BikePGH!

Help build the Mon Wharf Switchback Ramp for cyclists & pedestrians!

This topic contains 40 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  RiverlifePgh 8 mos, 2 weeks.

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Benzo

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Jun 27 2013 at 11:52am #

Riverlife is trying to raise the balance of the community contribution required to build the Mon Wharf Switchback that will connect the smithfield st bridge to the Mon Wharf with a big switchback ramp. That’s about 5 grand. See their indigogo page if you want to contribute.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-build-the-mon-wharf-switchback-ramp-for-cyclists-pedestrians


bikeygirl

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Jun 27 2013 at 12:26pm #

DONE!
Donated only $25, which while not much, if we all donate at-least $25, what a bounty it will be!


byogman

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Jun 27 2013 at 12:48pm #

Went from 900 some to 1225 while I was in the middle of putting through my own 25$ contribution (while doing 6 other things, so probably 15 minutes end to end). Nice little spurt of activity though.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get this thing to target in a couple days, not a couple months? I know I’ll be on this thing the moment it opens with the family.


rsprake

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Jun 27 2013 at 12:58pm #

$1,375 now. It was only at $100 when I donated an hour or two ago.


reddan

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Jun 27 2013 at 1:11pm #

1/3 of the way in a couple of hours? Nice.


cburch

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Jun 27 2013 at 1:15pm #

this city has been generous to me, so i tried to return the favor.


WillB

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Jun 27 2013 at 1:20pm #

chipped in little too. it’s gonna be great once this is built.


Ahlir

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Jun 27 2013 at 5:34pm #

up to $2920 (with my contrib)


edronline

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Jun 27 2013 at 6:26pm #

Up to about $3k. I chipped in $25. Will be nice to be car free from here to DC. Though technically there is a 200 foot stretch somewhere on the C&O where the trail takes a quick jog and you need to ride on a road. But who’s counting.


Steven

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Jun 27 2013 at 8:00pm #

There are also two on-road bits around McKeesport.

The article on this in the PG mentions that DCNR is funding the connection from the wharf into Point State Park, though it’s not 100% clear on whether any more funding is required for that project.

$3180, or 71%. Can we get there in 1 day?


edronline

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Jun 27 2013 at 8:08pm #

Good point. After raising several million I’m not sure they really need the last $4k in 60 days to finish the project. But I assume the money will also go to other useful projects too.

And thanks for reminding me of that skeezy housing project/railroad track/deliverance section in McKessport. Especially when the signs disappear next to the railroad track. With the creepy old man sitting in his pickup truck, trainspotting.

Made hours of riding on the C&O without human contact seem like Times Square.

Steven wrote:There are also two on-road bits around McKeesport.

The article on this in the PG mentions that DCNR is funding the connection from the wharf into Point State Park, though it’s not 100% clear on whether any more funding is required for that project.

$3180, or 71%. Can we get there in 1 day?


Steven

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Jun 27 2013 at 8:52pm #

Sure, the $4454 is intended to be symbolic of public support. They want to be able to show the organizations that put up the bigger bucks how the public really wants trails like this.

And I’m guessing it’s also a way to get names of potential future donors, petition-signers, state-senator-reelectors, and so forth for other projects — there’s still a lot of trail they want to build around here, and they’re going to need support for that.


edronline

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Jun 27 2013 at 8:59pm #

All good points. And maybe an easy way to gauge how well crowd funding works re other projects.

Steven wrote:Sure, the $4454 is intended to be symbolic of public support. They want to be able to show the organizations that put up the bigger bucks how the public really wants trails like this.

And I’m guessing it’s also a way to get names of potential future donors, petition-signers, state-senator-reelectors, and so forth for other projects — there’s still a lot of trail they want to build around here, and they’re going to need support for that.


billkamm

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Jun 27 2013 at 10:40pm #

Donated and spread the word :)


sgtshultz

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Jun 27 2013 at 10:54pm #

Just donated. It’s up to $3480 now!


byogman

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Jun 28 2013 at 9:48am #

Only one special guest (or 4 stickers) away now. Think we can have this by noon per their challenge?


byogman

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Jun 28 2013 at 9:49am #

Never mind, we just went over!


Mikhail

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Jun 28 2013 at 10:15am #

$4,627 — done in 24 hours or less!


Shawn

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Jun 28 2013 at 10:48am #

Just threw in $50….. thanks for reminding me and keeping this going.


rsprake

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Jun 28 2013 at 10:50am #

It’s a huge deal for them to be able to get future projects funded in the future. Especially that it took what, 24 hours to raise the money?


jonawebb

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Jun 28 2013 at 11:02am #

I really like how the shape of the switchback, as depicted, echoes the shape of the beautiful Smithfield Street bridge.
It would be excellent if we could somehow harness this crowd-funding thing in other ways. I’m pretty sure that if we can fund $5000 in less than a day there are other things that we need, and which could get funded quickly. Like, I don’t know, a loan source to encourage businesses to install bike corrals.


RiverlifePgh

Private Message

Jun 28 2013 at 11:21am #

Hey everyone, thanks SO MUCH for the support for this project. We’ll be issuing an update and call for action soon. Steven’s right – this is a great opportunity to show potential funders, legislators and other partners that there are real people in the region who want–and deserve, and will USE–these sorts of riverfront improvements in Pittsburgh.

I was just snapping a few photos down there along Ft. Pitt Blvd this afternoon, and was reminded how necessary this ramp (and signage!) is to Pgh’s riverfront trail system. It’s very meaningful to see how many people stood up and pitched in–Riverlife has been working on this project for over 3 years and it’s incredible to have it move forward on the strength of community support!

Thanks again,
Stephan @ Riverlife


Benzo

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Jun 28 2013 at 12:10pm #

The proof is in the pudding. The timing for this was good too, it’s right on the heels of the sandcastle / keystone metals section being completed. It shows that people have confidence that if they support the project, it will actually happen. Glad to see this came together so quickly.


Benzo

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Jun 28 2013 at 12:22pm #

I’m curious to know what will excess funds be used for? (oh, it looks like my question was answered, additional funds will go towards improving signage along the trail)

I’m also curious to know how the surface of the switchbacks will work, I’ve heard it’s an open grate style? Will that be safe for cycling on in the winter?


byogman

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Jun 28 2013 at 12:26pm #

Hi Stephen.

So, I had a vague memory that this was listed as one of two separate connecting projects.

Going back into the site, I see that this one:

http://www.riverlifepgh.org/riverfront-projects/underway/point-state-park-connector/

is listed as underway.

So just to confirm, when the ramp is complete we’re going to be connected well on the western side of point state park?

Also very curious about what the vision here: http://www.riverlifepgh.org/news/press-releases/new_riverfront_portal_will_connect_wood_street_to_mon_wharf_landing/ is in terms bridging trail and street access specifically for those on wheels in the middle of the golden triangle.


RiverlifePgh

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Jun 28 2013 at 12:37pm #

Benzo – from what I’ve been told, the open grating has been designed for four-season use for bikes and peds. It has texture to it to prevent slippery conditions, plus it will allow for snow to melt and stormwater to drain directly through. Very similar materials are in use at the Highline in NYC (which, admittedly is a bike-free park…but the grating has proven to be at least friendly/slip-proof for millions of pedestrian visitors.)

Furthermore, the Switchback has been designed with input from multiple user groups include BikePgh.

Benzo wrote:I’m curious to know what will excess funds be used for? (oh, it looks like my question was answered, additional funds will go towards improving signage along the trail)

I’m also curious to know how the surface of the switchbacks will work, I’ve heard it’s an open grate style? Will that be safe for cycling on in the winter?


RiverlifePgh

Private Message

Jun 28 2013 at 12:49pm #

Hi Byogman –

Your memory is correct, and I’m pleased to say that both connections are moving forward as we speak.

The connection on the eastern end of the Mon Wharf Landing (and the subject of this thread) is the Mon Wharf Switchback ramp, which is fully funded and moving into construction bidding.

Earlier this month the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources announced funding for several park and riverfront projects, including the connection at the western end of the Mon Wharf Landing (which we’ve been calling the “Point State Park Connector.”) Here’s a P-G article about DCNR’s announcement:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/2-million-ramp-planned-to-connect-great-allegheny-passage-point-state-park-691688/

So again, you’re correct – when both of these connections are built, you will be able to ride continuously from the Smithfield Street Bridge down to the Mon Wharf Landing and directly into Point State Park.

As for the “Wood Street Portal” collaboration with artist Nobi Nagasawa which will improve the pedestrian connection from the Mon Wharf through the parking lot and up the stairs to Point Park’s campus, we’re still seeking funding for that project. With the other two Wharf connections moving forward I’m sure we’ll be looking at construction efficiencies and ways to advance the Portal. The construction of the Switchback will provide wheeled/ADA access to the Mon Wharf, so the Portal is more of a pedestrian experience due to the limitations of the narrow staircase that leads up from the Wharf to Ft. Pitt Blvd.

Hope that helps!
Stephan

byogman wrote:Hi Stephen.

So, I had a vague memory that this was listed as one of two separate connecting projects.

Going back into the site, I see that this one:

http://www.riverlifepgh.org/riverfront-projects/underway/point-state-park-connector/

is listed as underway.

So just to confirm, when the ramp is complete we’re going to be connected well on the western side of point state park?

Also very curious about what the vision here: http://www.riverlifepgh.org/news/press-releases/new_riverfront_portal_will_connect_wood_street_to_mon_wharf_landing/ is in terms bridging trail and street access specifically for those on wheels in the middle of the golden triangle.


byogman

Private Message

Jun 28 2013 at 1:01pm #

If there’s no way to make room in the budget for a rideable ramp (which would always be me emphatic preference), let me at least suggest that railings be added to the stairs so someone can at least walk and smoothly guide their bike up and down.


Steven

Private Message

Jun 28 2013 at 2:39pm #

There’s going to be a ramp one block away. A second ramp at Wood Street (even if there were space to build it) sounds like a waste of several million dollars. It would be better to make sure it’s easy for cyclists on Wood Street to reach the ramp at Smithfield.


Benzo

Private Message

Jun 28 2013 at 2:54pm #

Steven wrote:There’s going to be a ramp one block away. A second ramp at Wood Street (even if there were space to build it) sounds like a waste of several million dollars. It would be better to make sure it’s easy for cyclists on Wood Street to reach the ramp at Smithfield.

Yeah, we could do something like allow bikes in the bus lane on smithfield street between the boulevard of the allies and the bridge or even the whole length of the bus lane there (at least to 4th st). All it would take is a few torch down bike decals or some paint.

THE SOLUTION IS SO CHEAP AND EASY!!!!


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 28 2013 at 3:22pm #

Port Authority’s intransigence on bicycles (in the bus lanes, in the Wabash Tunnel, and until recently on the T) is a real PITA. It just seems like there’s a feeling of “Well, we decided it in a meeting back in 1983 that we weren’t going to do that, and even though everyone who was in on that is retired, fired or died, we see no reason to change our minds.”


Marko82

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Jun 28 2013 at 3:38pm #

@stu, check your PMs


melange396

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Jun 28 2013 at 3:47pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:“Well, we decided it in a meeting back in 1983 that we weren’t going to do that, and even though everyone who was in on that is retired, fired or died, we see no reason to change our minds.”

this may be allegorical, but:


byogman

Private Message

Jun 28 2013 at 3:59pm #

Using the ramp to Smithfield clearly makes the most sense. Wasn’t thinking about it going into middle of the golden triangle because it’s annoying that it’s one directional, so you can’t go out quite the way you got on and I don’t ride it much. Making this less annoying will be a priority when the ramp is in place from the trail level.

I do think it’s reasonable and constructive to ask for bike rail on the steps on the proposed wood street connector regardless. That at least should be quite cheap.


Mick

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Jun 28 2013 at 4:48pm #

I just donated- I think the signage is a neglected and critical part of the trail structure.

There is something the page said that was daunting, though.

The page said “Pittsburgh has great bike and trail signage!”

WTF? Are they uninformed? Lying? Psychotic?

You come into town on the trail, get to the hot metal bridge and if you don’t know your way around, you’re screwed.

This came very close to making me change my mind about donating.


Steven

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Jun 28 2013 at 6:16pm #

They added a bunch of signs last year, but I think it’s hard to know if you’ve reached “great signage” without an outsider’s eye.


cburch

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Jun 28 2013 at 6:46pm #

yup. the signage that exists is awesome. there just needs to be a lot more of it.


stefb

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Jun 28 2013 at 7:19pm #

I am gonna use the shit out of this. Very excited.


Benzo

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Jun 29 2013 at 12:02pm #

Yeah. Hot metal bridge could use another sign at the end… It directs you towards hazel wood and downtown, but no signage from there how to actually find the hazel wood trail or which way to go once you hit the end of the bridge where the path splits in to ramps going east/west. (Though, if you are familiar with Pgh at all, it’s pretty apparent which way to go)


paulheckbert

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Jul 17 2013 at 8:51am #

This article says the completion goal for the Mon Wharf switchback is “the 2014 outdoor recreation season”

http://www.popcitymedia.com/devnews/switchback071013.aspx

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