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Linking GAP and Montour Trails

This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  fultonco 3 mos, 1 week.

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jlfunder

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Apr 11 2014 at 10:27pm #

I keep looking for loop routes around PGH that do not involve suicidal highway sections and it occurred to me that the GAP and Montour trails almost meet at two places: Mckeesport and West End Bridge. Linking them could open a 70 mile loop mostly on trail. Is this something people do ? Does anyone have any experience with the the links- are they crazy, benign, or just typical PGH roads; (i.e, vertical and shoulder less). I was thinking of giving it a try tomorrow (4/12) unless someone tells me it is really a bad idea.
Thanks for the comments. JF


czarofpittsburgh

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Apr 11 2014 at 10:56pm #

It exists already. It’s called the Clairton Connector. http://www.steelvalleytrail.org/trail.htm

Here’s a topic we had on it already: http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/route-for-the-clairton-connector/


Mikhail

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Apr 11 2014 at 11:00pm #

Two typical routes PMTCC takes on west rides (while W. Carson is semi closed):
1. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4424428
2. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4424442
I rode it a lot of times during weekends, Wednesdays after work, and during my lunch.


Ahlir

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Apr 13 2014 at 12:10pm #

It exists already. It’s called the Clairton Connector.
The map at their website is a bit aspirational: The Carrie Furnace hot metal connection does not as yet exist; the continuation of Duck Hollow exists, but it’s (public) status is still a bit vague.

The Clairton-McKeesport connection is decent, though you do have to fight traffic in a few spots. If you’re not keen on crossing the bridge into McKeesport, head under it and up along River to the 19th St bridge, where you can pick up the GAP.

At the other end you can cheat: I take the bus to Coraopolis.


Ahlir

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Apr 13 2014 at 12:16pm #

bleep


roberto contador

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Apr 13 2014 at 6:13pm #

I commute from Downtown to Moon Twp a few days a week and I take the route Mikhail notes as a #1. Quite safe and except for the hill from the the trail up to California Ave it’s mostly flat.


jlfunder

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Apr 13 2014 at 6:41pm #

You know, it’s actually the OTHER end of the Montour trail that is the issue. I went up the Panhandle trail then onto Nobelstown road to Carnegie and then took highway 60 to the West End Bridge. It’s doable but its not trail riding or anything close. Anyone have a sneak route ? JF


edmonds59

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Apr 13 2014 at 9:24pm #

How did you get from Carnegie to 60?


jlfunder

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Apr 13 2014 at 11:15pm #

edmonds59 wrote:How did you get from Carnegie to 60?

Come into town on W-Main (Nobelstown Rd) Switch over to E-Main and after you go under the parkway bear left -Bell Ave. this intersects with Idlewood then jog over to onto Chartiers where there is a bit of bike path. Go Right on Crafton where you hit Highway 60 Which runs into E. Stuben St and then to W End Bridge.


Steven

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Apr 13 2014 at 11:36pm #

The map at their website is a bit aspirational: The Carrie Furnace hot metal connection does not as yet exist; the continuation of Duck Hollow exists, but it’s (public) status is still a bit vague.

Those sections are marked as “future trail (not accessible)” on the SVTC map. (The SVTC map also shows “future trail (not accessible)” for some parts of the GAP that have since been completed, so you could say it’s the opposite of aspirational, whatever that is.)


Steven

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Apr 14 2014 at 2:44am #

highway 60 to the West End Bridge. It’s doable but its not trail riding or anything close. Anyone have a sneak route ?

I’ve never ridden it, but the map shows a Clearview Park Trail that would let you get off Route 60 (Crafton Blvd) for about a mile. It’s surfaced with wood chips, and intended as a walking trail, so maybe it’s not worth bothering with.


edmonds59

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Apr 14 2014 at 5:17am #

jlfunder wrote:Come into town on W-Main (Nobelstown Rd) Switch over to E-Main and after you go under the parkway bear left -Bell Ave. this intersects with Idlewood then jog over to onto Chartiers where there is a bit of bike path. Go Right on Crafton where you hit Highway 60 Which runs into E. Stuben St and then to W End Bridge.

Well then, that’s pretty much what I would have suggested, that’s the best way I have found, more or less. It sounds like the “bike path” you refer to IS the Clearview Park Trail.
I’m still not sure where you’re hitting Steuben St. I stay on Crafton Blvd (alternatively marked “60″, “Lincoln Hwy” on google) until it rejoins Noblestown Road, which I find to be a wide, lovely and peaceful downhill into West End.


Ahlir

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Apr 14 2014 at 1:16pm #

Those sections are marked as “future trail (not accessible)” on the SVTC map [...]

You’re right. What I was really trying to say is that the Clairton Connector bit was marked as under development; but that there’s a trial there already. On closer inspection it would appear that I failed to notice the difference between little colored rectangles and little colored circles… Now, where did I put my glasses.


fultonco

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Apr 14 2014 at 7:30pm #

Not sure how you would be getting to Clairton, but if it would be from the Montour Trail, you will also have to deal with the lack of trail and a very dangerous crossing of route 51, from the Large Hotel area. Assuming you survive that crossing, the trail to Clairton is nice and you must get to the waste water treatment plant. At the end of the trail, take a left and follow River Road to the Clairton-Glassport Bridge. You then have to pass through the borough of Glassport before reaching McKeesport. The actual trail follows a number of back streets in town, but it is confusing, some parts have very rough pavement, and there are some mean dogs and rough-looking people back there. Stay on the main street, Monongahela Avenue, all the way through town. The speed limit is 25 mph, and this is one place where most people do the limit because there are stop signs on nearly every cross street. Once you come out of Glassport, you will be entering an area with quite a bit of traffic that isn’t at all suited to bicycle or pedestrian travel. The road changes names to West 5th Street as you start uphill toward the Mansfield Bridge. There is construction going on right now as they are re-painting the bridge (and probably a lot more than meets the eye). I normally go up the ramp, past the bridge, and you will come to a 7-11 / Marathon Gas station. Turn left there. This is a ramp that will lead you down to Pacific Street. Tun left. You should see signs for the Steel Valley Trail and Share the Road. You will then take a right on River Road, which will lead you up to a stop light where you will take a left on 5th Street. This is a bridge that crosses the Youghiogheny River and becomes Lysle Boulevard on the other side. Take the first right you can and then the next right also, which I believe is Water Street. This will take you down into the marina, near where the two rivers meet and you can then go off in whichever trail direction you desire. Of note, regarding the connector, there was a very positive meeting with Glassport Borough officials last fall, regarding establishing Monongahela Avenue as the official route of the connector. There was even a plan for sharrows on the main street. I believe they are waiting for hot weather, which is necessary for proper and predictable application of the sharrows material. There was a discussion of other possible route changes for the connector that others might want to elaborate on. Bon voyage !

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