $25 and up get you a t-shirt, though all amounts are appreciated.  If it’s like last year, there should be some good food there.  It can also be a nice chance to chat informally with the many people helping to build and maintain the trail.  You don’t have to be from Murrysville or even Westmoreland county…and honestly you don’t even have to do any marching…all are welcome.

Link here: https://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/2616/Murrysville-March-for-Parks

 


paulheckbert
Moderator
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“The state will not stock Turtle Creek with trout this spring because of deadly aluminum pollution that has discharged into the stream from abandoned underground mines in Westmoreland County. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission does not plan to stock Turtle Creek with brown and rainbow trout near the Saunders Station Road bridge in Penn Township on Wednesday, as had been previously scheduled, because of the pollution, said Eric Levis, a commission spokesman. … The crystal clear sheen of aluminum pollution – some of it turning milky blue as it mixes with other minerals – came to light last week when the Turtle Creek Watershed Association explained how the stream was being polluted from Export to Trafford.”

http://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/13521239-74/pollution-kills-turtle-creek-trout-stocking-plans

 


MattK
Member
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The article appears to capture the news rather well, though I suspect the expert was misquoted as naming “magnesium” instead of “manganese” as the co-pollutant.  Aluminum, iron and manganese are the big 3 metals in acid mine drainage pollution.  Thompson Run and the other tributaries near the Keystone Commons have lots of aluminum.  Brush Creek, which comes from Irwin toward Trafford, has historically appeared to be more heavily laden with iron, as can be seen in its yellow-orange color.   For Middle and Upper Turtle Creek, it’s more aluminum, coming from the old Delmont and Export mines.

We saw a lot of the evidence of this pollution on our exploratory ride last year.  We also saw lots of fisherman out, as it happened to be the first day of fishing season.  Last year conditions apparently were good enough  for the fish.  This year they aren’t.  Cleaning up the abandoned mines would make every season a good season.  There are plans out there.  They require time and money.


MattK
Member
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A few updates…  The March for Parks went well, despite the cold.  Over $80,000 was raised overall, which is pretty impressive.  Some will go to the trails (WHT and 5-star), some will go towards others parks projects in Westmoreland county.

Phase 4 construction bids will go out later this year, with major construction to begin in the spring of 2019 if all comes in under budget.  A land-use agreement with Cleveland Bros has finally been signed.  The trail will go around the back side of the facility, as expected, and the company will get to use the front.  It seems like a good deal for both parties.

Some phase 4 work is already underway, namely the re-decking of the bridges.  The bridge at TCKR milepost 7.76 (behind Hoss’s) is now quite usable, though the some short sections of railings and the approaches need to be finished, so walking instead of riding across it is recommended.  Those traveling across it won’t get far, however, since the bridge at mile 8.19 (near  Haymaker Farm Rd) has its old deck ripped out, and is un-passable at the moment, except by those adept on a balance beam.  The parks dept should get the frame pieces of the new deck lowered into place soon (in a couple of weeks if I recall) then volunteers will finish the deck and it too will be good to go.  Once that is done, only the bridge at mile 9.29 (near the Rivertown Brewery) will need to be re-decked.  Its old railroad deck has been in the best shape of the three, so it makes sense to save it for last.

I’m referring to the old mile markings of the Turtle Creek Branch of the Pennsylvania RR, since WHT markers are still on the to-do list for this section.  I noticed that the markings for the bridge at 8.19 can still be seen (faintly) on the cornerstone on the southwest side of the bridge’s foundation.  As for the original cast iron mileposts, not all of them survive, but those that do are easy to spot alongside the trail.  The bridges being worked on were reportedly built in 1898, and the style of the mileposts and the numbers on them hint that they are from the same era.  The two numbers welded onto the mileposts add up to 11, and the line was about this length when those bridges were built.  Though it ran all the way to Saltsburg at its peak, the TCKR was coincidentally down to about 11 miles long again when it was last active.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Just noting that it’s been a year since our scouting expedition. Any plans to do another, given what we know in the last year, and/or spots we missed?


paulheckbert
Moderator
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Somewhat related: I walked to the site of the former town of Port Perry (on the Monongahela River just upstream of the confluence with Turtle Creek) and got this photo of the Norfolk Southern and Union Railroad Port Perry Bridges. Kennywood is in upper right.

DSC02174

Port Perry was a river town that predated Braddock, and got wiped out as the railroads expanded:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2004/01/21/The-town-prosperity-killed-Few-traces-remain-of-Port-Perry/stories/200401210124

If the ridiculous Mon-Fayette Expressway extension to Monroeville gets built, it will cross the Mon near here.

https://www.patpconstruction.com/monfaysb/pdf/MeetingBoards/MappingBoardC_Aug2016.pdf


MattK
Member
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Hard to believe it’s been a year…  here’s a little summary from what I’ve learned since

I’ve been reading everything I can find on the history of the Westinghouse Interworks Railway.  If anyone finds any good sources of info on it, please pass it along to me.  Note it is often spelled “Inter-Works”, and there is no clear consensus among sources regarding whether or not the proper word “Interworks” should be hyphenated.  So search for both spellings :)

I’ve done a little more exploring on foot of the parts we missed, over the winter while the knotweed was down and stuff was a little more visible.  First: the former bridge site over Dirty Camp Run is somewhat worse that I had thought.  The steel in the water does not appear to be parts of the bridge, but parts of the foundation.  The bridge is completely gone, and the old abutments are in poor shape.  The upside is that the span is shorter than the length of a flatbed truck, meaning that a pre-fabricated bridge could quickly be hoisted into place once the supports are restored.

Second: the rail grade between the “Welcome to Pitcairn” sign and Lincoln Way Supply is actually in better shape than I first thought.  The hillside has not completely collapsed or eroded, so it is likely no expensive boardwalk will be needed in this section, just some grading and stream bank stabilization.  What is making this section all but impassible is the sheer bulk of the overgrowth: mostly knotweed but also fallen trees.  I managed to brute-force my way through the section during the winter.  I think we can quickly make it passable by mountain bike with a few volunteers wielding some chainsaws and high powered weed-whackers.

What to do next?  Connecting the WHT to the GAP is going to involve ten municipalities, so I think the project needs some heavy involvement by officials at the Allegheny County level.  The WHT is succeeding in part due to grass-roots volunteers, but also because the Westmoreland County parks officials are heavily involved. We need the Allegheny County powers that be to become just as involved if this is going to get off the drawing board.  For that, I’m looking forward to the final version of Pashek MTR’s study.  Their preliminary reporthttp://braddockborough.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/july-2017-transportation-plan.pdf looks promising, and though it encompass only 5 of the 10 boroughs along the WHT-GAP connection path, I’m hoping it will lead to Allegheny County devoting more money and man power towards expanding the scope of the project to make the full connection possible.


MattK
Member
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Good pics of Port Perry, Paul.  Wish we could use one of those bridges, though there is no way NS would allow it.  The Mon-Fayette Expressway is something I figured to be irrelevant to trail expansion.  If it happens, the trail would just run under it with no problem.  But its bridge poses an interesting possibility: could it include a biking/walking lane?  Including this would be of a trivial cost compared to that of the project, and unlike the expressway it could actually benefit the communities that it runs through.  Is there a way to lobby for the inclusion of bike lanes on a project you hope doesn’t happen?

I was up on that hill last Friday, though I didn’t walk as far up as you did. I did walk out and back across the George Westinghouse Bridge.  Now is a unique opportunity for sight seeing from it, as the traffic on it was pretty light with Route 30 closed ahead of it due to the landslide.


MattK
Member
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Pashek+MTR has also been working with Monroeville, Churchill and Wilkins Twp on their comprehensive plan.  This is also in the “draft” stage, but it looks like the WHT-GAP connection has been noted in their plans:  http://www.monroeville.pa.us/docs/commdev/20171115CMWCompPlanDraft.pdf  The appendices of the draft are here, posted for the sake of completeness: http://www.monroeville.pa.us/docs/commdev/20171115CMWCompPlanDraftApp.pdf

The first document was the more interesting one to me.  The WHT trailhead at Saunders Station gets a photo in the “CONNECTIVITY & TRAILS” section; BikePGH gets a mention there as well.  But this quote on page 93 (4-29) is the most encouraging:

“Through inclusion in this comprehensive plan report, Churchill, Monroeville and Wilkins expressly state support for the proposed Interworks Trail. The communities recognize the value of the Great Allegheny Passage, which connects Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. , and Westmoreland Heritage Trail, partially completed between Saltsburg and Trafford. These trails provide access to destinations and facilities for recreation. (Completed segments of the Heritage Trail between Murrysville and Trafford fall within Monroeville’s borders in Allegheny County.)
Churchill, Monroeville and Wilkins support planning and construction of a trail that would link the GAP and Heritage trails along a route that roughly follows Turtle Creek and crosses the Monongahela River at Braddock.”


MattK
Member
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More news:

The Churchill – Monroeville – Wilkins plan appears to be in final form.  It doesn’t look like much changed from the earlier draft: http://www.churchillborough.com/uploads/linked/2018-1-5%20c-m-w%20comp%20plan.pdf

The much-anticipated Rankin-Braddock-North Braddock-East Pittsburgh-Turtle Creek study has come out.  Nearly 200 pages for your reading pleasure:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/x5h1yy50qx2cp1t/4-17-18%20RBNBEPTC%20Active%20Transportation%20plan%20DRAFT.pdf?dl=0

Several park benches have now been installed along Phase 3 of the WHT.  Thanks to all who donated them and helped with the installation.

Phase 4 WHT bridge construction is moving along.  The bridge near the SportZone behind Hoss’ is now done.  The bridge a half mile upstream near Haymaker Farm Rd is done but for 1/2 of the second layer of deck and the railings – one can easily walk a bike across it now.

Design plans for Phase 4 are “95% complete”.  Assuming PennDOT approves, bidding and contract awards are anticipated this summer/fall, and major construction should start next spring.


MattK
Member
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The WHT has announced partial trail closures this week on portions of the Phase 3 between Saunders Station in Monroeville and the Robert’s lot in Murrysville.  New drainage culverts will be installed.  The first spring’s rain on this newly constructed section has shown the existing drainage to be inadequate, and this is an effort to correct the problem and prevent future trail washouts.  The closures will only be in effect when open trenching is in progress.  Professional contractors will be handling it.  Work is anticipated to take only a couple of days.

The erosion issues I’ve seen weren’t yet too bad, but it was apparent that they would need to be dealt with before they became a serious problem.  Credit goes to those in charge for recognizing this and taking care of it.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Monroeville has released a new survey of community ped/bike needs as part of its “Active Transportation Master Plan.”  It invites participation by residents of Monroeville and “nearby.”  I don’t know what their definition of “nearby” is.  But, it clearly is looking at the question of connection to both the Westmoreland Heritage Trail and the Turtle Creel Valley (as well as along Route 22 towards Wilkinsburg and portions of Route 286.

Here is the link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MonroevilleWalkBikeHike

 

 


MattK
Member
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Good find, Swalfoort.  I filled it in.  I don’t live in Monroeville anymore, but I get the impression that feedback from anyone who occasionally walks / bikes / uses public transport there would be helpful to them.  Making a municipality more walkable/bikable isn’t just for the direct benefit to its current residents, they are trying to make it more attractive for visitors as well, and not just for altruistic reasons; visitors often spend money there while we visit.


zzwergel
Member
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I just started looking at the PDF file. The reason this caught my attention is because recently, I’ve done some biking in these three car-dependent communities. Due to the car-dependent nature of these communities, I’m still trying to find the safest and easiest way to get to central Monroeville on a bike from points north and west. Here are some videos on the subject. By the way, Climbing the mile-long hill on Penn Ave. in eastern Wilkinsburg is very difficult and quite tiring especially after climbing One Wild Pl. and dealing with various other hills.

Also, I agree that adding bike/pedestrian/bus infrastructure improvements to these communities will help attract Millennials to these communities as many are forgoing car ownership. Because of this, a lot of the younger generation people who cannot afford housing in or near the city will be reaping the benefits of these “Edge cities” in terms of cost of living and patronizing their businesses while still being able to pursue their desire for active and public transportation.

Public transportation and walk/bike infrastructure brings the suburbs much closer to the city. Just think about not having to deal with the Parkway and Squirrel Hill Tunnel traffic jams everyday during your commute to the city while providing cleaner air for everyone!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Once we finally connect East Pittsburgh with the Eliza Furnace Trail, I would love to have a three-way race from Dynamo Way in EPgh to Smithfield and Sixth Ave downtown, with a car, a bus, and a bicycle, at morning rush hour. I’m fairly sure the bike would get there first by a large margin.

There are four unsolved problems here, only one of which has been discussed here previously. The rest should be taken to another thread, but I’ll lay them out here while they’re fresh in mind.
1. Westinghouse flood gate
2. Getting into the eastern end of Duck Hollow from the Rankin Bridge area
3. Getting from the western end of the Duck Hollow Trail to Hazelwood safely and legally
4. Getting from the western end of Hazelwood to the EFT safely and legally

Figure out those four things and we’ll have a direct path between downtown and Saltsburg.


zzwergel
Member
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The Interworks trail through North Braddock, East Pittsburgh, Turtle Creek, Monroeville, Pitcarin, and North Versailles has not been built. See page 4-33 of the PDF linked above of the Churchill website. Is that the tail that is being talked about in this forum for liking the GAP to the WHT?

Also, would putting bus stop on Jefferson St. at Thomas St. and on Thomas St. opposite Jefferson St. or possibly doing a short loop through Mellon Plan so residents of the neighborhood will be more likely to use the bus for their commutes? Mellon Plan is a neighborhood in Monroeville located near the 69 Trafford bus route that is laid out on a grid making it relatively bike and pedestrian friendly.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Scroll back in this thread to April 15 2017, when a bunch of us, me included, biked that proposed path. You will also find a link to a series of videos I made of the excursion.

Later in the day, cameras off, we rode the Westmoreland Heritage Trail, not yet officially open, from Trafford out to the edge of Murrysville, then back to Dynamo Way, where we’d started.

A lot of it can be done now, with a good bit of on-road connections.

(I cannot talk knowledgeably about bus stops in that area, and this wouldn’t be the place to discuss it anyway.)


zzwergel
Member
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@stu,

I remember those videos. recently, I’ve been as far east as Sam’s Club in Monroeville. It was a very hilly and tiring ride from Aspinwall. Everything was fine until the long climb on Penn Ave. in eastern Wilkinsburg which I really huffed and puffed as I struggled to climb it even by walking. the ride through Churchill went ok. After enter Wilkins Twp. on Churchill Rd., there was a very steep and long descent into the Chalfant Creek Valley. In the valley, I followed the quiet Thompson Run Rd. until it became Northern Pike. Climbing the switchback winded me again, so I hopped the guard rail into the Sam’s Club parking lot and waited for the 67 bus by Pep Boys.

According to the Strava Global Heatmap, the most traveled route would be:

  • Climb One Wild Place to Mellon Terrace.
  • R. Mellon Terrace
  • L. Negley Ave.
  • L. East Liberty Blvd.
  • L. Hamilton Ave.
  • R. Dallas Ave.
  • L. Thomas Blvd.
  • R. Lexington St.
  • L. Meade St.
  • L. Brushton Ave.
  • R. Thomas St.
  • R. Trenton Ave.
  • L. South Ave.
  • L. Swissvale Ave.
  • Slight R. Park Ave.
  • Slight L. Montier St.
  • R. Laketon Rd.
  • R. Graham Blvd.
  • L. Penn Ave.
  • R. Beulah Rd.
  • S. Brown Ave.
  • L Airbrake Ave.
  • R. Patton St
  • R. Station St.
  • R. Wall Ave.
  • L. Mosside Blvd
  • R. Broadway Blvd.
  • S. 5th St.
  • L WHT

Does anyone have any advice to minimize the number of long or steep hills along this route? Where would be the best places to take breaks along the way?


MattK
Member
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The potential trail along the abandoned Westinghouse Interworks Railway, AKA the East Pittsburgh Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, formerly known as (part of) the Turtle Creek Valley Railroad, has itself been known by many names over the years, including:

The “Interworks Trail” in the 2018 Monroeville- Churchill – Wilkins plan:
http://www.churchillborough.com/uploads/linked/2018-1-5%20c-m-w%20comp%20plan.pdf

“The Turtle Creek Greenway” in the 2014 Murrysville Trail News:
http://murrysvilletrails.org/documents/july_2014_murrysville_trail_news.pdf

“The Turtle Creek Trail” in the 2010 Active Allegheny Plan:
http://www.alleghenyplaces.com/alleghenyportal/public/ActiveAllegheny.pdf

“Forbes Trail” in the 2002 Turtle Creek Watershed River Conservation Plan (near the end of the file):
http://www.docs.dcnr.pa.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/document/D_001514.pdf

This railroad is abandoned eastward from approximately the Wilmerding – Turtle Creek border, and can be made into a rail trail easily.  Part of it already has been: http://www.glennengr.com/uploads/2014_DCNR_GRANT_AIR%20BRAKE%20PARK.pdf

West of the Wilmerding – TC border, only one of the two sets of tracks of the former Interworks Railway have been torn up.  (The railway had two sets of tracks through this section: the tracks that went between the Electrical Factory in East Pittsburgh and the Airbrake Factory in Wilmerding mostly remain, while the tracks from the East Pittsburgh Facility to the Trafford Foundry have been removed) A “rail with trail” would be possible along the remaining tracks.  These tracks have seen very limited use since the line was broken up; some of the tracks in Turtle Creek have large trees growing through them.  https://www.wtae.com/article/railroad-to-nowhere-financed-by-taxpayers/7468749

The road through the floodgate (Old Braddock Avenue, misnamed SR2183 on Google Maps) was also identified as a potential part of the GAP-WHT connection before I joined this forum.  Unlocking the fence that is blocking this apparently still public road would cost nothing, could be done immediately, and would have a positive impact for cyclists and pedestrians in the area. Feel free to politely lobby your elected officials to ask that it be opened to non-motorized traffic.


zzwergel
Member
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@mattk, I do not live in that area.


zzwergel
Member
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I finally made it to the trail! It was a really long haul from Aspinwall taking over two hours to get there an bike. I took the bus back to Wilkinsburg and biked home from there. I got video here.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Great video, zzwergel.  I really enjoyed seeing the parts that I have not yet explored.  What’d you think of the trail?

Also, I was disappointed that you skipped the last half mile or so, leading to BY Park.  You can also ride beyond BY Park to the industrial area below the Trafford Bridge at SR 130.  That section is not all that pleasant, and not yet a formal part of the trail, but it’s a good connection to “civilization.”

 


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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BY Park is where we saw the foot-wide turtle!
Did you get to the ice cream store at the Forbes Road crossing? (sorry, didn’t see the video)


zzwergel
Member
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@swalfoort,

I did visit B-Y Park yesterday when I found out that the bus wasn’t going to come for another 40 minutes. It was nice. What didn’t you explore?

@stu,

No, I did not go to the ice cream store. I did cut through their parking lot while returning to the bus stop from B-Y Park. I also wonder if the trail will be used by nearby Murrysville residents to reach the bus stop in trafford or as part of a backwards commute from the bus stop to shops near the intersection of Old William Penn Hwy and Sardis Rd. for work? I also think once the Interworks Trail is built, It would make a great connection to Braddock so residents of the Turtle Creek valley can easily reach the East Busway and the 61A and 61B bus routes which operates much more frequently then the 69 bus operates, especially during the weekend when the 69 only comes by every 90 minutes and only between Trafford and Wilkinsburg. I also think spur routes should be built along Thompson Run Rd. and Mosside Blvd. making connections to Monroeville and Wilkins Twp. This will also attrack Millennials to the area because of it being less car-dependent.

 


zzwergel
Member
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Does anyone know a good way to avoid the very long, and steep hill on Penn Ave. in eastern Wilkinsburg while going from Aspinwall to Churchill? Would Taking Allegheny River Blvd. to Nadine Rd. be of any use in this situation. After climbing One Wild Pl. and going through Highland Park, East Liberty, Point Breeze, and Wilkinsburg; just seeing that hill knocks the wind out of me like nothing else has ever done. By the way, taking a once per hour bus is not an option. Waiting for the 69 bus in Trafford while exhausted was no fun at all.

  • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  zzwergel.

jonawebb
Participant
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The topography out there means you’re going to have to climb a hill, one way or the other. There’s a fan of creeks heading down to Turtle Creek that have cut valleys.


Eric
Member
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my memory of driving on Nadine road is that it is very narrow, hilly, and cars speed on it. And I don’t recall there being much to the side of the road besides maybe a hillside or a guardrail. I’d be scared to do the climb on Nadine. I’d stick with the more “city-ish” route you take, because at least if you get tired you can pull over next to a parked car.


jonawebb
Participant
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Thinking about it, the only way to really avoid hills is to get to Turtle Creek, and head east from there. You can’t get to Turtle Creek without hills, but there are buses. Then you can use Broadway or cross the creek and follow Wall. Neither is exactly great for biking but not terrible.


zzwergel
Member
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@jonawebb,

The 68 and 69 only come once per hour for most of the day. The 61A and 61B come every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends. Hourly buses are unacceptable because I cannot make sure I’m at the bus stop at the required time. Due to this, if I miss the bus by a few minutes, I’ll have to kill nearly an entire hour waiting for the bus.

I was able to get to Braddock by bike. Since leaving Braddock on Braddock Ave. into East Pittsburgh is risky, would the following be an acceptable alternative to Braddock Ave. by the Westinghouse Bridge?

From Braddock Ave. in Braddock

  • L. Library St.
  • R. Bell Ave.
  • S. Center St.
  • R. Grandview Ave.
  • L. Bessemer Ave.
  • L. Linden Ave.
  • R. Cable Ave.
  • L. Braddock Ave.
  • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  zzwergel.

StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Z, don’t miss the bus. Sorry, can’t help you much there.

The Braddock to Turlcrik connection was discussed earlier. There is no way to do it that is all three of safe, easy, and legal.
* Ignore safe: Just go straight out Braddock.
* Ignore easy: Go up over the top of the mountain.
* Ignore legal: Get down by the gate-with-four-locks by the Westinghouse flood gate, and make your way around to the left of the bridge abutments and through the weeds, to get around the always-locked west gate. The east gate is easy to bike around.

Your choice.


zzwergel
Member
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@stu,

How can I make sure I don’t miss the bus when I don’t know how long it will take me to bike to Wlkinsburg? Worse yet, why isn’t there a frequent bus that services East Pittsburgh? Infrequent service discourages the use of the bus because it makes it very inconvenient and necessary to schedule things around the bus schedule which can potentially change every three months.

Also, Bell Ave. appears parallel to the hairy part of Braddock Ave. There is also an interruption of the Ardmore Blvd. sidewalk in Forest Hills where there is no shoulder. Why is this? What happens if a vehicle breaks down on a highway without shoulders.

  • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  zzwergel.

jonawebb
Participant
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Z’s route from Braddock to Turtle Creek is the way I would go, in reverse. The Triborough Expressway is too scary the other way. But I would take the Triborough heading east. Not as scary as heading west, and not as many hills as Z’s route.


zzwergel
Member
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@jonawebb,

Is there a time of day and and day of week when it would be safest? Where is the dangerous part of Braddock Ave. anyway? Is it the four lane section south of the Westinghouse Bridge?


jonawebb
Participant
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This is where I’m taking about: Braddock Ave, East Pittsburgh, PA 15112
https://goo.gl/maps/ohCg8vMg7sp

I think it’s less scary heading east than west. Partly because heading west you’re going uphill for the most terrifying section. Also I think you get off the overbuilt section earlier heading east.

That said, you may find it too scary either way. Be cautious. The other route you posted is safer but Hillier.

I have never seen much traffic out there.

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