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Route help: Highland Park Bridge to Fort Couch Rd/Washington Rd intersection?

This topic contains 16 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mikhail 1 yr, 4 mos.

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gg

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Apr 17 2013 at 7:33pm #

Is this even possible? I know the South hills are tough. I don’t like crazy traffic, but you gotta do what you gotta do.


Mikhail

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Apr 17 2013 at 10:05pm #

Yes, it’s possible. I live even further down Washington — Boyce and Washington. One way is to use T. You can go up to South Hills Mall Park’n’Ride and it’s on the mall and then you commute through the mall to the intersection. It’s zone two. Or you can get on any T and jump off at Washington junction (zone 1) and do a little bit of riding: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2368050. If you want to bike from downtown to this intersection then you have three of choices:
1. Bike Washigton Road all the way from the Liberty Tube. You will face the longest up hill (the highest point in Pittsburgh area is in Mt. Lebanon) and then one more unpleasant hill from Gilkenson/Connor all the way up to Highland Rd. Two lanes and real fast.
2. Approach from 88 through Washington junction (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1854923 — here I used Becks Run road but you can use Streets Run Road — http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1447084).
3. Approach from Bridgeville — http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1253376. But in your case when you get on 50 continue to Bower Hill Rd, take right to mclaughlin Run Road and in two blocks left to Ridge Rd which becomes Cook School Road (a real nice road with few cars along some farm), Carefully cross McMillian at the crest and go to Trottwood, right on Miranda, left on Segar, right on Ft Couch and you are in place. Avoid getting on Ft. Couch earlier — it’s pretty busy and has a very steep hile at the beginning.


Mikhail

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Apr 17 2013 at 10:17pm #

Mikhail wrote:Yes, it’s possible. I live even further down Washington — Boyce and Washington. One way is to use T. You can go up to South Hills Mall Park’n’Ride and it’s on the mall and then you commute through the mall to the intersection. It’s zone two. Or you can get on any T and jump off at Washington junction (zone 1) and do a little bit of riding: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2368050. If you want to bike from downtown to this intersection then you have three of choices:
1. Bike Washigton Road all the way from the Liberty Tube. You will face the longest up hill (the highest point in Pittsburgh area is in Mt. Lebanon) and then one more unpleasant hill from Gilkenson/Connor all the way up to Highland Rd. Two lanes and real fast.
2. Approach from 88 through Washington junction (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1854923 — here I used Becks Run road but you can use Streets Run Road — http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1447084).
3. Approach from Bridgeville — http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1253376. But in your case when you get on 50 continue to Bower Hill Rd, take right to Mclaughlin Run Road and in two blocks left to Ridge Rd which becomes Cook School Road (a real nice road with few cars along some farm), Carefully cross McMillian at the crest and go to Trottwood, right on Miranda, left on Segar, right on Ft Couch and you are in place. Avoid getting on Ft. Couch earlier — it’s pretty busy and has a very steep hill at the beginning.


gg

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Apr 18 2013 at 8:49am #

Thank you for that great information. It looks like a tough route and I would be riding it daily to work and the work itself is physical. I am getting close to 50 years old, so it might not be doable. I guess I would have to ride it a few times to get a feel for those routes. I do have a car, but to drive a car daily to work sort of makes me sick just thinking about that. Thanks again.


Steven

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Apr 18 2013 at 10:53am #

Maybe a good use for bike (to downtown) plus transit (to South Hills Village).


Mick

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Apr 18 2013 at 10:58am #

You could take the T all the way out to South Hills Village (or thereabouts).

That way, it’s for the Highland Park Bridge down Butler St (and possibly trails) to town and maybe half a mile at the end.

You could probably even consider renting a bike locker downtown.

My sense (as a 60 year old) is that it’s doable even for an old person such as yourself.

Good luck.

;)


StuInMcCandless

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Apr 18 2013 at 12:17pm #

I’d leave the bike at SHV, and bus & T to there. Maybe even use two bikes, one to get from home to transit, the second on the SHV end. It might also be easier to ride from a not-quite-the-end stop like Dorchester than battle cars on that end. It’s been a while since I was out there.

This might be a good use for a reliable beater bike. No need for a $1K bike to futz around suburbia. Maybe even carry your lights with you and find a good sturdy fence out there to lock to overnight.


Mick

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Apr 18 2013 at 12:35pm #

Less than half a mile from the T stop to the destination intersection. To me, it hardly seems worth the hassle of keeping a beater bike out there.

Considering how far out in the ‘burbs that is, there are plenty of good public transportation options.


Mikhail

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Apr 18 2013 at 1:20pm #

gg wrote:Thank you for that great information. It looks like a tough route and I would be riding it daily to work and the work itself is physical. I am getting close to 50 years old, so it might not be doable. I guess I would have to ride it a few times to get a feel for those routes. I do have a car, but to drive a car daily to work sort of makes me sick just thinking about that. Thanks again.

I would buy folding bike, High Land to Downtown (or north station using trail from 40th bridge), fold bike, jump on T (almost anything), jump out at Washington Junction, ride 3 mile on bike (no major hills are involved). It’s much easier to get on T with folding bike — no limits.

There is a bus going downtown to South Hills Village also but it’s pretty slow. Something above an hour instead of 40-45 minutes on T.

Ant T is much emptier for morning outgoing lines and evening incoming lines.


Mikhail

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Apr 18 2013 at 1:24pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:It might also be easier to ride from a not-quite-the-end stop like Dorchester than battle cars on that end. It’s been a while since I was out there.

You don’t need to battle cars from SHV. It’s just mall with very slow traffic. There is no need even to get on Ft Couch. I bike around those areas using back streets pretty often.


Mikhail

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Apr 18 2013 at 1:31pm #

gg, check your messages, please.


gg

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Apr 18 2013 at 2:27pm #

Thank you all for the kind suggestions. I sometimes would need to be at work by 5AM and sometimes I get out as late as midnight, so the T probably doesn’t run for me all the time. I will have to check the routes out in the next week or two. No rush on this, but need to understand what I would deal with if I decide to move locations for work. Thanks again.


Mikhail

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Apr 18 2013 at 2:34pm #

By 5 am roads are pretty empty. As well as by midnight. For 5-6 am and 11pm-midnight I would go for Washington Rd all the way to the Liberty tube. Fastest and easiest way.


benstiglitz

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Apr 23 2013 at 9:30am #

Seconding Mikhail, with proper lighting Washington Rd. is pretty comfortable as suburban roads go. I take it both directions in the warmer months, and use the T as a backstop in the winter when I don’t trust the plowing on Mt. Washington or am just not feeling it.

That being said the T is pretty great and runs until late so if the timing works for you it’s an awesome option.


ajbooth

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Apr 23 2013 at 9:40am #

I commute three days a week from Mt Lebanon via Washington Road/West Liberty Avenue. In the morning, it is downhill until you get to Mt Washington (I go up and over on Warrington Ave) and you will be moving as fast as traffic. The earlier the better, especially when you get close to the Liberty Tubes. On the way home, it is a long but gradual climb from the Tubes to St Bernards Church. I find it to be a great workout. When I’m not traveling, and riding it regularly, I feel great…and I’m already past 50. I tell people it keeps me young.

Two things I would add. First, take the lane. I used to ride along the curb, and several people on this board convinced me to ride the center of the lane. I get the occasional asshat who wants to yell, or buzz me, but the vast majority of my commutes are incident free. Second, remember that Washington Road from the Galleria into Uptown Mt Lebanon will be under construction for most of the coming year. It will be one lane in spots, and that will certainly cause drivers to be more frustrated, late, and aggressive. I am already scouting alternates to drop me onto West Liberty Ave in Dormont, rather than taking Washington Road.

If you’d like to talk more, or even ride together at some point, send me a private message.


gg

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Apr 23 2013 at 9:50am #

Thank you for the kind offers and the advice. It is in a holding pattern at the moment. The commute change would be work related and I am not sure what will happen at this time, but the commute is part of the puzzle. Thanks again.


Mikhail

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Apr 23 2013 at 10:27am #

ajbooth wrote:Washington Road from the Galleria into Uptown Mt Lebanon will be under construction for most of the coming year

This area has sidewalks on both sides of the road. And Mt.Lebanon police is completely OK to use it for biking. There are very few pedestrians but watch for runners during early mornings and late evenings.

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