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Ideas for future staircase runnels

This topic contains 50 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Benzo 1 mo, 1 week.

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erok

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Jan 13 2014 at 4:31pm #

So the city is pretty happy with the Louisa St bike ramp runnel experiment or whatever you want to call it.

They may be interested in putting in other ones in the future, so i thought it couldn’t hurt to get a good list of candidate and useful staircases to them.

Some requirements are that the staircase needs to be wide enough. many of the public steps are too narrow to add the runnel safely, or at least for the City to agree to it. Also, it’s preferred if the city owns the steps. Private property is out.

I know there’s been discussion about the Alexis St steps in Greenfield, but I think they may be too narrow?

Also, although it’s owned by PennDOT, I’d like to put a vote in for the West End Bridge.

http://goo.gl/maps/aGF2b

any other wide, useful staircases out there?

  • This topic was modified 3 mos, 1 week ago by  erok.

Swalfoort

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Jan 13 2014 at 4:55pm #

Termon Street (or is it Brighton Heights Blvd now) to Davis Avenue.

This would connect the McKees Rocks Bridge to the Brighton Heights community without the need to climb the Belgian block hill with near blind curve that is the north end of the McKees Rocks Bridge.

99% certain it is owned by the City.


Benzo

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Jan 13 2014 at 4:55pm #

Definitely the west end bridge.

Also, bloomfield bridge/bigelow blvd pedestrian overpass.

Maybe some busway / T stations with stairs? I’m not too familiar with these.


Benzo

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Jan 13 2014 at 4:56pm #

Maybe S. Graham street pedestrian overpass (connecting ellsworth to center). However, I’m not sure how much need there really is for this one.


jonawebb

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Jan 13 2014 at 4:57pm #

The steps down from Blvd of the Allies to Ross St.

http://goo.gl/maps/QMVfh


WillB

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Jan 13 2014 at 5:03pm #

How about on the steps of the city-county building? Not a super long staircase, but there are bike racks up there, and it would be easy to do.


Benzo

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Jan 13 2014 at 5:04pm #

Duquesne incline stairs? Possibly too narrow.

Mon Wharf Stairs? Till they get the switchbacks in place.


Marko82

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Jan 13 2014 at 5:29pm #

+1 for city county building.


Mick

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Jan 13 2014 at 5:37pm #

The stairs from Bates St up to Romeo and Frazier would be good for me.


erok

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Jan 13 2014 at 5:42pm #

Yeah, i thought of the S. Graham street pedestrian overpass as well. Wondering if that would be used. i see lots of peds on it.


erok

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Jan 13 2014 at 5:43pm #

Any in the South Side?


erok

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Jan 13 2014 at 5:46pm #

Oh yeah, also the steps on Heron up to Polish Hill. thoughts?


byogman

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Jan 13 2014 at 6:48pm #

From http://www.communitywalk.com/pittsburgh/pa/pittsburgh_stairs/map/444504#0004D6X9

Captain obvious says #21, the steps from near the base of Joincaire up to the back of that building with the fountain just off schenley plaza (never really inspected them to say if plausible though, I climb a little more directly toward squirrel hill normally).


erok

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Jan 13 2014 at 7:40pm #

yeah those were brought up. They said that the staircase is in apparently such bad shape that a) it might be dangerous to drill holes in it and b) if any investment is made in those stairs, they should go to replacing them. If replaced, they may be able to design a runnel into it.

it was actually thought of before Louisa St, but they decided to change it


erok

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Jan 13 2014 at 7:41pm #

the steps on bates st could be a good candidate too


dmtroyer

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Jan 13 2014 at 9:38pm #

how are those near schenley plaza anywhere near wide enough?


Andrew

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Jan 14 2014 at 7:55am #

I know riding the flemming bridge is pretty rough to bike and I would carry my bike up the steps coming home from work….Here:

http://goo.gl/maps/NhK8b


byogman

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Jan 14 2014 at 8:13am #

Another one, admittedly unfamiliar to me, but which looks mighty useful for weary travelers going to the top of Mt. Washington and beyond: #67: Vinecliff sidewalk steps.


byogman

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Jan 14 2014 at 8:19am #

There are a huge number of steps on the south side at points further east which would take a larger part of the climb and might not force at least some sidewalk free climbing on the steeps. That might make them better options or the westerly positioning of Sycamore might be importantly useful. South Hills folks?


byogman

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Jan 14 2014 at 8:37am #

Same disclaimer as before, I’ve never really inspected any of these, but the steps mapping mashup seems to number them by the number of steps (higher rank (closer to 1) being more steps) http://www.communitywalk.com/pittsburgh/pa/pittsburgh_stairs/map/444504#0004D6X9.

Concentrating on the top of that list, I’m not too sure #1 is terribly useful, but for sure, for folks up on the hill on the North side, #3, Rising Main Way looks like a shortcut to bite off most of the climb albeit perhaps a scary one.

#2, the 57th street steps look quite useful, too.


Marko82

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Jan 14 2014 at 9:14am #

South hiller checking in. Certainly there are lots of public steps in the area, but I think it would be a misuse of funds to just retrofit all of them with a rail. You want to add rails to those steps where it will really make a difference. I dont think this is a ‘you build it and they will come’ kind of infrastructure. So far I havent thought of any along my normal routes, but I’ll continue to look.


byogman

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Jan 14 2014 at 9:42am #

I don’t think retrofitting all was ever on the menu. Just, ideas for a few of the better ones.

Part of the trouble in our judging this as a group here is that we’re pretty used to riding, and just climbing whatever’s in the way without second thoughts. And some of us even go out of our way to seek pain.

Starting from that personality type, it’s hard to see the point. Starting from a more normal personality type, the ability to clear vertical using different muscles and not worrying about pace I’d think would be come as welcome relief. I do think there’s a degree of “if you build it, they will come” if you build it in a useful enough places.

But I do think the steps have to make a categorical difference to invite new categories of cyclists to the party. By that standard the vinecliff steps might be a total dud, for instance.

Dunno, just thinking out loud.


erok

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Jan 14 2014 at 10:09am #

@Andrew. Looks like PennDOT owns that bridge, but that’s a good idea.

@byogman – Just some brainstorming here. sure most strong/experienced riders will just climb the hills, but surely we know people that aren’t so experienced or strong in our neighborhoods and friend circles, or places that you’ve frequently wished would have one, like the Fleming bridge for instance.

@marko82 – by no means would we want to try to get them on every staircase. i’m just looking to brainstorm a list of other really useful ones in case the opportunity comes up. wouldn’t have made a thread and would have gone straight to the steps map if that was the case.


Marko82

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Jan 14 2014 at 10:38am #

I agree with ya erok.

How about Rialto street? especially now that all the construction is wrapping up. (Snarkily I should say Canton too, but it would only get heavy use one day a year)


erok

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Jan 14 2014 at 11:50am #

Hmmm. Rialto is interesting…that could in theory open up a major shortcut for some people too. good suggestion.


jonawebb

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Jan 14 2014 at 12:03pm #

Speaking of shortcuts, if the steps in Panther Hollow between the lake and Dinosaur Park at Blvd of the Allies could be rebuilt and a runnel added that would open up another option for travel up through there to Squirrel Hill and the universities etc.


Marko82

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Jan 14 2014 at 12:42pm #

Just wanted to add a comment based on my very limited (two) uses of runnels. I think these would work best on stairs that have landings built into them so you can rest a little if needed. I think a very long or very steep stairway would be unpleasant to use.

Now I’ll break my comment by adding the staircase from Duquesne U. down to second ave.


Benzo

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Jan 14 2014 at 12:58pm #

byogman wrote:#2, the 57th street steps look quite useful, too.

Thought 57th st was bad, I was wrong, they are not in bad shape. I’m not sure how useful they would be for commuters though. To get to the top of stanton, you have to connect to other stairs or really steep hills.

56th st stairs looked like a good idea, but they are closed…


Benzo

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Jan 14 2014 at 1:05pm #

How about runnels on the stairs in and out of the creepy tunnel under bigelow that connects polish hill / hill district under bigelow.


byogman

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Jan 14 2014 at 1:17pm #

The creep tunnel sounds useful. Where do you access it?

Are the steps after the tunnel #84 here?

http://www.communitywalk.com/pittsburgh/pa/pittsburgh_stairs/map/444504#0004D6X9


Benzo

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Jan 14 2014 at 1:24pm #

byogman wrote:The creep tunnel sounds useful. Where do you access it?

Are the steps after the tunnel #84 here?

http://www.communitywalk.com/pittsburgh/pa/pittsburgh_stairs/map/444504#0004D6X9

No, the tunnel connects the sidewalk on herron ave under bigelow blvd. http://goo.gl/maps/WC1kK


Mick

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Jan 14 2014 at 1:34pm #
jonawebb wrote:Speaking of shortcuts, if the steps in Panther Hollow between the lake and Dinosaur Park at Blvd of the Allies could be rebuilt and a runnel added that would open up another option for travel up through there to Squirrel Hill and the universities etc.

That would be really great

But the bottm of th those stairs run right across the doorstep of a house – and the owners there (whose use the stairss daily) are hostile to the idea of the public using them .

Putting runnels in and opening the stairs to the public, maybe by moving the path a few yards from the house, would definately make my life better.


jonawebb

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Jan 14 2014 at 1:38pm #

Benzo wrote:No, the tunnel connects the sidewalk on herron ave under bigelow blvd. http://goo.gl/maps/WC1kK

Whoa, the things you learn here. That is really cool.


Benzo

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Jan 14 2014 at 1:46pm #

Connecting Bridges to Trails:

Stairs next to PNC park next to 6th st bridge that take you from bridge level to the north shore trail level. Stairs from 3 rivers heritage trail to bridge on the opposite side of the river.

Stairs next to 9th st bridge from north shore trail to bridge. Stairs from 3 rivers heritage trail to bridge on the opposite side.

7th street bridge has decent ramps on either side, however, they are constantly closing sections of the trail or bridges down in the summer due to events, fireworks, etc.

East Busway stops:

Herron ave station add rail to stairs (both sides) of busway.
Negley ave station (not really needed, since access on summerlea is ok)
East Liberty – being worked on – (new design should be ADA compliant and more bike friendly I assume)
Homewood station – looks like it’s relatively bike friendly
Wilkinsburg station – looks relatively bike friendly
Wilkinsburg station @hammot – looks relatively bike friendly
Swissvale station @ maple – looks like it could use some rails down the stairs to boarding platforms.
Swissvale station (park and ride) – looks relatively bike friendly.

All the busyway stations could use a bunch of bike corrals.


StuInMcCandless

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Jan 14 2014 at 1:57pm #

I didn’t know some of these existed.

The way I’d phrase this is two-fold (and note I’m pulling numbers out of the sky):
#1 – If we were to install runnels on four existing wide-enough steps that are in good shape, which four?
#2 – If we were to rebuild or widen four more steps that exist but are closed or too degraded or too narrow, which four?

Seems like we need a separate category for anything having to do with the Port Authority. It’s not exactly private property but certainly not city, either.


Benzo

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Jan 14 2014 at 2:20pm #

South busway:

Glenbury – Overbrook
*Looks relatively bike friendly

Overbrook – Overbrook
*Looks relatively bike friendly

Inglewood – Brookline
*Looks relatively bike friendly

Central St – Brookline
*Lots of stairs to get here, rails might help?

South Bank – Brookline
*Needs rails on stairs that connect to saw mill run blvd

Whited St – Brookline
* Looks relatively bike friendly

Edgebrook – Brookline
*Needs rails on stairs on both sides to timberland ave and Edgebrook ave

Palm Garden – Mt Wash
*Needs rails on Stairs to boggs ave

South Hills Junction – Mt Wash
*Need rails on stairs to lelia st or jasper st, maybe other access points.

Station Square – South Shore
*Looks relatively bike friendly


J Z

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Jan 14 2014 at 3:13pm #

@jonawebb “Speaking of shortcuts, if the steps in Panther Hollow between the lake and Dinosaur Park at Blvd of the Allies could be rebuilt and a runnel added that would open up another option for travel up through there to Squirrel Hill and the universities etc.”

If you’re referencing the Anderson Playground steps to Panther Hollow Lake, I thought that those had been reopened and are in “relatively” okay shape.


jonawebb

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Jan 14 2014 at 3:19pm #

J Z wrote:If you’re referencing the Anderson Playground steps to Panther Hollow Lake, I thought that those had been reopened and are in “relatively” okay shape.

I was. But Google maps calls that place Dinosaur Park. I’m glad they fixed the steps. A runnel would make them really neat.


Mick

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Jan 14 2014 at 5:00pm #

There was a stair and sidewalk passe from the 2020 Beechwood Blvd entrance to Frick and Shaw Street – but the adams apple owneres of the adjoining property covered it over.

Any reasonable way to open it?

I’ve thought about just making a damn path through their garden – it is, after all, a right-of-way.


Swalfoort

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Jan 14 2014 at 5:07pm #

+1 for the need for runnels at one or more of the Three Sisters Bridges down to trail level.

Access from the trail to the bridges, or from the bridges to the trail, is virtually non-existent.

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