CP: Open the Wabash Tunnel to Cyclists


Could bikes also use the tunnel?

The story of bike commuting in Pittsburgh is arguably a tale of two cities. In some neighborhoods, new bike lanes and riverfront trails have carved out more room for cyclists. But if you’re in the city’s South Hills, those improvements might as well be happening in a different time zone.

We’ve been hearing from many cyclists who would like to see access to the Wabash Tunnel. So many people in the South Hills are interested in biking from there into the city. But that means going up and over Mount Washington, which is formidable unless you’re a really strong cyclist. – Scott Bricker

While East End arteries like Fifth Avenue still might not be exactly bike-friendly, South Hills thoroughfares like Route 19 are practically suicidal. Even if a cyclist negotiates them successfully, Mount Washington awaits: Going over it requires hundreds of feet of vertical climb; going through it requires either driving a car or riding a bus or light-rail vehicle.

But what if cyclists could use the Wabash Tunnel instead?

Read the full article in the Pittsburgh City Paper

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1 Comment

  • Vannevar says:

    This is such a low-hanging-fruit opportunity. Low cost, high-benefit. Most of the required work is administrative and informational – signs, painting, but not building structures or laying roads. The benefits will be the connection of the downtown/southside/northside with the SouthHills – which can probably only be accomplished through this project.

    Most cycle-path opportunities just connect a few blocks. This connects the South Hills to the entire Pgh bike network (which has to date largely ignored the SH). Tremendous benefits.

    Let’s look at it another way. The Great Allegheny Passage comes downtown and stops. There’s no bike-friendly path for cyclists to continue north or west.

    So, traveling cyclists (which means, hotels, restaurants, shops) will deviate at Clairton onto the Montour Trail to the Panhandle Trail and skip downtown Pittsburgh – because it’s a dead end.

    This tunnel provides a bike-friendly way out of downtown Pittsburgh for transient cyclists. Huge opportunity.

    SomeMaySay, that the conditions west of the tunnel aren’t ready for the bikes – for instance, SawMillRun. Let’s point out that if we only ever built bike infrastructure when everything everywhere was ready, then we’d never have the GAP. Open the tunnel, watch the demand, and then adapt and respond to the needs.

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