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Looking for advice on where to park to get to the trails from Dormont.

I want to start riding the trails after work. I'm pretty familiar with most of the major ones, and once I'm on the trails, I have no problem getting anywhere around town. I used to live in Sq Hill and getting to Oakland and the trails was a piece of cake. Now I live in Dormont. I also commute from work from south of the city on I-79 North and then either get off in Heidelberg or sometimes take I-376 East and get off on the Green Tree hill. I finally bought a bike rack for my car, and I am desperate to start riding as soon after work as possible. So here are my goals and essentially what I'm asking: What are this board's thoughts on the best place to park after work coming from I-79 S or Dormont to: (1) avoid traffic and get riding on my bike ASAP around 5 pm, and (2) free parking with generally open spots with no time limit (I sometimes take long rides). (3) safe place to park, especially at night. I feel like unless someone knows of a good, hidden spot, my best bet is in the side streets of South Side somewhere. Get on the trails there, and go from there. I'm posting here to see if anyone knows anything better?
2015-06-12 09:18:24
How about 79 to 65S, then exit at Beaver Ave and park at one of the trailheads along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail? if you park at the end by the state penitentiary, there's patrols driving through every few minutes.
2015-06-12 09:46:33
Could also drive over to the panhandle trail trailhead in collier off noblestown rd and walkers mill rd. It's not that far away and you can connect up to the montour trail and ride as long as you like.
2015-06-12 09:57:12
I'm glad I posted because I never realized either of those are options. "79 to 65S" Where is this interchange? I tried looking on Google Maps, and found 65 south and Beaver Ave, but can't figure out where to get on 65 from 79.
2015-06-12 10:10:20
“79 to 65S” There's a 376 in there somewhere.... I think.
2015-06-12 10:24:59
Isn't this the interchange Dan's talking about
2015-06-12 10:29:26
Yep, Jon's got it. I believe it's labeled Emsworth-Sewickley...first exit after crossing the Ohio on 79-N. [edited to add:] Here's a route that might be more clear: RWGPS
2015-06-12 10:31:37
Very appreciated. I can't wait to try the suggestions. Thank you everyone for your input.
2015-06-12 10:43:13
There is a free sort of orphan lot down 4th street on the South Side where I park frequently, right on the Three Rivers Trail, easy access to downtown as well. Map coords: 40.431245, -79.994578 It seems like it would be pretty easy access in and out to Dormont. It is landlocked on one side of railroad tracks so you can occasionally get stuck for a bit waiting for a train to pass. It also gets quite lonely late at night, if you ever get concerned about security or know you are going to be late, I would just park at one of the Station Square lots, they are very cheap ( I think like $5 in evenings).
2015-06-12 10:58:21
On the SouthSide you could also park for free at the river park at 18th street, but it has the same nighttime issues as edmonds comments above. And dont forget that you can also take your bike on the "T" at any time. I'd suggest getting off at either Station Square or First Street garage (ride down the ramps or use elevator) and you are right near the trails.
2015-06-12 12:51:52
Also came to suggest the T -- unless you're specifically trying to avoid going home first (been there...), I'd just take the car home, pick up the bike, and take the T down to town.
2015-06-19 10:06:50
From Dormont, especially after work, taking the T into town will be easy because it is not crowded, meaning you will have room to get on and sit or stand with your bike. Use the Potomac Stop to get on and off because it is the least problematic. Marko82's suggestions regarding stops from which to disembark are spot on. I would add the Allegheny Stop, on the North Side, if you want to ride trails on that side of the river.
2015-06-28 19:49:07
Regarding driving into town from Dormont, you can take Potomac to Broadway to Fallowfield, to Crane Avenue and then take a left on 51. That would bring you to the West End Bridge. After crossing it, take a left on Chateau, which becomes Beaver Avenue. Take a left at Island Avenue and head down to the river where you will find parking. You could also go a little further down Beaver to the prison, as was suggested earlier.
2015-06-28 19:57:21
There is a large park & ride lot under 65 where Chateau and Beaver come together. Also right there is a new switchback ramp that can take you up to the corner of California and Marshall. If you're headed to fireworks or an event at either stadium, I highly recommend learning how to get in and out of this lot by car, and to and from it by bike.
2015-06-29 07:02:12