« Back to Archive

Best night route from Hazelwood to Oakland?

I'm hoping to go to the Safe Streets public meeting at Alumni Hall this evening. I'll be biking from Hazelwood, and I'm wondering what the safest route is. If I were riding in daylight, I would just take the Boundary Trail from The Run in Greenfield. However, it'll be dark, and the city hasn't installed the promised trail lighting yet. The other two options I know are Greenfield Ave to the Swinburne Bridge and Second Ave to Bates St. I've never ridden either, though, so I have no idea how safe they are. Thoughts? (link to map of options)
2015-12-01 08:58:39
Neither of those options are especially appealing, but I think Bates St is better than Swinburne. Swinburne is narrow and twisty and I'm not sure how good the lighting is there, either. Bates is at least shorter and straighter and probably better lit. A longer and hillier but safer route would be to go over the hill to Murray Ave, follow that down to go left Pocusset, then right on Wightman and left on Forbes and straight onto Schenley Drive.
2015-12-01 09:10:41
You might be right, jonawebb, but man is that hill up Hazelwood Ave a beast (for a n00b like me)!
2015-12-01 09:20:23
@FunkyDung: Assuming you have a halfway decent headlight, I'd suggest just using the trail and Boundary. I've ridden through there many times at night, never had a problem beyond having to dodge the occasional suicidal bunny. if you don't have a headlight good enough to see the trail, I'd second Jon's suggestion for Bates. Visibility on Swinburne isn't great.
2015-12-01 09:32:48
My first reaction is to suggest that you just take Panther hollow since while it may be dark, it is safely traveled by many of us at all hours. But if you are uncomfortable doing that, I would suggest going up Bates on the sidewalk since it is steep but short. Just be very careful crossing the exit ramp from the parkway since a lot of cars don't stop at the stop-sign and there are no curb cuts. It's also easy to walk you bike up the hill if so inclined.
2015-12-01 09:34:59
The greatest danger is from cars. I would take the Junction Hollow Trail. It's going to be the fastest route, also.
2015-12-01 11:17:55
I would go up the Junction Hollow Trail. It's actually somewhat lit from city lights (Parkway, Blvd of the Allies Br) so you're never in pitch dark. Then go up the Jonquaire sidewalk. You of course have a headlight... I would avoid Bates, unless you go up the sidewalk all the way (per Marko82). Avoid Swinburne.
2015-12-01 12:01:40
Thanks, all, for the helpful advice. :) See you guys at the meeting?
2015-12-01 12:04:34
Ditto the trail suggestions. I might also suggest the Joncaire Street staircase that takes you up behind Pitt's Frick Fine Arts Building. Wiggle past that and to the left of Carnegie Library, cross Forbes, and carry your bike up past the Cathedral (or ride very carefully, heavy pedestrian traffic), then cross Fifth, to avoid nearly all auto traffic entirely. The better question is what to do with your bike. I hope you have a U-lock. I would not trust a cable lock at a well publicized meeting with a lot of bike people there. Because of the likely heavy attendance by cyclists, bike parking might be at a premium. Perhaps tie up at a rack by the Cathedral then walk across 5Av to the meeting.
2015-12-01 12:27:31
Your biggest danger is from aggressive drivers. That is probably true on the Junction Hollow Trail, too, but the risk there is much, MUCH less than on the street.
2015-12-01 12:30:16
Mr. Dung- I agree with the above post- the bike path will certainly be lit enough from ambient light to see, especially with cloud cover to reflect the light back down to earth, even into the hollow. The thing about parking with a bunch of other bikes, if your bike is not the snazziest looking one there, it will be less likely to be targeted.
2015-12-01 15:04:03