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Route for the "Clairton Connector"?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  reddan 10 mos, 1 week.

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ultimattfrisbee

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Aug 4 2013 at 10:15am #

I know there’s supposed to be a 5-mile or so road link between the GAP Trail from Pgh to Cumberland and the Montour Trail called the “Clairton Connector”–the link is between McKeesport and Clairton. I even found an ancient PG article about it, but nowhere can I find a map or directions for the route. I often ride from Edgewood to McKeesport using the trail and would love to connect up to the Montour Trail, but I’d hate to waste a ride noodling around between McKeesport and Glassport getting lost and frustrated (and maybe wandering onto dangerous roads I don’t know well).

Anyone know the way?


Steven

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Aug 4 2013 at 10:44am #

Here it is on Map My Ride, and on the Steel Valley Trail Council’s site.

There are two paths shown in some parts because of one-way streets. Just follow the signs. The only tricky part may be the start in McKeesport: Take the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge over the Yough, instead of going beneath the bridge as the GAP does.


ultimattfrisbee

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Aug 4 2013 at 11:02am #

Steven wrote:Here it is on Map My Ride, and on the Steel Valley Trail Council’s site.

There are two paths shown in some parts because of one-way streets. Just follow the signs. The only tricky part may be the start in McKeesport: Take the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge over the Yough, instead of going beneath the bridge as the GAP does.

Steven wrote:Here it is on Map My Ride, and on the Steel Valley Trail Council’s site.

There are two paths shown in some parts because of one-way streets. Just follow the signs. The only tricky part may be the start in McKeesport: Take the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge over the Yough, instead of going beneath the bridge as the GAP does.

Great. So if I go over that bridge rather than to the right and under, I should see signs? That’s excellent. Thank you! I’ll let you know if I found it.


Mikhail

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Aug 4 2013 at 11:13am #

http://www.montourtrail.org/map/maps.asp

You need to cross Yuoghiogheny river in any case. If you cross it along Lysle blvd then make the first right (long right to make a left) and take a River Road-Liberty Way-River Drive-River Ridge Road. At the end of River Ridge Road look for trail entrance on your right. If you decide to go under bridge you pass Marina and can cross Yuoghiogheny river either over 15th Street Bridge (official way — and then Liberty Way-River Drive-River Ridge Road) or over Boston Bridge (and then trail).

Official way minimizes your exposure to roads.


Steven

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Aug 4 2013 at 5:51pm #

Mikhail, you’re describing two ways to get onto the GAP, but Ultimattfrisbee is talking about the Clairton Connector from the GAP in McKeesport to the Montour Trail in Clairton. Going south on the GAP isn’t a good way to get to the Montour Trail.

Ultimattfrisbee, yes, you should see signs to take you along Erie Street to Atlantic, and after some turns, up a long ramp to Fifth Avenue.

If you’re going on the Montour past Route 51 for the first time, print out the detour page from their web site. The detour route for that particular section of unfinished trail isn’t marked.


Mikhail

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Aug 4 2013 at 6:59pm #

Steve,

Sorry, forgot to another part of route. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2998507
This is if you want some hills.


paulheckbert

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Aug 4 2013 at 8:22pm #

If you go into maps.google.com, type in “Glassport, PA” and roll over Traffic and click on Bicycling, you’ll get the Clairton Connector shown as a dotted green line fairly accurately. It’s not as nice a surface as some of the other trails in our area, namely the Great Allegheny Passage / Steel Valley Trail between Homestead and McKeesport, but it’s the best we’ve got at the moment.

From N-to-S, the surface is: sidewalk of bridge (Jerome St Bridge – carries Lysle Blvd over the Yough), paved road, alley with some potholes (Hemlock Way), gravel road (Allegheny Ave), then paved road (Ohio Ave), sidewalk (Clairton-Glassport Bridge), paved road (State St / Route 837, Clairton). Most of the route is quite low in car traffic.

I joined the Steel Valley Trail Council several years ago to help improve trails in Pittsburgh’s East End and along the Mon. We want to improve this McKeesport-Clairton connector this year and if you know anyone in Glassport or Clairton that is interested in helping us with this, please let me know! Or come to an SVTC meeting!

We could use help in Glassport connecting with the people who live there and working with them to get the right bicycle infrastructure that can bring increased business and safety to their community. I think this trail can also help the locals with safe recreation and connections to other nearby trails such as the GAP and the Montour Trail.

See steelvalleytrail.org for more on contacting us.


ultimattfrisbee

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Aug 4 2013 at 9:45pm #

Thanks, everyone. I followed the signs, lost them a little in Glassport (but by then I go the basic idea–follow the river to the bridge, then make a left into Clairton) but found my way. Also got a little bollixed up on State St. in Clairton going by the old Clairton Works as I was still looking for Steel Valley Trail signs and blew by the blown diamond of the Montour Trail. Used my Google Maps app on my iPhone but it sent me on a goose chase up Walnut St. in Clairton to Ravensomething Blvd, so Mikhail, I did get a climb in, though it was NOT 800+ feet. Next time I’m feeling the need to punish myself, I’ll consider that route!

Once I found the trail, I did run into confusion at the first detour, but a helpful cyclist pointed me briefly onto 51 and then by the Old Large Hotel and down to Peter’s Creek Rd. What a pleasure that stretch was. A beautiful little valley–creek on the left and woods all around. I enjoyed it in both directions. The Piney Fork detour was no problem, but by Rt. 88 I had been out for a good while and was about ready to turn around. Gave it a half-hearted attempt and when I went left and downhill instead of right and uphill and ended up back at Piney Fork, I turned around and headed home. Based on what I’ve seen on the map, it looks like, after Rt. 88, there are only 2 more detours–Valley Brook Rd and Venice (not including the brief road stretch on the Airport Connector). Is that right?

From my house, it would be over a century to the airport and back, and I’m hoping to do it one day this fall if time permits.

Paul, we know each other. Don’t think my username makes it obvious: I’m Matt Weiss. Taught/advised your kids. I’m interested in getting involved with the Steel Valley Trail Council if you think I could be of some use. I certainly use the trails enough and have a vision of what I would like to see someday in this region (trails up either side of the Allegheny connecting the current Strip District and North Shore trails with, if possible, the Butler-Freeport Trail). I know these things take decades, if not generations, but I suppose every shoulder on the wheel helps to move it ahead. Thanks for your work so far, and thanks to all of you for your advice. Helped to make for a great 53 miles or so in the saddle today.


Steven

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Aug 5 2013 at 6:28am #

Glad you had fun. Ravensburg Blvd does cross the trail, but it’s a long way down. :-)

Valley Brook Rd and Venice are the only significant permanent detours on the mainline trail west of the Rt 88/Library detour, but both are very short and easy: descend 20-30 feet to street level, cross the street, climb up again to trail level.

There’s also a temporary on-road detour for bridge replacement, on the mainline trail just west of the Bethel Park spur, through November. It’s marked, but I suggest printing out the map from the Montour Trail website just in case.

The Airport Connector, like the Clairton Connector, is on roads, not trails, most quiet and used only for police patrols and such, but some more active.


sarapgh2

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Aug 5 2013 at 12:44pm #

We would LOVE to have more help at the Steel Valley Trail Council. Our next meeting is Aug 19 at 6 p.m. at the Pump House (at the Waterfront).


paulheckbert

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Aug 8 2013 at 12:23am #

@ultimattfrisbee: I thought the guy in the lake looked somewhat familiar:-)

Yes, as @sarapgh2 (Sara, our SVTC prez) says, we’d love to have help.

Back to bike routes: a fun 90-100 mile ride is to bike from Squirrel Hill (or nearby) to the GAP, bike down the Mon & Ohio via North Side / Chateau trail, cross McKees Rocks bridge, bike a mile or two on route 51, then Neville Island to Coraopolis, hop on the Montour Trail, pedal pedal pedal to Clairton, take the connector that you just explored to McKeesport, then cruise on the paved SVT/GAP back home. Yale Cohen and I have done this. Call me if you want to do it some time.

Or if you want to cut this in half, you can take your bike on the T from the Library station (the Montour Trail goes right past it) back to Station Square).


samviking

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Aug 16 2013 at 5:22pm #

paulheckbert wrote:We want to improve this McKeesport-Clairton connector this year and if you know anyone in Glassport or Clairton that is interested in helping us with this, please let me know! Or come to an SVTC meeting!

Related to this topic, a meeting between the SVTC, our neighboring trail groups and representatives from the community has been set for Monday, August 26 at 6:00 PM at the Glassport Borough Building (440 Monongahela Ave) to discuss ways on improving the route.

If you want to attend, please RSVP to info (at) steelvalleytrail.org so we know how many printouts to bring. Please be aware that this will be more of a working meeting than an informational meeting.

I will be editing an existing cue sheet of the route (it has bad grammar errors at the moment) along with the draft map of that section leading up to the meeting. I can share that in the meantime once it is ready. I will keep you posted.

Thank you,
Jim Taggart
SVTC Board Member


samviking

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Sep 18 2013 at 1:35am #

Here is an update on the Clairton Connector through Glassport: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/4721649-74/trail-route-clairton

More improvements are in the works, so stay tuned.


wolfador

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Sep 18 2013 at 6:10am #

samviking wrote:Here is an update on the Clairton Connector through Glassport: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/4721649-74/trail-route-clairton

More improvements are in the works, so stay tuned.

This is good, I always just stick to the main road. I tried to “follow” the trail once and those back alleyways are so horribly paved.


andyc

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Sep 18 2013 at 8:30am #

I had the same experience with the alleys. I don’t know how much traffic the main road gets on weekdays but for a morning weekend ride, I found it perfectly pleasant.


Marko82

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Sep 18 2013 at 8:55am #

I’ve only gone through Glassport a dozen times or so via bike, but I’ve not had any issues using the main drag. Hopefully the business community will see some benefit from having cyclists go past their shops. It’s such a nice little mill town, it would be nice to see it thrive. I bet one or two new employers (like a tech startup) in the heart of the business district would be all it would take.


wolfador

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Sep 18 2013 at 10:18am #

Marko82 wrote: Hopefully the business community will see some benefit from having cyclists go past their shops. It’s such a nice little mill town, it would be nice to see it thrive. I bet one or two new employers (like a tech startup) in the heart of the business district would be all it would take.

I stop at the ice cream place all the time, one of the many reason’s I always keep some cash in my saddle bag.


reddan

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Sep 18 2013 at 12:24pm #

I’ve only gone through Glassport a dozen times or so via bike, but I’ve not had any issues using the main drag.

Ditto.

Plus, by sticking to the main drag, you may spot the legendary Glassport POOP-911 plumbing truck, if you’re lucky.

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