Any good way to get to Monroeville from Lawrenceville?

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Feb 6 2013 at 8:34pm #

Is there any route to get from the Lawrenceville area to Monroeville? I tried it once just for fun and went on Frankstown Road, and it was the worst. Busy road, with stop lights in the middle of big hills… It was not ideal.

I work (sometimes) in Monroeville, and when I tried to get there by bike my route was so bad I just never thought to ride it again. However the recent thread talking about bike to work week got me interested again. Any suggestions? I can shower at the LA Fitness in the Miracle Mile shopping center so a couple hills with effort won’t kill me, but I am looking for something more pleasant than what I did before.

This is what google maps gives you and was roughly the ride I took last time:


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Feb 6 2013 at 9:07pm #

I think the best way to get to Monroeville from Lawrenceville would be to bike over to the East Busway, board the P12 (last outbound in the AM is at 7) and relax for about 30 min. Or bike into downtown, catch the 67, and relax for about 1.25 h. The ride will cost you a two-zone fare ($3.50, I believe).

Aside from that, the route you linked to is pretty much how I know to get out there. I’ve been biking home from Old William Penn and Beatty to Regent Square. The route inbound takes OWP to Rodi Rd, goes onto William Penn to get to McCrady, then right on Beulah, left on Forest, and then just cut through the neighborhoods along McNary staying roughly parallel to William Penn/Penn Ave. The My Tracks app on my phone told me I gain about 1400′ on the ride home, but YMMV.

If it weren’t for the stretch connecting OWP and McCrady being one-way, you could use that route going outbound. I’ve never traveled it, but from Frankstown Rd, you might try Long->Paris->Joan Dr->Duff->Rodi->OWP. That would get you off of Frankstown Rd sooner, but you still wouldn’t avoid it.

Anyone else got any ideas?


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Feb 6 2013 at 9:14pm #

Huh, me too. I ride out that way in the mornings when the weather’s good (this winter I’ve been taking the bus out and riding home). Are you at Compunetix, too?
From Lawrenceville I would follow Millvale to Shadyside then work my way over to Beechwood. Beechwood to Reynolds then take the trail through Frick Park to Kensington. Kensington to Braddock and then work your way over to Kelly. Kelly to Pennwood and then Ross St up to Penn. Cross Penn (you’ll still be on Penn Ave since it turns there) and then up Penn all the way to Beulah. Right on Beulah then left on Churchill. Follow Churchill to Nottingham then left on Nottingham, cross William Penn, then right on McCrady. You follow this all the way to Duff Road. Along the way it changes its name to Old William Penn. Right on Duff takes you up to William Penn and you’re about two blocks from the Miracle Mile shopping center.


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Feb 6 2013 at 10:16pm #

I work at Forbes a few days a week and I live in morningside. I will not bike there, especially since I have to ride on next to 48


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Feb 7 2013 at 3:49am #

I took a bus-bike combo out to the 48/Northern Pike corner once. Biking 48 is like biking McKnight, which I do from time to time. Take an entire lane; don’t get over to the right for anyone, and damn the horns, which in my experience on McKnight, isn’t that often, really. Place yourself in the lane about where you would be if you were sitting behind the wheel of a car, and wear very bright clothing, with at least two fully charged blinkies, even in daylight.

And more power to you for even thinking about riding in suburbia.

Here is a video of me riding down about two miles of McKnight, with the helmet cam facing backwards. The McKnight portion starts at about 6:00.


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Feb 7 2013 at 10:15am #

@frisbee, Mike Boyd (sometimes posts here) and I have some routes marked up in Google if you want to have a look. We are slowly working towards bike improvements out that way.


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Feb 7 2013 at 10:27am #

Nice clip Stu. I like seeing the rearward perspective. It seems that even the impatient drivers (PT Cruser) still gave you a 2-3 second buffer. Just be careful not to drift too far left in your own lane so that you eliminate your own 4 foot side buffer. I didn’t see this being an issue on McNight, but on roads with narrower lanes it can be.


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Feb 7 2013 at 10:45am #

I live between the two, and often bike to both places. This: would be the way I’d go, if I didn’t take ARB from Lawrenceville to Nadine. Lotsa hills. Saltzburgh isn’t too terrible for that stretch, the hill up from Sandy Creek is a bear (you can deek over on Third there for a rest, then up Homestead, and I walk up Rosedale to get to the top of Sandy Creek, but I’m a wuss on hills).

I hate Frankstown, and limit it as much as possible. But that’s a haul full of hills, no matter which way you slice it.


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Feb 7 2013 at 11:23am #

Oscar Swan’s “Bike rides out of Pittsburgh” is probably good for a suggestion or two.

He has a three star*** ride he calls “Universal” (bottom page 85) that is a round trip to Monroeville. I’ve done it on a Sunday and it was good. YMMV.

If I were going to do the trip now, I would want to try one of rsprake’s routes to link up with Swan’s outgoing “Universal.”

Like take Churchill Rd out to Larimer/Thompson Run Rd and follow Swan’s ride from there .

*Disclaimer* – I’ve never ridden Churchill Rd – either on a bike nor a car. One peak at it might send me to Swan’s route down Greensburg Pike all the way to Turtle Creek, but I’m thinking you might not have to go that far down (and back up).


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Feb 7 2013 at 11:42am #

I put some of the routes I’ve taken between Squirrel Hill and Compunetix over the years up on bikely.

This is the route that takes Old William Penn that I described earlier.

This is the route up Thompson Road. It is longer and results in no less climbing than the northern route. It is, however, more bucolic. There is also a really nice climb up a switchback. (Edit: BTW it used to be possible to connect from the end of Thompson Run before the switchback to the part of Thompson Run that crosses Old William Penn. That part is fenced off now, but if you’re adventurous I think you’d end up with the best combination.)

This is the route I used to follow home. Now I take Greensburg Pike up from Turtle Creek. It is much less harrowing and has one nice long climb instead of the up and down stuff. More climbing overall, though. I also experimented with Brinton Road. Greensburg Pike is the least dangerous, I think. The right lane is mostly unused, so you’re pretty safe there until you approach the Parkway at the top.


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Feb 7 2013 at 3:57pm #

The route Google maps suggested isn’t bad, though some of the modifications suggested above (Turtle Creek etc.) could be good. I’ve biked on Monroeville Blvd. a bit and suggest taking the lane and riding assertively once it splits into two lanes. If you want to use it Churchill Road is a pleasure to ride on.

These two routes are nice ways to get to Wilkins Township via Homewood/Penn Hills and Regent Square respectively:

You could then either use Nottingham to jump across 22 and pick up Old William Penn Highway or take Churchill Rd. down into the valley and do the cool switchback mentioned above (Thompson Run Road to Northern Pike). Motorists have been a little testy on Old William Penn lately, but it is a nice road to ride on and quite wide in parts. The busiest part of the ride traffic-wise will likely be right around Miracle Mile.


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Feb 7 2013 at 7:19pm #

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I will have to take a look at all of them and test a few out on the weekends. My other problem is that I am awful with remembering directions so I will likely have to pull out a map or direction list pretty often!

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