Spring riding conditions report
East End Paving Observations – 4/08/2016
Black Street (Negley to N. Aiken) – Milled, be careful on this road, lots of large stones
N. Negley (Stanton to Hampton) – Fully paved, no line markings
Hays Street (entire length) – Fully paved
S. Graham (Baum to Penn) – One layer of paving put down
Wonder if the strip trail upgrades are so access to the trail can be used as a selling feature for their project. So maybe will have a wider trail. Maybe more level to the buncher project. Maybe more river overlooks. Maybe. Just trying to look on the bright side of things.
It will be a shortcut for private vehicles if it is anything like other trails
Smallman is being repaved between 33rd and 36th St. Finally. That stretch sucked.
Paving Beechwood between Forbes and Northumberland. Milled as of 4/9
I ran up the strip trail today. Needs a lot of love. Buncher hasn’t done crap with the rest of their gated off property besides building a huge hill of dirt and other crap. Any idea when they will start to build or do they need to do this landscaping project first? Not a lot of room to widen it to 14 feet unless they level the whole thing off.
Two major cuts in Liberty Avenue with little notice.
First one is at 38th Street. There is a base layer of paving down but the bump is enough to startle you.
The second one is worse, and it is at 39th Street. This is milled all the way down with large cinders in the pit.
Hit these at 30 mph last night and was, to say the least, surprised.
4/25/16 8H15 EFT/Jail Trail inbound right past the Second Ave wood ramp is severely restricted by work vehicles, not even down to one lane, they’re in that same manhole working on something and you have about 3 ft of trail for both directions.
Bouquet is being milled from Forbes to Bates. Was milled this afternoon (4/25.)
Bouquet is milled all the way up to Fifth. In fact, they milled part way into the intersection at Forbes, so watch yourself if you’re in the left lane.
Jeff McCauley of Friends of the Riverfront expects the Eliza Furnace Trail (the portion east of the the Birmingham Bridge) to get repaved in mid-May. It sounds like there will be both new asphalt and refurbished running surfaces on the sides of the asphalt.
I thought they said April.
Will they give more than 3 hours of notice when it will be closed?
@stefb “I thought they said April.”
paulheckbert Apr 2 2016 at 12:28pm
I heard from Jeffrey McCauley at Friends of the Riverfront:
Re Eliza Furnace Trail: EFT will be closed a couple days in April so it can get repaved from Birmingham Bridge to Swinburne Parking lot and the resurfaced limestone jogging tracks….
“APRIL is the cruellest month…mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain.” (Eliot, The Waste Land)
(So, August, then?)
Yeah. Haha I think I predicted August also. It will probably be May, 2017.
Just curious as to wether or not anyone has hurt themselves on the few crappy, uneven spots where the patch jobs were done half assed.
It is hard to be positive about Pittsburgh commuter cycling when a major commuter path like the EFT got shut down with a few hours of notice, no detours were posted, vehicles still drive up and down it, and the temporary fix is shitty.
Bike lanes are still in the door zones.
The trail through the strip was closed for a long time, and now it will be closed again?
Vehicles continue to blast through the junction hollow trail and the trail surface had deteriorated.
Perhaps Bike Pittsburgh has done all they could, but I kinda feel like they have not been advocating in those areas, at least not publicly. Maybe I am one to make a bigger deal, but I almost expected them to go to the media or mayor about it and make it a huge deal. Maybe they have, and I missed it. Maybe that is not realistic. Maybe here is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes, but hey Bike Pittsbugh, commuting by bike in Pittsburgh seems to be getting worse.
A few more complaints (because I don’t do that enough), the RR has caused a disruption for people trying to get out of Duck hollow and across the tracks in Schenley to the lake.
In addition, this message board continues to be unusable on several platforms. I can’t see images on my phone, and posts get cut off and I can’t scroll over.
For what’s it’s worth I hear that BP is in the middle of updating their website so hopefully that will be addressed along with the website revamp. (the other stuff, I can’t say anything to)
Mind if I pile on the rants?
* Still silence and inaction on the low manhole covers on the Penn Ave bike lane.
* I am unhappy that the latest bike lane proposal, on Federal St, is essentially a DZBL.
* I do not understand why my suggestion for directing cyclists from the city end of the EFT down Blvd of the Allies by tweaking the Grant/1Ave light to have a dedicated phase to let cyclists onto Grant unimpeded, was discarded.
* I still see no advocacy for actually making it safe to ride on the thousand miles of city and area streets by causing speed enforcement, or getting BMUFL signs posted, something Millvale on its own managed to do.
* I would like to see some action to inform magistrates that bikes really can use the full lane, so folks like Jim don’t lose stupid cases in court, and educating the police not to pull law-obeying cyclists over in the first place.
They have a staff of seven? nine? now, so I should theoretically be seeing twice as much real advocacy as in 2010 when there were only four of them.
Just my .02: BikePgh is about advocacy through long-term harmonious relationships. Although they wrangle behind closed doors – and I believe they do, with good intent – they’re not about public confrontation. It’s a strategic choice that BikePgh is very disciplined about, and I get it. It produces results and long-term inclusion in the political process.
It does leave a vacuum and I don’t see another asset to fill that space.
I would like to hope that bike pgh was shut out of processes completely, as mentioned before, for things such as the poor placement of bike lanes. Because if they compromised on that, then ugh. Better to have less bike lanes that are safe than to have a bunch that aren’t. nothing personal, people.
Just remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, too.
I was under the impression that advocacy groups were more visible and louder. I guess that doesn’t apply to all of them. Of course I don’t want for their good relations and inclusions in processes to be ruined, but it is just leaving me frustrating.
Of course, Bike-Pgh works primarily in the city. I ride in the city, Millvale, Ross, Shaler, McCandless, Bellevue, Crafton, Ingram, Sharpsburg, Robinson, Moon, Stowe, McKees Rocks … in just the last six weeks. But I have the most trouble on what should be established, high bike traffic streets like Butler St and Perrysville Ave, and I’m not alone. Speeding drivers, drivers who don’t know a law-abiding cyclist when they see one, drivers who don’t know what the rules both allow (3301a6) and disallow (3303a3, 3331e) … This is what makes cycling seem frightening and unsafe, and often is. How is fighting that not bike advocacy?
Of course, a lot of this needs to be fought at the state level, which admittedly is out of their bailiwick. But my more local gripes are in-city, inside their well defined bailiwick.
To be clear, I refuse to use any infrastructure I deem unsafe to use, like DZBLs, and if I have to go 12 mph in a posted-35-where-everyone-goes-45, taking the lane while riding 12, then dammit, I’m going to do that. Liberty Ave through Bloomfield, I’m looking at you. The street should not be posted 35, and there should not be a DZBL. It should be posted 25, it should be enforced 25, there should be a two-foot buffer next to the parking lane, and cyclists should be able to ride on it without fear of being crushed or sideswiped. Like the new R.N. who got mowed down on her second day of work a couple years ago.
And as I also said in another thread a couple weeks ago, the thought of having to shell out a thousand bucks in legal fees and lost work time every time I get pulled over while obeying the law is simply abhorrent.
There is room for both behind the scenes and for public, civil advocacy.
Open streets is nice, but put emphasis on public safety over the long term goes a long way.
Yes, you’re quite right Stef. I do think there’s room for aggressive advocacy by individuals or some other “bad cop” entity.
A geyser of poop on the 10th St Bypass delayed me and another cyclist for 3.5 minutes while Alcosan and PGH-H20 hosed the puddle of poo into the Allegheny.
WPXI and another newscrew video-ed us:
Rode the south side trail today between ft Pitt bridge and SS works for the first time in a long time. It sucks. Needs to be replaced. Any idea if this is on anyone’s radar?
@edronline: you say the southside trail “sucks”. In what way?
Personally, I prefer it over the Eliza Furnace trail – less air pollution and noise from cars.
On ultra-skinny road bike tires, the SS trail does not have an enjoyable trail surface. But if running wider tires, tires designed for such conditions, the imperfections aren’t even noticed. If the condition of the trail is that noticeable to you, I would humbly suggest wider, higher air-volume tires. They also make brick, cobblestone and potholes a non-issue. Pittsburgh isn’t a great city for skinny tires designed for perfect pavement.
Not sure what element of the trail you found to be substandard. I rode part of that section home the other night at 130AM coming home from Cracker running just a basic Planet Bike Blaze 2 Watt Micro & on 32 Conti Gatorskins @ 90psi. Is there some buckling due to root growth? Sure. Didn’t seem major, though, at least to me.
It’s a little bumpy in places, but nothing compared to the Ohio River trail in Chateau, which is literally falling into the river in at least one place…
I’m not fond of the trail because of all the blind curves and other short sight-lines. But generally not a problem if you’re not trying to hurry. If I’m in a hurry, I take the street.
I would say that if it’s at night and I am alone I vastly prefer the EFT because it is at least marginally lit and wide (not counting the recent construction vehicles hogging up the trail). SST is pitch black, narrow and curvy, and even though a good headlamp would fix that, I like to see what’s coming around the corner at me.
Surface-wise, EFT was typically better, but with all of that construction going on,there’s not much difference to me there. If it’s day time, I much prefer the SST.
I’m not sure if anyone else has noted, but the warehouses under the 40th St Bridge that used to be vacant are now occupied and have a lot more vehicle traffic as a result. This shortcut is used by a lot of people, myself included. I’ve yet to have any issues but it is technically private property and I could foresee issues arising in the future much like the UPMC lot at the EFT trailhead. It would be unfortunate because this little shortcut allows me to avoid Butler and Penn entirely.
mjacobPGH when do you usually go through there? I used it around 9:00-9:30am on a couple of weekdays last week to avoid the more than usual snarls on Butler and didn’t notice much more traffic. But then, I haven’t used it a lot on the whole, so I don’t have a comparison point as to what is “normal”.
IMHO, SST has two sections that are pitch black. There was a surprising amount of ambient light from large sodium lights, I found.
I saw the workers painting and doing the windows on those warehouses under 40th St. Bridge. If the traffic goes up, that will be sad, when we would go through there, usually around lunchtime, it was usually fairly quiet, especially after the move of the beer distributor, thought the mattress folks have been moving a lot of product, of late.
Totally different question: Who would you contact to request a street sweeper on a county-maintained road? On a PennDOT-maintained road?
Perry Hwy in Ross Twp near Martorelli Stadium has a really wide shoulder, but it has been covered in loose gravel since winter. The various rains have moved some of the gravel, but as this is a posted-35 ambient-45 road, that wide shoulder looks awfully inviting … if it wasn’t so difficult to ride.
Separately, some of Babcock Blvd in Ross is county maintained (some is actually state maintained), but again, I don’t know who to ask.
Two further thoughts:
* I should not have to know who to call. There should be a central number or Twitter account or whatever to report stuff, and it gets routed to the right maintainer.
* If the right maintainer would actually run that street sweeper along roads with moderate to high bike traffic at least once between the end of winter cinder spreading and the Fourth of July, without having to be asked, that would be a really nice thing.
> * I should not have to know who to call. There should be a central number or Twitter account or whatever to report stuff, and it gets routed to the right maintainer.
If you post it at the City’s 311 account, they’ll tell you who to call. But this is clearly sub-optimal–indeed, it’s so far below optimal, they can barely even see each other.
It does seem that there should be such a number for the entire county, just like there’s just one emergency-services dispatch. But AFAIK there isn’t.
(BTW, to answer your top question, most of Perry Hwy from Marshall Ave in the City north to the county line is US-19; call PennDOT at 1-800-FIX-ROAD to report a problem.
For Babcock, until we get that county-wide 311, I’d probably tweet it at @TownshipOfRoss and @Allegheny_Co both and let them figure it out… and prob. copy @walkbikeross for the hell of it.)
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