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McKees Rocks Bridge

I commute in to town across the McKees Rocks bridge March through October and am looking for suggestions about how to get the sidewalk swept. The bridge is long and traffic fast so coming from McKees Rocks I take the sidewalk (going back its downhill and one lane so I ride on the road). I know I could take a broom out myself, but as I said the bridge is long-about one mile, and I don't know where to put the sweepings- there is a lot of sand, gravel and glass and I couldn't carry it far. Thanks.
2015-01-07 22:20:52
311? These are not impossible problems. The technology is there. This is what your representative(s) are supposed to make happen.
2015-01-07 22:42:24
The City does not clear sidewalks. That responsibility falls to the adjoining property owner. PennDOT does not clear sidewalks either. I think the only solution(s) are: a) a volunteer brigade of the sort that cleared snow and ice from the Hot Metal Bridge a few years ago; or b) take the lane and ride in the street. c) see if it is possible to get one of the sidewalks declared a "multi-use" or "shared use" path, rather than sidewalk, and ask the City to add it to their trail list. Just my $.02
2015-01-08 09:28:34
^ d) fall on the ice and then sue the city for big$ for not cleaning the sidewalk. e) call a local news station and have them do a story
2015-01-08 09:55:46
Does the bridge belong to the city or the state? I'm guessing that would determine which flavor of elected representative would be most likely to help. Of course, you might just be adding to a stack of complaints at PennDOT about bridge sidewalk maintenance, but a higher stack is more likely to prod them to eventually address the problem. So I think it's worth giving them a kick even if the prospects for an immediate response aren't good.
2015-01-08 10:34:54
Thanks, guess I need to do some research. I may try to pull together the few riders I've hooked up with who use the bridge.
2015-01-09 07:33:07
I posted a while back the list of relevant elected officials for this bridge ... A message (or campaign) to the relevant electeds might have more impact than writing penndot direct...
2015-01-15 20:04:23
As an example, Representative (Adam) Ravenstahl's office is at the corner of California and Brighton Heights Blvd, a block up the hill from the bridge. That might be a good place to start.
2015-01-16 10:39:41
I commute out of town using that bridge too and I only really have problems this time of year when sections of the sidewalk are ice. I never ride the road across the bridge. In my experience, as long as you watch for any obstacles (broken glass, sheets of plywood in the way, etc.) then you'll be fine. I ride with a more rugged Schwalbe tire setup rather than normal road tires though and I haven't had any trouble (knock on wood). I would venture that there's no way to get any city or county help with this. They permanently leave that "sidewalk is closed" sign up on the west sidewalk even though for a long time that sign was only at one end of the sidewalk. (How can a sidewalk only be "closed" from one end?) Maintenance of the bridge sidewalk is probably last on the long list of transportation upkeep priorities a d I doubt there is anything that can change that.
2015-01-17 11:44:11
Agree, I rode all last year dodging the glass etc. Another commuter who rides and I are going to get together in the spring and sweep the worst of it, better than nothing. Most of the rest of my commute is on decent roads and I use regular road tires.
2015-01-24 13:34:10
A team of five or six of us cleaned the upstream sidewalk of the West End Bridge last year in one morning, and three or four of us cleaned both sides of the Glenwood Bridge in 2013, in a couple of weekends.
2015-01-24 17:40:18
Matt, it's Will. You're the dude I randomly hooked up with for the downtown to airport area commute a few times, right? Count me in for the cleanup help. I'm training for Crush the Commonwealth so need to get at least one long ride in each weekend, but I'm sure I can fit a sweep up session in.
2015-01-25 10:27:13
Set a date and time at least week before, create a separate thread here, at BikePGH, ask people to join. This how we did before.
2015-01-25 17:02:58
Will, yes it's me, I wanted to ask you but didn't have a way to contact you. I'll follow the suggestion above and post a thread here. Thanks for the offer and suggestion!
2015-01-27 12:27:47
I know that as a practical matter, it may be easier to organize a group to clean the bridge, rather than convince a governmental entity to take responsibility and allocate resources for this. But perhaps just to satisfy my curiosity, I'd like to know which entity is actually responsible for sidewalk cleaning on this bridge under applicable statutes/ordinances/regulations. (Or, I suppose, to understand why this sidewalk is a maintenance "orphan" with no clearly responsible entity.) McKees Rocks Bridge belongs to the state (not Allegheny County). I understand PennDOT usually says sidewalk cleaning is the responsibility of the local municipalities -- although it appears that in certain cases PennDOT has taken responsibility for sidewalks. In this case, it appears that PennDOT is pointing to the municipalities, which are McKees Rocks Borough on the west and the City of Pittsburgh on the east. Just focusing on the City's potential responsibility: Swalfoort says "the City does not clear sidewalks. That responsibility falls to the adjoining property owner." Can someone point me to ordinances/policies underlying this? And has the City actually applied it to large-span bridge sidewalks like this? Who is the "adjoining" property owner for a mile-long bridge owned by the state? Thanks.
2015-02-06 16:07:05 a good ride in today including scouting out the bridge sidewalk. The section from the Rocks to where the ramp from the bottoms winds up to the bridge is not bad. However from there to the first bridge pylon is just as bad as it has always been. That's the part that could really use a good sweeping and with limited resources, I think where we should concentrate a cleanup effort. Between the bridge pylons is good again and from the second pylon to the light could also use some work, but to me would be second priority. Count me in when it's time!
2015-02-08 16:15:43
Upstream or downstream side? Should it matter? I rarely ride over that way, but if I had to choose, I would rather focus on the upstream side, since being uphill that direction (eastbound, northbound), there is no way a cyclist can get up any steam.
2015-02-08 18:00:10
Upstream side. I only ride the sidewalk inbound to town during morning rush hour. Too many cars and since they get all backed up and there's no way around them, the sidewalk is the way to go. Going home it's on the bridge deck. Downhill and lots of room.
2015-02-08 18:39:56
haven't been down that way lately Will but didn't expect any change. We are still working on a way to get rid of the debris we sweep up, but no luck yet. I agree we can target our efforts.
2015-02-09 21:17:02
Jeb here. I work for the McKees Rocks CDC and we've been working to build out safer bike infrastructure through Sto-Rox. Much of this is in planning stages but we'd like to help, if possible, to make our current infrastructure as bike-friendly as possible before we move on to larger infrastructure. It's really great to see a group of people here willing to volunteer time to work on making streets and sidewalks more passable. We should be able to help in a couple different ways. A few of us here can lend a hand and likely find some additional volunteers. We can find a location for disposal of what is cleaned up. And we can help pay for, or lend, clean up equipment and materials. Hopefully this will help this clean-up effort. Please let me know if there is some additional way that we might assist.
2015-02-12 10:50:10
Wonderful, Jeb, welcome!
2015-02-12 15:12:58
Jeb, that is great news! I think that with your assistance we have what we need, I'll pm you my contact info and we can coordinate our efforts.
2015-02-12 16:36:57
Thanks for stopping in and offering to help Jeb, that's awesome. I helped do a couple of bridges (and trails) last year and the tool I wish we would have had access to is a backpack leaf blower. You need to use a relatively stiff push broom to loosen up the gunk, but it doesnt really do a good job of getting the small shards of glass. A blower would get all this little stuff.
2015-02-13 09:56:04
I have a gas-powered leaf blower. Let me know when you need it next.
2015-02-15 18:15:44
Thanks Fultonco, when we arrive at a date, we'll let you know. Looking at early to mid-March at this point, going to have to warm up a bit though!
2015-02-16 10:42:28
Roger that
2015-02-16 11:30:26
As an update to this thread, Penndot has established to their satisfaction that the sidewalk is not their responsibility, whose it actually is is somewhat murkier given that the bridge goes over a railroad track... Our plan therefore is work with the McKees Rocks CDC and gather a group of volunteers together- still working on a date, looking at a Saturday or Sunday late in March, weather dependent. Once we firm up a date I'll post a new thread here for anyone interested in helping. Many thanks for all the input and especially to Jeb from the CDC for stepping up.
2015-03-02 14:08:02
Count me in for a March clean-up day. For the record, after Penndot denied responsibility for this bridge, here's my exchange with 311: ME: "I have been informed that, although the McKees Rocks Bridge is owned by Penndot, the responsibility for cleaning the pedestrian walkway on the Bridge is the responsibility of the local municipalities in which the bridge is located. Those municipalities appear to be McKees Rocks Borough on the west side, and the City of Pittsburgh on the east side (appears to be the Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood). The upstream-side walkway has accumulated a lot of debris, including broken glass and larger trash. (The downstream-side walkway appears to be closed pending repairs.) Could the City please arrange for the upstream-side pedestrian walkway to be cleaned of debris? Thank you." 311: "Someone is misinformed the city does not maintain the McKees Rocks Bridge."
2015-03-02 14:22:42
@swalfoort, is it possible to determine from official records somewhere whose bailiwick this is?
2015-03-02 15:50:54
So if maintaining the sidewalks along their roads is not within the jurisdiction of PeenDot, then neither do they have the right to plant their construction signs on sidewalks, and the next time they block a sidewalk I can move their signs into their stupid fking roadway right? Assholes.
2015-03-03 06:43:57
Saturday April 11 is our working date, weather dependent. As someone suggested, I'll start a new thread as we get closer with logistics. Thanks again for the support!
2015-03-19 05:45:06
Ok, date has changed again to April 25th. I know Crush the Commonwealth is the same weekend, but the McKees Rocks CDC is holding their annual cleanup on the 25th and they are offering help. I'll start a new thread with times etc. and an ask for volunteers. Matt
2015-03-31 20:57:37