Winter riding conditions report
I am hearing that the jail trail and junction hollow are snowy and icy as of Saturday afternoon. If anyone has any updates about them being cleared, please let me know.
I posted this on fb this morning:
Morning bike commuter report: roads are wet. No ice on the ones I did take. Junction hollow is snow covered. I can see lots of vehicular tracks but it doesn’t look plowed or salted. It still angers me that this is a cut through for cars, and the trail surface is crumbling. Jail trail has not been touched. No vehicles seemed to have driven over it this weekend, so no wide areas of packed down snow. Lots of frozen lumpy foot and bike tire tracks. I think I would have been frustrated on one of my other bikes. It is passable on skinnier tires, I imagine. I took the fat bike and kept the tires at 30psi. No problems. Watch the areas of trail that go under the overpasses. There is ice where it transitions from snow to bare trail and back again. Fort Duquesne pedestrian bridge seemed fine.
This was as of 5am 2/15/16
2/15/16 I didn’t go into the office today, that said, when I was out at 9H15 there must have been freezing rain at some point. The sidewalks in front of the house were iced over, so was the car. Be careful out there.
There was ice on the roads but nothing so bad my snow/ice tires couldn’t handle it easily. It was very thin.
Bayard / Bigelow / Ohara bike lanes were a bit rough. 3/4 clear, but large sections that were hard to get through.
S. Millvale Bridge is a mess. Avoided the bike lane due to way too much snow + slush.
It’s going to be above freezing today. This will likely melt off a lot of this stuff, so I’m not even going to bother 311’ing it.
Yelled at by a pedestrian for crossing at the pedestrian scramble despite giving everyone a huge buffer and going pedestrian speed. “You have your own signal”.
Sucks that there is not an easy way to install bike boxes at this intersection to turn left from bigelow on to bigelow to stay on bigelow to get from the bigelow/ohara/parkman intersection to schenley plaza, which used to be my preferred route until the bike lanes made this more difficult to make the left turn.
Polish Hill to Oakland, ~915: Definitely slipped a bit on my slight uphill start, but once rolling was fine, just a bit slow. it’s maybe still snowing, but very lightly, and projected to turn to ice later, so watch out on the ride home…
Ps, there’s a couple substantial potholes in the Centre-Craig intersection to watch out for…
2/15/16 15H30 At the time, secondary roads were wet but ok. Bates was wet but fine. Second Ave sidewalk had some accumulation, but nothing that couldn’t be avoided. EFT/Jail Trail was untreated, but it was that wet compacted snow that while unpleasant, didn’t slow you down too much. If it freezes, it’s going to suck. Smithfield Bridge was clear to South Side, South Side trail was pretty clear to Birmingham Bridge, after that, it was that slushy snow until South Side works. HMB ramps were untreated and that slushy snow, some accumulation on HMB itself. Bates St sidewalk had some slush on it. Hopefully the temps stay above freezing to minimize the PITA quotient for tomorrow’s run in. WTAE is reporting, “Potentially icy and snow covered roads being reported by PENNDOT.”
Lots of reports of accidents out there. Assuming by tomorrow morn everything with be frozen and slick. Be careful.
Roads are slick, sidewalks and driveways worse. Bussed my bike back, but almost left it in Oakland because the ramps into the parking garage where I lock it were iced over (~2130h).
Allegheny Co twitter had a long string of crash reports from all over; City was asking (~2030h) folks to stay off the roads if possible….
Definitely interesting out there. Slushy layers. Pay attention to your center of gravity and be safe!
This is just about a worst-case scenario, right now. Roads are wet, slush is everywhere, snowmelt turning to ice where there’s enough snow, and it’s getting colder and snowier. Be very careful, especially downhill.
2/16/16 8H15 Oakland to Downtown. Temp is hovering in the low/mid 30Fs, conditions can change quickly. Secondary roads were wet, but fine. Bates was okay on the way down. Second Ave sidewalk had some ice spots, but they were avoidable. Wood ramp is slick. EFT/Jail Trail is slush and fine up to the flyover, then there is a layer of ice that is wet. Rest of EFT/Jail trail has slush/standing water. There is a section inbound right before the Second Ave parking lot that is treacherous, compacted snow that is wet. Lots of standing water, you probably want to go through the parking lot. That section of Smithfield inbound is closed now. Downtown seemed ok at the time.
Not worst case scenario out there. This is worst case scenario. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Halloween_blizzard
Side streets through Shadyside were slick this morning. Liberty Ave bike lanes were questionable as was the Penn Ave bike lane. Taking the full lane I didn’t have any issues but the edges of the roads are sketchy. Definitely be careful and take your time with turns!
2/16/16 16H30 Downtown to Oakland. EFT/Jail Trail had mostly melted off and drained. If nothing comes in tonight, could call for the fast bike tomorrow.
Lots of black ice today, esp. on untreated sidewalks etc.
I jogged in today because I needed to finally get N+1 (folder, yay) home. I used the 5th avenue bus lane and ran opposite traffic generally as much as possible after having made the mistake of using the panther hollow rd. sidewalk (which looked fine, of course) instead of the upper trail. Will be riding home through the Forbes interchange tonight on said folder rather than dealing with the slipperiness on the climb home.
Took the river trail from Millvale to town this morning. A bit ‘slippy in patches, but definitely manageable if you pay attention.
Melwood/Gold mostly merely wet, but slush/ice patches in a few places, especially between the speed bumps, where something seems to be draining into the roadway and puddling on the pavement.
2/17/16 8H15 Oakland to Downtown. Sidewalks were icy. Secondary streets in Oakland had a thin sheen of ice. Bates St was okay going down. Second Ave sidewalk had a thin sheen of ice and some heavier ice that was avoidable. Wood ramp is slick. EFT/Jail Trail looks wet, but it’s a thin sheen of ice with two notable sections that you should be aware of (i.e. Flyover by Birmingham Bridge & a small section prior to the Second Ave parking lot). The MUP between Grant St. & Smithfield was iced up w/ no salt laid down. Downtown was manageable, but had that thin ice in spots.
Great report from JZ on the Oakland to downtown commute. If anyone has an update for the commute home via the EFT/jail trail…greatly appreciated!
a bit late, but the Panther Hollow trail was freshly salted when I went through around 1pm. Saline cycletrack and HMB were clear as well.
2/17/16 16H45 Downtown to Oakland. Nothing worth noting. On EFT/Jail Trail there is still that ice patch under the Flyover/Birmingham Bridge. There were a couple of feeble flakes floating down, kinda.
So is the jail trail just icy in that spot or is the whole thing a thin sheet of ice?
When I went through it seemed dry and it was icy in just that spot. That said, it looks like it snowed a bit since then.
I took river to the 31st street bridge as it was snowing this evening. The north shore trail looked like it was getting some accumulating snow. People were running on it. It didn’t appear slick, but I stick to roads to play it safe.
2/18/16 8H15 Oakland to Downtown. Sidewalks were icy. Secondary streets in Oakland were mostly dry, but there were spots of ice. Bates St was okay going down/Bates St sidewalk looked like it had ice. Curb cut at intersection of Hodge St/Bates St has ice on it. Second Ave sidewalk had sections of ice and some heavier ice that was avoidable. Wood ramp is slick. EFT/Jail Trail has 1/2 inch of light powder on it, but be aware there are some sections of ice under the snow. Snow over ice on two notable sections that you should be aware of (i.e. Flyover by Birmingham Bridge & a small section prior to the Second Ave parking lot). Second Ave parking lot to First Avenue garage is clear & salted. First Ave garage is snow over ice to the bollards, PNC is clear. The MUP between Grant St. & Smithfield has salt on it. Downtown was pretty dry.
2/18 at 9:45/10am: L-ville to Southside.
Took Butler down to Penn and 11th, Grant, Ross, 2nd Ave, over 10th St Bridge to Muriel/Wharton.
Penn Ave bike lane looked like it was hit with salt, but not really anything else. Some patches you could see a bit of snow and tire tracks…maybe a light layer of slush/ice in others. I had no issues with my ice tires though most of it might have merely been wet, not icy. I think I could have been ok without them too. Everything else was fairly clear.
I will say, I’m regretting my lack of riding of late… oof….
Second JZ on the jail trail this morning – it was unplowed and unsalted, but just powder underneath for the most part. From Penndot traffic cameras, it looks like there’s been some pretty good melting in the meantime.
Junction hollow trail was well-salted, with a few smaller patches that were a little icy/snowy, but not too bad. Should be pretty good for home commute this afternoon, I expect.
No problems coming in from McCandless mid-day. Snowpiles are melting, though, so watch it after the sun goes down. It’s only melting because the sun angle is high enough. It’s already below freezing and likely to stay there until Friday mid-morning, so anything downhill from a snowbank will be chancy.
Junction hollow and jail trail to hot metal were well melted at 7pm thursday. Hot metal bridge was mostly clear, but some touches of ice remaining on the easten side of the bridge, but easy to avoid.
A little ice on the sidewalk / patg on the hill from the chute to the jail trail
2/18/16 16H45 Downtown to Oakland. EFT/Jail Trail to Wood ramp is clear with the exception of that stubborn ice patch under the Flyover/Birmingham Bridge.
2/19/16 8H15 Oakland to Downtown. Dry out there. Flyover by Birmingham Bridge has about a 150 ft stubborn section of snow/ice that refuses to melt. Took the fast utility commuter in, didn’t regret it, felt like I was flying. Saw an abandoned hockey stick on EFT/Jail Trail. Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day to ride.
Suggestion: Can we get a snow shovel and a lock for that one stubborn section? And a couple of volunteers who know the combination to clear that one spot after a snowfall?
Especially in conditions where it thaws and refreezes regularly, like the past couple of days, the easiest way to prevent an ice pack from forming in the first place is to get it and keep it clear of snow, as early and often as possible.
Wasn’t there a time in the not so distant past, where HMB and a couple of other places had shovels locked up to the fence w/ combo locks just for that purpose?
I’m not sure who to contact about it, but the new bike lanes on the Rankin Bridge were completely filled with gravel, salt, and other debris today. It was pretty much impossible to stay in the bike lanes on a road bike due to the threat of wiping out on a pile of pebbles.
Otherwise, it was a beautiful day for a ride, and tomorrow should be nice, too!
Eleanor is pretty salty. I had to indicate to a car coming down that I needed to pass on its right my left because the right side going up is all salt. it all worked out. beautiful day.
@jay It’s Allegheny County I believe, didn’t think the inbound side was that bad this morning myself
Every time I used to ride Rankin bridge, the new bike lane (southbound) was always covered with debris from sand all the way up to grapefruit sized chunks of asphalt.
The uncleared bike lanes make things worse since bicycles are “expected” to be only in the bike lanes but the bike lanes are not safe to ride in – so you have to take the travel lanes and then people get angry. (And I don’t blame them. I don’t think most motorists understand (or even necessarily notice) the debris making the bike lane unusable.)
It’s entirely a maintenance issue though. The space is really nice and wide and would be quite nice if it was cleaned regularly.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Click here to login.