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Eliza Furnace Trailhead -3Hr Parking Limit

This topic contains 101 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by  Ahlir 2 mos, 2 weeks.

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mattjackets

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Jul 30 2014 at 8:43am #

This morning there were a lot of cars parked in front of the no parking anytime signs across from that building on the dead-end portion of Swinburne near the lot. I don’t recall seeing that before. I wonder if the employees working in that building were parking in the trailhead lot as well.


richierich

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Jul 31 2014 at 12:15pm #

A week or three ago I rode through the parking lot at around 10:00 AM; the lot was packed and someone was parked blocking one of the trail entrances. I didn’t complain to the city when I got to my office only because I had forgotten about it by then, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some people did report it and if it happens on other days too. The enforcement could easily be a response to complaints by trail users. If so, it’s a good sign. It’s a small lot that can’t serve its purpose if it becomes a park-and-ride.

Regarding Saline, they’re putting one of the green lanes there because the neighborhood already has a problem with people using the area as a parking lot (and apparently dumping trash). I don’t think moving that problem deeper into the neighborhood is going to make those residents happy. I sure as hell would not want my neighborhood treated that way.


The Iguana

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Jul 31 2014 at 11:23pm #

The tickets (or at least the one I was shown) is just a warning…see attached image.


stefb

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Aug 1 2014 at 5:57am #

I have started to notice some vehicles in the panther hollow lot now when I go through at 530am. I hope this gets worked out. It is bullshit. It can be figured out if people want to figure it out


rgrasmus

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Aug 1 2014 at 8:18am #

The ticket says 8:43 AM – which means that the officer was checking which vehicles were there at sometime before 5:43 AM? Or maybe they just gave warnings to everyone to start off the morning.


gg

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Aug 1 2014 at 8:39am #

Maybe parking fees are the focus in the city right now. Parking fees increased today (link below). Maybe they don’t want anyone to get a free ride, regardless of the health benefits and help with congestion?

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/07/31/Rate-increases-for-Downtown-lots-garages-take-effect-Friday/stories/201407310285


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 1 2014 at 8:42am #

Also worth noting is that downtown parking rates went up today. Some garages now charge $18/day to park. That is going to increase pressure to park in distant areas like this and bike in.


Marko82

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Aug 1 2014 at 8:56am #

“$18/day to park”

Wow. That’s a case of beer per day! Two if you’re buying PBR. And that’s not even including gas, registration, and wear & tear.

Or:
$18 * 5 * 50 = $4,500 JUST TO PARK!


Benzo

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Aug 1 2014 at 8:59am #

I’m sure a parking lease cuts that cost in half at least.


Swalfoort

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Aug 1 2014 at 9:58am #

The need for “park and pedal” options is well recognized locally. There are some options available. But, that does not mean that every (free = unpaid) parking lot needs to become one, or remain one in perpetuity.

If the use of the lots by commuters has resulted in inavailability for recreational users, there is an over demand issue, and both needs can no longer be met at this location.

I’d be interested in knowing the breakdown of lot users who are a) downtown commuters (via the trail), b) Oakland Commuters (via Junction Hollow) c) UPMC employees catching the shuttle and d) recreational users of the trail.

I support the idea that individuals can choose to park their cars in non-downtown locations and walk or bike in from that location — as long as the use of these parking options to do not limit use of that facility by its more local constituents or intended use.

Chateau Trail parking is extremely limited as a commuter option, as there are local businesses that use those streets for employee parking. The trailhead lots remain available, but increased commuter use will result in similar restrictions being imposed there. The trail parking lot north of River Avenue near Washingtons Landing is vacant most days, however, and has no neighborhood demand.

From the east, there are few obvious answers. Local demand for parking is high, and those users should get the first right to the parking available. Use of a trailhead for parking should go first to the people who are actually using the trail for 70%+ of the time they are parked there…..ride a couple of hours, grab a meal, etc., but your primary use is the trail. Compare that to downtown commuters who are on the trail for less than an hour (20 minute commute each way) but occupy the parking spot for 9 hours.

It was nice to have had this commuter parking option for as long as we have. But, now it appears to be gone. Is there an option that can be developed as part of the Hazelwood Trail/Almono development? Or can the Second Avenue parking associated with the Tech Center be encouraged to permit free/very low cost parking for cyclists (or others choosing NOT to use their shuttle?)


byogman

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Aug 1 2014 at 11:03am #

It’s true that nothing sells like free, and losing that here really is a shame, but was probably inevitable. I think it’s wasteful and crazy to try and draw lines and make rules saying this is for X, this is for Y. You can’t please everyone, and the more you try the clearer that becomes.

Where things start getting scarce, the most logical step is to price to demand so there generally is (a tiny bit) of availability everywhere, for the right price.

Charging by the hour like you do for normal parking, that already puts recreational cyclists at a big pricing advantage, relative to commuters, just by the length of time they’re in the spot.

And it’s only fair, they’re blocking out other users less. But I don’t think there’s any reason to say that recreational use is better (or worse) than commuting intrinsically, it’s just different.

And being non-prejudicial about things gives you better info from a public policy standpoint. Information ideally you could use to prioritize your next step in building out this wonderful dual purpose transportation/recreation infrastructure.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 1 2014 at 11:29am #

And again we come back to the drum I’ve been pounding for over two decades, that people do not use the transit system that is available to most of them, or do not know how to make best use of it. This is a separate and distinct argument from those for whom it is not the most convenient, e.g., Highland Park to CMU, Squirrel Hill to Manchester, Glenbury/Aaron part of Brookline to just about anywhere, etc. I’m talking about the people who live two blocks off of Brownsville Road and can’t figure out how to use the 51 Carrick to get to Terminal Way on the South Side.

I don’t know if it’s laziness, apathy, out-of-date information, or willful ignorance, but there are a lot of potential riders out there who are plugging up parkways and parking lots because they don’t/won’t ride the bus.


edmonds59

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Aug 1 2014 at 11:49am #

It’s a shame there isn’t some huge, flat, underutilized piece of property anywhere near where the demand for parking is.


jonawebb

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Aug 1 2014 at 11:56am #

BTW, does anyone know what’s going on with that? They’re doing a lot of construction over there, digging stuff up, etc. Who’s building what?


Benzo

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Aug 1 2014 at 12:00pm #

@jonawebb – see http://almono.org/


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 1 2014 at 12:11pm #

Looks like 700 spaces in that paved lot across 2nd Ave. That gets full?


rgrasmus

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Aug 1 2014 at 12:33pm #

YAUPMCPL = yet another UPMC parking lot


Ahlir

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Aug 1 2014 at 2:58pm #

Alomono. A shimmering vision or our future…

Were I asking Jon’s question I might have phrased it as “When the ^%& are they reopening that @$! bike trail already?”.


rgrasmus

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Aug 1 2014 at 3:09pm #

Per this post (http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/hazelwood-trail-to-close-aug-5-for-several-months/#post-298237) – Spring 2015 (perhaps around the same time as the Bike Share)


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 1 2014 at 3:30pm #

I don’t get over there all that often. Is there a cogent reason for that trail to be closed 24/7? I mean, hell, that whole time they were working on the 31st Street Bridge, the river trail was open. Machinery moving through there all the time. Bikes sometimes had to stop for a crane lift or to let heavy equipment past. Sometimes we had to get re-routed by a plastic fence a few feet over. Sometimes we were riding on dirt. Big deal. But the trail was never closed.

Put a couple of flagpeople on it and let us get through! Being able to park down by Hazelwood Avenue would be an acceptable alternative.


Ahlir

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Aug 1 2014 at 3:44pm #

2nd Ave has been nicely refurbed, including a new RR crossing. But there’s now a locked fence in the middle that prevents continuing on to Hazelwood Ave. The old trail was nice and all to have, but why can’t we simply use the street for now?


stefb

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Aug 1 2014 at 8:31pm #

$18/day to park. How outrageous! <— sarcasm.

When I was in Philly this year, I parked in a garage across from my hotel for under an hour to unload bikes and it was $18 just for an hour.


The Iguana

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Aug 1 2014 at 9:45pm #

FRom http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CHUQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.duq.edu%2Fdocuments%2Fnursing%2Fintranet%2Fclinicalsites%2Fmagee-parking-map-shuttle-schedule.pdf&ei=o0vcU-z6Ko-0yASUqYFw&usg=AFQjCNEBaAz8ImmZ1Oq5WRdlShjk7pbt5Q&sig2=b4Bx2Uf6sGWIGB8x6IvbHg

The off-site lot is located off Second Avenue at Swinburne Street. Parking at this lot is available either by lease or parking coupons. The lease cost is $45 a month through payroll deduction. The daily rate is $6.00 per day, payable through Parking Coupons. No cash will be accepted.
The lot will be open Monday through Friday, from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m. Shuttle service to Magee will be provided by UPMC shuttle buses. Shuttle schedules are available in the Parking Department. UPMC security is on-site.
Questions? Call the Parking Department at x14904.

The schedule shown there is ‘Effective Date: May 1, 2006′ ….

Also of interest is this from Kordite:

http://wiki.worldflicks.org/parking_for_eliza_furnace_trail.html


It turned out to be the owner of the neighboring lease parking lot, Mr. DePasquale. He was apparently still disgruntled that the City had condemned a corner of his property and then built a parking lot on it for trail access. Commuters were parking there and riding their bikes into work instead of ponying up the money to park in one of his lots. On November 6th he stood in court and faced charges of harassment…


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 2 2014 at 10:25pm #

Having a name helps. OK, here are Kordite’s two previous posts on this board on this subject, one from 2010, one from 2009. His photo from 2006 on flickr.com is still up and running.

So again, I wonder, is this DePasquale guy still pissed enough at bicycles to be behind all this?


erok

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Aug 5 2014 at 10:47am #

What if the Junction Hollow parking lot by the soccer fields was designated as official long-term “bike commuter parking.” and the current lot remains the new short term use. For Oakland commuters, it will be easier, for downtown, it isn’t that much further (plus encourage more use of the physically separated lane)


rgrasmus

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Aug 5 2014 at 11:12am #

It looks like it has become a de facto one. This AM there were 5-8 cars in that lot compared to the extremely empty trailhead lot (2-3 cars).


Marko82

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Aug 5 2014 at 11:48am #

@erok, do you know if “the chute” will be redesigned during the lane construction? It’s a pretty crappy connection right now and will only become more so with increased bicycle traffic. I know the underpass cant be changed, but the roadway certainly could use a diet & give cyclist a little more room along 2nd ave.

Edit: It could use a regular sweeping too.


rgrasmus

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Aug 5 2014 at 11:51am #

Whoa! Cool news (http://pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/release?id=3379):

To keep encouraging biking the city is planning to expand the number of parking spaces in the lot at the Eliza Furnace trailhead, and mark them only for weekday bike commuters. For those seeking to use the trail for mid-day exercise, parking at other spaces in the trailhead lot will remain restricted to three hours.
That work may take several weeks to complete so the city is providing another parking option immediately: Bike commuters may also park their vehicles at the soccer field in Junction Hollow, on Boundary Street just north of Saline Street. From there bicyclists can connect with the Eliza Furnace trail to get Downtown or go the opposite direction to travel to Oakland.


byogman

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Aug 5 2014 at 12:02pm #

Can we quickly get the lane sharrowed under the bridge, on 2nd before the driveway to the trailhead, and up the driveway? Make some of the low stress preference riders feel more comfortable?

Nobody should be going quickly through the chute anyway but it would be nice if we could make this the dominant pattern so it’s a little more functional.


erok

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Aug 5 2014 at 12:15pm #

no immediate plans for the chute that i’m aware of. but i get the feeling that it’s days may be numbered now that there’s some new tools in the toolbox. that darn underpass is still an issue.


Benzo

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Aug 5 2014 at 12:53pm #

Does anyone know if rebuilding or modification of the the bridges adjacent the cattle chute in the plans for almono site development or other future improvements from the state?


rgrasmus

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Aug 5 2014 at 1:07pm #

Seems like their plans are on the other side of the street from it. However, I would imagine the influx of residential/business would push for more rehab of that area over time. I’m totally for fixing the cattle chute situation, as well as that rogue giant trash can in the middle of the sidewalk.


erok

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Aug 5 2014 at 1:15pm #

Does anyone know if rebuilding or modification of the the bridges adjacent the cattle chute in the plans for almono site development or other future improvements from the state?

I have heard that the bridge that goes over second ave to said parking lot is being looked at to accommodate a trail that will connect to Hazelwood. Don’t know the feasibility, but it would rule


byogman

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Aug 5 2014 at 1:28pm #

Feasibility seems higher the earlier the right folks hear just how big a win this would be from a biking standpoint, and how important supporting biking is generally. I’d say that any new developer looking to make the most of limited land, but for something on the river, near downtown, and on the the heaviest trafficked trail in Pittsburgh… whoa.

So, there’s this: http://almono.org/contact. Anything better focused?


Ahlir

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Aug 5 2014 at 4:33pm #

I have heard that the bridge that goes over second ave to said parking lot is being looked at to accommodate a trail that will connect to Hazelwood. Don’t know the feasibility, but it would rule

There’s an access road that starts at the end of the parking lot and eventually drops to 2nd. It’s a pain of ballast but could probably be easily upgraded.

My own dream solution for that area is to have an underpass from the EFT directly to Saline. No need to get all those drivers riled up by fighting for road space. (Laying down a trail along Swinburne up to the JHT would work but somehow seems like more money.)


Benzo

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Aug 5 2014 at 5:54pm #

Well, the plan-pgh project list had a project to route a trail along the west side of the railway under the Frazier st bridge, to connect to the junction hollow trail, this would bypass the need to cross the tracks. It would need to go behind the DPW building next to the upmc lot and stay along the hillside adjacent to the tracks till they crossed the bridge over boundary st. This project was said to need modifications to the Frazier at bridge to give enough space between the tracks and hillside. I doubt this is likely unless the Frazier st bridge is replaced or has a massive rebuild effort.


The Iguana

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Aug 5 2014 at 10:50pm #

Regarding the speed of bikers in the chute…There are signs on both ends that require bicycles to be walked….fyi..


byogman

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Aug 6 2014 at 5:54am #

I’m aware of the signage and ignore it as do 99% of others. Just go slow, super slow through the blind corners and announce you presence as you get close. Would help to have mirrors.


Benzo

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Aug 6 2014 at 7:49am #

You’re supposed to ‘walk bicycles’ around the chicanes by keystone metals. I almost never see people do it. I do think it has the intended effect of getting people to slow down so they don’t get hit by a dumptruck accidentally.

The cattle chute, that’s just asking for trouble. I’m usually yelling something or whistling to announce my presence near the turns.


jonawebb

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Aug 6 2014 at 7:56am #

The solution to every problem for bicycle traffic is for cyclists to walk their bicycles. I was near DC a couple of weeks ago and we were instructed to walk our bicycles where the trail crossed streets in the suburbs. No one did there, either. It is a stupid idea. Kind of like, say, telling motorists to run around the car at stop signs, to make sure they stop.

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