Scott, our head bike valet
BikePGH will be parking bikes free of charge at the entrance to Point State Park from June 1 through June 10.
What if we told you we could offer you the most convenient parking space at the doorstep to the Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF), without lines, and completely free of charge? Would you believe us? Well that’s exactly what we’re doing, all you gotta do is ride your bike. With generous support from Colcom Foundation, TRAF, in their efforts to create a green event, is working with us at BikePGH to provide a FREE bike valet for the full 10 days. We will be there everyday from noon until 9pm (don’t worry, we’ll wait for the later show to end before packing up for the night).
Bike valet will be at the entrance to The Point, so you can roll right up, forget about your bike, and enjoy the festivities.
What is more environmentally friendly than getting there by bicycle? Well, maybe walking, but for those of us who don’t live within walking distance of downtown, the Three Rivers Arts Festival asked us to create a guide to help you get there on two wheels. Fortunately for us, every major trail in the City goes right to Point State Park, the location of the event.
Between the combination of riding to the TRAF and their initiative to reduce waste, you can enjoy the Festival, and know that you didn’t add any trash to our overflowing landfills, add any CO2 to our atmosphere, or any oil to our waterways. Be sure to log your miles in the Pittsburgh Bike Challenge to see exactly how much Carbon you are offsetting, as well as how much money you are saving by not driving.
There will be a corral of racks near the main entrance to Point State Park as well as few additional racks that will be located near the entrance as you come off of the Fort Duquesne Bridge from the Northside. Also, there is more bike parking in Gateway Center along Liberty Ave. And please, PLEASE do not lock to trees. They really don’t like that.
There is also a bike parking facility a short walk from the Point at the Century Building at 130 7th St, near the Andy Warhol Bridge, Downtown. You will find a number of free, secure bike racks. Just look for the huge, green bike mural.
Bikes and transit together at last
The Port Authority has been making great strides to make it easier to combine bicycles with their transit service.
- Buses: 100% of all buses have a bike rack on the front. This can help you get closer into cycling distance, or simply get to the top of that hill you’ve been dreading.
- The T: Bikes can be brought on board the T any time of day without restrictions. Check schedules for times.
- The Inclines: Both inclines allow bikes on board. Neither of the inclines have peak hour restrictions, but the Monongahela only allows one bike on a time in the wheelchair car. If a person in a wheelchair is present, then the person with the bike must wait till the next car.
Our Bikes on Transit page will tell you all you need to know about using your bike with the Port Authority, including route information and a video about how to use the bike racks on the buses
Beat the traffic, park for free—getting to The Point by bike
The Three Rivers Arts Festival is located in Point State Park, an easy bike ride from most places in the city, either on the trails or on-street. That means you won’t have to pay for parking or wait in any long lines at parking garages. It also provides a great, family-friendly and healthy way to get to the Festival.
If you still don’t feel comfortable riding on the roads and are able to transport your bike with a car, you can park for free at several trail heads around town and ride a completely flat, traffic-free route to the point. More on that later.
Never ridden in town before? Plan your route ahead of time
It’s important to plan ahead, especially if you’ve never ridden your bike in town or you are riding with children. Be sure to check out our Pittsburgh Bike Map, the most comprehensive bike map of the City. You can find all of the riverfront trails, bike-friendly streets, and trail access points, as well as links to transit and bike shops. It can be viewed online, or you can pick up a paper copy at the BikePGH office, every bike shop in town, and other supporting businesses.
Here are some other great resources to help you plan your route:
- BikePGH Messageboard – Learn the best routes from other local cyclists
- Google Maps – Google has bicycling directions on their popular mapping software
A rundown of the Trails and the free trail-head parking
Click on the images to view a detail of the map
Free Parking: off of Second Ave.
Arguably the most popular trail head in the city, the entrance to the Eliza Furnace Trail is located off of Second Ave in Greenfield. There is a large parking lot, port-a-pot, information, and plenty of cyclists to talk to. It’s also conveniently located near the Bates St (Oakland) exit of 376.
The Eliza Furnace Trail takes you along Second Ave and the usual bumper to bumper traffic on the Parkway. The trail ends near the Allegheny County Jail, so you’ll probably hear many veteran cyclers call this “The Jail Trail.” Since the section around the Mon Wharf is not complete (yet), you must enter into traffic at Grant St or Smithfield St downtown. From here you can take the Blvd of the Allies all the way to the Point. The Boulevard is wide through here and drivers typically treat you respectfully, but if you still don’t want to ride with traffic or you have kids, you can continue on the sidewalk for a few blocks. The sidewalk along Fort Pitt Blvd is usually pretty free of pedestrians. Make sure to give them the right of way and full respect if you encounter any.
Free Parking: Under the Birmingham Bridge, South Side Riverfront Park (bottom of S 18th Street)
This park is popular with cyclers and boaters alike. It provides quick access to the Southside Works and the East Carson Street business district.
You can take this trail to Station Square, then cross the Smithfield Street Bridge into town. Once in Downtown, follow the instructions on using the Blvd of the Allies on the Eliza Furnace description.
Another option is to ride to the opposite direction, east, to the SouthSide Works, and cross the Hot Metal Bridge to join the Eliza Furnace Trail. Using these two trails makes for a nice traffic-free loop around the city.
Free Parking: Under the 31st Street Bridge, Washington’s Landing (Herr’s Island)
This is a popular parking spot for cyclers that want to beat the traffic and parking costs at the stadiums. You can ride this easy and pleasant path past the Heinz lofts, under the Three Sisters bridges, past PNC Park, and over the Ft Duquesne Bridge’s ped/bike path directly into Point State Park.
If you want an even shorter ride (1.5 miles), you can park for free near the Heinz lofts.
For an even longer ride (3.5 miles), you can park in Millvale Riverfront Park, just off of rt 28 in Millvale, near the 40th Street Bridge.
Going green means more than a one day event, but a lifestyle change. Once you discover how easy it is to bike downtown, you’ll want to incorporate it into your daily routine. You can also use these parking lots, for free, throughout the week. Many downtown workers utilize the free parking to get some exercise for the last leg of their commute.
If you are new to cycling, be sure to check out our Bike Commuting 101 Guide. It is a comprehensive, illustrated guide to learn the basics of utilizing your bike as a clean, green, healthy, and most importantly, fun mode of transportation.
Not a member of BikePGH? Join today! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect bikers’ rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride. For more info, check out: www.bike-pgh.org/membership
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