« Back to Archive

Downtown to Mt. Washington

Im new to the city and looking for the safest way to bike from downtown to Mt. Washington. Any suggestions?
2018-06-21 16:41:40
Not really a safe or easy way to do this. Going up 18th Street out of the South Side is the only way with a bike lane, so it would win on safety but it’s gonna add a few miles to your journey. Putting it on the Mon Incline would be my next suggestion but that’s also the easy way out. Sycamore is a tough climb but the sharp turns and steep grade means cars can’t really get up to speed like they do on the McArdle straight shot. Brosville is tight and William is one way down. Arlington has a doable grade and has some space at times, but you also deal with the trolley tracks and parked cars, not to mention a dangerous intersection near the tunnels. Edit: Did they ever install the bike lane on 18th street? I don’t see it on google maps so perhaps it’s still in the pipeline
2018-06-21 17:18:06
McArdle isn't nearly as steep as Sycamore, and it has a legally bick-able sidewalk, just be nice to any pedestrians you encounter.    Inbound, just take the lane. Once the Liberty bridge sidewalk is back open (closed for 2+ years!) I'd use that instead of Smithfield.
2018-06-21 17:29:22
There are no bike lanes on 18th Street, but the parking lane is effectively a bike lane for most of the grade, but it gets really tight toward the top. I almost never ride all the way to the top, but go right where the road turns to the left, at the little corner neighborhood bar, and ride the side streets to the top of the hill. If I had to ride to Mt. Washington, I'd either carry the bike up to the Liberty Bridge sidewalk, cross it, and ride up the McArdle Roadway sidewalk, which may also be directly accessible from Arlington (without having to cross the dangerous intersection at the tunnels with cars). Or take the sidewalk on Arlington up to Allentown, then climb up one of the side streets on the right (across from the beer distributor and restaurant) to Mt. Washington. I've never had a problem riding up the road on Arlington, but others have, particularly with the busses. But the intersection at McArdle is, as stated above, dangerous and hard to negotiate on a bike, and here's always the risk of getting hit from behind in the many sharp turns, which is why I shifted to the sidewalk.
2018-06-21 17:43:35
+1 on the Liberty bridge/McArdle sidewalk option, though as @Marko82 noted, you'll have to wait until bridge sidewalk is reopened later this year. You can hop on (or briefly dismount and then get on) on sidewalk at the Boulevard of the Allies ramp/Grant St intersection and essentially bike all the way up without hitting a single traffic light throughout that stretch, and you're removed from fast traffic. There aren't a lot of pedestrians on that sidewalk, so you won't be inconveniencing a lot of them. Coming downhill, you can take the same route or head down Sycamore. The latter will lead to somewhat shorter brake pad life, but it might be the quicker way in. While the Liberty bridge sidewalk is closed, the best bet is to cross Smithfield St., ride up for a bit on Arlington and then get off it and go under the Liberty bridge, which has a walkway and short set of steps that lead to the McArdle sidewalk. As Jacob said, the McArdle intersection with the Liberty tunnel/bridge is not fun on a bike; I've had close calls with drivers speeding in and out of the tunnel while they have a red light. Not to mention that you might not be able to trigger the light to go across; there needs to be a car there for it to switch.
2018-06-21 20:55:19
I'm lazy, so I do the following: [South Side] -> 18th -> [(a) Mt. Oliver -> Warrington -> Arlington -> {Allen | Beltzhoover} -> Bailey -> Wyoming]. It gets you within sight. A less trafficy alternative would be Josephine -> {Arlington | Salsbury+Fernleaf} -> 18th -> [(a) Mt.Oliver -> ...] Warrington, with the tram tracks, is a pain but traffic speed is pretty low. You can side-street this bit; Allen is a fun climb and you get a water fountain at the top.
2018-06-22 00:05:32
I ride from downtown into Point State Park, get on the fort Pitt bridge behind the museum in the park, cross the bridge, that lets you off right at the Duquesney incline. Which is much more bike friendly than station square incline! Then your at the highest point in Mt. Wash area. Most everything is downhill from there. Now for getting to the city, I recommend riding down green leaf to the west end circle. Then get on the sidewalk on east Carson. That takes you straight to the fort pitt bridge sidewalk that takes you to the Point! Hope this help some. I commute 6 days a week both ways from mt. wash to lawrenceville.
2018-06-30 13:24:33
I’d clarify one point in @hehon’s directions. I’d get across West End Circle traffic to go down the West End Bridge staircase, then use that sidewalk (West Carson, to be specific). Usually traffic is stopped long enough to walk across safely. I’ve ridden the traffic lane around from the circle to WCarson, but it’s not for the untrained or the faint of heart.
2018-06-30 20:50:16