« Back to Archive

South Hills Commuting Films

I'm going to try and give you a flavor of South Hills Bicycle Commuting through some very amateur filming I've done with a GoPro Camera. This first one is a short ride home, from the Trolley Stop at Washington Junction, which is located at Route 88 and Milford Drive, in Bethel Park. Noteworthy in the film is a typical dangerous high-speed pass by a motorist on Milford Drive. The driver not only endangers him/herself but also engineers a close call with an oncoming motorist.
2015-07-03 06:27:27
The film shows one alternative to Greentree Road, for as much as is possible, going inbound (see the Ride with GPS map). Note the driver who passed me and was going so fast that (he) had to run a red light because stopping was not possible after the pass. Luckily, this did not result in an accident. With my Go Pro Software, I was able to run the part of the clip, going down the hill to the West End, on Greentree Road, at 5X. Doing so adds an interesting dimension to already thrilling ride.
2015-07-04 19:28:30
Film of commuting down West Liberty Avenue from Mt. Lebanon. Doesn't look to bad on a Sunday Morning but is definitely ramped-up bit on a weekday. While cruising down this morning, I couldn't get that old song out of my head, by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, "Nowhere to Run."
2015-07-05 18:00:53
Can you make a video showing the reality of trying not to get run over by half-awake heroin addicts in $500 shitbox cars in Carrick and Mt. Oliver? Or bunny-hopping a used needle on Brownsville Road? All kidding aside, is improving any part of the south hills on Bike Pittsburgh's to-do list? If so, where does it fall in terms of priorities? If not, what would it take to get that part of town on their agenda? Can anyone speak to these issues from a position of knowledge?
2015-07-06 11:45:17
I don't know if improving the bike/ped situation is on Bike Pittsburgh's list or the City's list for that matter. There is a small group of us who are beginning to do something. We would love to have your support. If you are interested in joining us, we will be happy to include you whenever information is disseminated.
2015-07-06 16:58:27
A video from a recent commute during the pm rush. This one starts at the top of Glass Run Road and proceeds to Churchview Avenue and Sankey Avenue before turning left onto Brownsville Road. Note the virtually un-used public parking lot on Sankey Avenue while cars are parked all over both sides of Brownsville Road. The traffic is heavy but is quite manageable for a bicyclist when the parking lane clears, at times. The film continues with a right turn on Marylea and proceeds to a lighted crossing of 51 onto Delco.
2015-07-06 20:13:56
By request... Brownsville Road, from the top of 18th Street to the beginning of "Marko82's" St. Norbert's route. No $500.00 toilets tried to run me over, only more expensive models. No needles today. Probably got scarfed-up for the weekend. More later. Happy Motoring !
2015-07-11 12:15:40
WooHoo, I think you nailed it. Good use of the lane, control and release, etc. There isn't much room for a lot of this, and you asserted yourself when you needed to. Two big thumbs up.
2015-07-11 22:06:20
@fultonco: a suggestion: when sharing longish videos like this, tell us the timecodes of the notable parts, so we can jump to them. Most people don't have the patience to watch a 17 minute video of traveling down a road. thanks. Also, it's possible, in Youtube, to get a timecode that starts at a particular time. Click on Share and then Start At. Perhaps useful.
2015-07-12 00:52:04
How you do that (having not watched the whole video for specifics): Say you want to start the player automatically at the 6 minute 22 second mark. You would add "ampersand t equals 6 m 22 s" to the end of the URL. With that in hand, you can then embed it in an "A" tag. Change the square brackets to angle brackets, and remove the spaces that I added so the board does not link it right here. You do need the space between the A and the HREF. [a href="https ://ww w.youtub"]some descriptive text here[/a] So that what you get is this. Edit: Darn, the board is messing with the ampersands. That sequence should look like "watch&v=". Edit 2: I would love to see this same thing with a rear camera going at the same time, so you can catch delightful as-it-happens sequences like this, if you happen to have side-by-side computers/monitors (front, rear).
2015-07-12 09:34:14
Thank-you, Gentlemen. I'm new to this filming business, grateful for your suggestions, and will try them. The most recent, 17+ minute film didn't have any highlights, to which to call to attention, so I just left it as a trip down Brownsville Road. Not quite as relaxing as the Canal Trip but maybe someday, cycling around the South Hills will be a bit more pleasurable. I need to get a rear camera, as I too would like to see what some of these insane drivers are doing as they approach me from behind. I am most grateful to you for your comments and suggestions.
2015-07-12 09:55:01
I can't count the number of times someone almost got into a head-on collision during my 640 mile bike ride last week to Rochester NY and back. I guess it's ok to risk your life and that of innocent people coming in the opposite direction to save yourself 30 seconds of drive time. This happened at least 10 times each day during the 7 days I was out riding in both NY and PA.
2015-07-12 23:07:38
Yes, it happens so often that it's just ho-hum stuff on film. One would have to film an actual collision to get anyone to pay attention.
2015-07-13 18:33:12
Warrington Avenue and Route 51 - This film is 6 minutes and 30 seconds long and was shot at the afternoon rush today. It begins at the intersection of Southern and Boggs Avenues. After a right turn at Warrington, one reaches the light at Route 51. My path home involves getting onto West Liberty Avenue (WLA), which is reached via an exit ramp off Route 51 South. I chickened-out and rode the sidewalk on WLA, which was its own sort of adventure. I cannot average 20-25 mph going uphill and wasn't in the mood for irate drivers today. I'm not sure who are the responsible property owners but it is clear, most of that sidewalk has not seen any maintenance for quite some time. The exception was in front of one used car establishment, where the sidewalk was in good shape. Kudos to them. I'm not sure why nobody has had the inclination to take a weed-eater to that stretch any time during the last 10 years. I bailed at Brookside Avenue. If this isn't a dirty dozen hill, it has to be awfully close. The ride up Brookside and then Sebring is daunting, to say the least. I didn't film it because it takes an old man a long time to ascend and you don't need to see that.
2015-07-13 19:38:38
> I’m not sure who are the responsible property owners but it is clear, most of that sidewalk has not seen any maintenance for quite some time. likely most of that is either City or Port Authority property or part of the public right of way (and thus still the city's problem), with only a handful of non-public owners anyone can still reach. if you've got some free time, you could spend some on the County Real Estate search (start here, remember to change both instances of the parcel ID in the url to bring up a new map & owner info), or you could just send a span of addresses and/or intersections to 311 and let them sort out whom to send letters and where to send DPW.
2015-07-14 16:33:13
Thanks Buffalo !
2015-07-14 20:21:17
Commuting through Beechview on Broadway. The film is 4 minutes long. Other than the poor condition of the road surface, this is actually one of the nicer roads to be on during the rush.
2015-07-15 19:41:18
Continuation of the film posted on 7/11/15 @ 1215 hours - "Marko82's" St. Norbert's route and then onto Castle Shannon. The film is approximately 17 minutes long. The "highlights" and times they appear are as follows: St. Norbert's becomes visible - 2:30 The Jughandle at Routes 51/88 - 4:15 Asking a construction worker for directions across the intersection - 5:28 Glenbury to Transport Street - 6:32 Route 88 - 8:05 Close pass (one of many) on Route 88 - 8:25 Grove Road - 14:15 Willow Avenue - 14:27
2015-07-18 15:49:07
^ at the 2:30 mark you can also enter the church parking lot in front of you for a more pleasant decent of the hill, you'll come out at the driveway you passed at 4:07. This pass through is especially useful in the other direction when going UP the hill since Ivyglen Street is only one lane wide and steep.
2015-07-20 10:49:20
Thanks Marko 82 !
2015-07-24 12:46:31
In case you have to ride out to Upper Saint Clair and on to McMurray, PA - This video is Part 1 and starts near South Hills Village, in Bethel Park, PA. US 19 South or Washington Road is a 40-45 mph speed limit roadway. There are two lanes in either direction but no shoulder. The road surface abruptly ends to the right with a curb. This would be a tough road to ride during the rush hours and during business hours. This film was shot during the early morning hours on a Saturday.
2015-07-24 12:49:53
This film is Part 2 of a ride on Washington Road / US 19 South, from Upper St. Clair to McMurray, PA. There is a shoulder that begins after passing the exit for McLaughlin Run Road, and continues to the Washington County Line. There, the shoulder disappears again. The film is a little more than 13 minutes in length. For anyone who wants just the highlights, they are as follows: 00:46 - Wide shoulder ends 01:28 - Wide shoulder resumes at Old Washington Road intersection 04:45 - Boyce Road 05:40 - rumble strip (redneck braille) 07:25 - Washington County Line - shoulder narrows 08:10 - "new" Market District "quick stop" and Get-Go complex 09:51 - Honda Dealership on left 10:30 - Chevy Dealership on left 12:11 - Exit to Lawrence / Hills Station 12:44 - Exiting US 19 13:13 - Old Schoolhouse
2015-07-24 14:22:46
A few years ago I rode from US 19 at McMurray up to South Hills Village on a Sunday afternoon. You can bypass some of the unpleasant parts via parking lots and Old Washington Road (though it has a one-way bit that makes things harder southbound).
2015-07-24 15:45:05
Nice pucker moment at 0:57 of second clip. I don't know if taking a more leftward position in the lane would have helped. It's something that really takes some practice getting comfortable with, especially going slow uphill, but it prevents the lane sharing to a large degree.
2015-07-24 17:30:17
@Steven - Yes, there is a network of backroads that one can take to avoid most of US 19. It is, however, longer, hillier, and more complicated. If there was just a decent shoulder along the roadside, it could be ridden. I know that one-way section of Old Washington, of which you speak. It is on the right, as you start up the hill past the exit for McLaughlin Run. @Marko82 - The gas truck!! I guess I'm de-sensitized after all these years. In the '80s, I rode all the way up California Highway 1. Those logging trucks in Northern California literally give you 6" or less and they are long!! You have to hold 'er steady as there is no room for error. You really could reach out and touch someone, as the saying goes.
2015-07-25 07:55:19
If you really want to practice taking the lane in difficult spots, I can think of no two better spots than: * North of town: southbound McKnight in the half mile prior to the I-279 on-ramp * East of town: eastbound Business 22 from the Lower Rodi Road peel-off up to Penn Center Is there a comparable spot South? West Liberty up from Saw Mill Run does not count. Not difficult enough.
2015-07-25 11:58:59
@StuInMcCandless - comparable routes in the South Hills would be either US 19 or PA 51.
2015-08-06 04:56:46
The Midtown Greenway (Minneapolis, MN) at rush hour on the afternoon of 8/3/15. The bike / ped network in the twin cities is impressive. This film is approximately 18 minutes long. If you commute to or from the South Hills, have a box of Kleenex nearby.
2015-08-06 04:59:40
Sure looks nice... but I think I'd get bored if the only hills were on/off ramps. Was this an old rail line? It's striking how wide and well marked everything seems to be. There were quite a few walkers too, with their own lane!
2015-08-06 07:52:36
That's very nice. Suggestion: if it's out-of-town, post it in the out-of-town news thread instead of here.
2015-08-06 10:40:27
@Marko82 - I am not sure but I believe it was an old rail corridor. Regarding the lack of hills, I was thinking the same thing while riding there. But for a commute home, especially after a long day at work, a flat ride w/o cars would be nice. @paulheckbert - Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't feel that an out-of-town ride was "news." I can certainly post the link to the video in that thread also. I wanted to contrast what I experienced with what we have available here in the South Hills and elsewhere, for that matter. Minneapolis has an extensive network of bicycle greenways, trails, lanes, boulevards, and sharrowed roads. One can get from nearly anywhere to nearly anywhere on the bicycle system.
2015-08-06 18:23:16
Recent errand-running trip in Bethel Park: 00:00 - Film starts at Pro Bikes, on Fort Couch Road, near South Hills Village; 00:45 - Right turn into driveway of St. Thomas More Church; shows some of the route discussed in an earlier thread about low traffic routes from South Hills Village to Mt. Lebanon; 01:45 - The UPMC Lot and Driveway; 02:45 - Path past the ballfield and to the trolley stop; 04:02 - Left onto Strathmore Lane; 05:00 - Right onto Milford Drive; 05:20 - Left onto Santa Barbara Drive; 07:38 - Right onto Strathmore Lane; 08:16 - Right onto Meadowbrook Drive; 09:53 - Left onto Bethel Church Road; 10:13 - Right onto Highland Avenue; 11:12 - Right onto Summit Street; 11:37 - Left onto Belmont Avenue; 12:40 - Left onto Center Street; 13:06 - Right onto W. Library Avenue; 14:00 - Left across the trolley tracks and Right onto Brightwood Road; 14:24 - Left onto Lytle Road; 15:26 - Left into CVS parking lot (at the corner of Route 88 and Lyle Road).
2015-08-07 18:57:15
Greentree Road Alternative - approximately 14 minutes long The film starts in the West End. To get to the South Hills, Greentree Hill must be climbed but there is an alternative to the busy Greentree Road!! It is Kearns Avenue, a poorly maintained road that has barriers to prevent through automobile traffic. Not sure why maintenance has been all but abandoned, because people live all along the road. With a solid bicycle and good tires, this is an excellent alternative to the main drag, especially during the rush hours. 02:07 - Greentree Road climb begins 02:45 - note poor condition of the sidewalk 03:28 - right turn onto Kearns Avenue
2015-08-11 20:16:25
Hmmm, I wiped out going down Kearns the other day. I was going fairly slow, but the road was wet (as it is in your video) and rear tire slipped from under me on one of the cracks on the road and landed on my right side. Works OK as an uphill road, though.
2015-08-11 21:11:03
@chrishent - Winter would be an adventure on that road. I was thinking about that as I ascended. You are correct in pointing out that there are some good-sized cracks and holes. If anyone tries it out, be careful.
2015-08-12 16:03:10
Mt. Lebanon - Evening Rush - 2:33 This film starts at the corner of Morrison & Meadowcroft, crosses Beverly, and turns right onto Kenmont. Traffic can be heavy but on this day, the ride through went relatively smoothly.
2015-08-12 19:34:15
There will be an Open Streets Event held along Brownsville Road, in Brentwood. The date and time of there event is Saturday, October 17, 2015, from 9 AM until 1 PM. Marko82 and I will be helping to lead a bike ride, that will begin at the South Side Riverfront Park, going up 18th Street, and then following Brownsville Road until we reach the event in Brentwood. The bike ride starts at 8 AM. If you are on Facebook, If you know of any volunteers, vendors or musicians who might be interested in having a presence there, these links to online registrations can be passed along: Interested businesses should fill out the following form: Interested active lifestyle vendor should fill out the following form: Interested musicians, street performers, buskers, etc should fill out the following form: Interested volunteers should sign up here: I will pass on additional information as it comes my way.
2015-10-03 06:13:28
PA Route 50, from Carnegie/Scott Township to Bridgeville. The ride begins at the intersections of Hope Hollow, Carothers, and 50: Timetable: 00:00 Start 00:43 Pulled over on sidewalk in Heidelberg 01:10 Resumed travel 02:15 Close pass #1 02:24 I catch up to the passer 04:43 Close pass #2 09:28 I-79 on-ramps at Kirwan Heights 10:20 Peter's Place and Vanadium Road 11:15 Great Southern Shopping Center and 40 mph Speed Limit !! 12:33 Charters Valley Shopping Center 13:30 Entering Bridgeville
2015-10-03 08:36:13
In the time leading up to the event, I will try to highlight some of the activities / participants for the Open Streets in Brentwood (Saturday 10/17/15, from 9am – 1pm) : A musical band recently offered its services : “John Egger & Paul Hayhurst are from the band Tumblin’ Dice, Picture from left to right Paul, John, Mark on drums and Jason, Paul & John are from Baldwin Borough, Jason and Mark (is from) Brentwood, we play sounds of the 60’s & 70’s.” Photo available later on today at the Facebook Page, “Safe Streets South Hills Pittsburgh, PA.”
2015-10-04 08:33:28 Short video (3:32) from the Open Streets Event along Brownsville Road, in Brentwood - October 17, 2015.
2015-10-18 08:37:57
Road Diet for Corrigan Drive, in South Park, is complete ! 0:00 - Start at Corrigan and 100 Acres Drive, near the Skating Rink. The road diet extends further to the North to the 5-points intersection (aka 88 and everywhere) 2:07 - Approaching the traffic circle 2:50 - Passing a pedestrian 3:16 - McConkey Drive 3:55 - Giving a thumbs-up to a construction worker in the center turn lane 5:12 - Sesqui Drive, where there is a connecting trail to the Montour Trail 5:30 - Childrens Playground 5:54 - Approaching the Horse Stables and the old fairgrounds Ride ends at Corrigan and Brownsville, near the County Police Barracks and the Buffalo Inn.
2016-06-29 20:44:45
Corrigan looks good. I wish we could put more roads on diets.
2016-06-30 07:13:23
Hey friends, I'm new to the board, but just wanted to say thanks for this thread. I ride in the dirty South a lot as a commuter, so anything I can do to help with some of the previously mentioned attempts at making our streets safer, let me know. Every now and again I have to hit up 19, and you're right, rush hour is no time to attempt it! A bit like taking your own life in your hands. Anyway, thanks for the thread. If I get around to filming some of my commute, I'll post here too if that's alright.
2016-06-30 11:59:38
Did you see the traffic backups on corrigan! So terrible! This was such a bad idea! How will people get to the eat n park on library road now! *end sarcasm*
2016-06-30 13:17:34
Thanks guys, for your comments. Benzo, I don't think Pasta Too is hurting either. We'll find out, tomorrow night, when there is a free concert, what traffic will be like. Maybe some folks will think, hey, I should have biked to the concert! There is a nice sports bar, across Brownsville from the stage, where one can enjoy a cold beer while the traffic dissipates. @jfreyer28 feel free to post any videos you may record.
2016-06-30 18:17:58
Yeah, I really hope this is well received, at least by park users. I'm curious as to how this will be perceived by walkers / runners and how it affects them as well due to the changes in shoulders in parts of the park. We saw at least two pedestrians walking in the bike lane in the video. It would be nice if they actually connected the pedestrian path to the sidewalk and crosswalk at baptist road / library road intersection, it's just a weird disconnect there according to google street view, but I'm not sure if it was changed much during the re-striping.
2016-07-01 10:31:46
Two pedestrians walking in the southbound Corrigan Drive bike lane is about the usual number, in my experience. What stands out to me in the video is the lack of northbound cyclists in the southbound bike lane, now that there's a northbound bike lane too. (And buffers for the bike lanes, and new paving! Can't wait to ride it.) Improving the cyclist/pedestrian connection from Corrigan to Baptist/Library will take more than restriping, unfortunately. Curbs would need to move.
2016-07-01 20:00:10
@Benzo The bike path just ends just short of the 5 points (Baptist / Library Roads) area you describe.  I'm not when, if ever, we'll see any bike friendly infrastructure along the roads leading into the park.
2016-10-25 18:25:53
Traffic-calmed street - Old Washington Road, Peters Township, PA (Seems to be taking longer than usual for You Tube to process this one.  Should be viewable shortly.)
2017-10-22 09:13:21
Corrigan Dr. used to look like Panther Hollow Rd. with a shoulder!
2017-11-04 22:48:13
@ zzwergel I don't know for sure but the stop signs are on Blairmont and are perhaps remnants from before the traffic circle was installed.  Devonwood is the main street, leading to US-19.  For many, the traffic circle is decorative.  Some do not slow down and I've seen several people turn left or right, without going around the circle.  Scary.  I said something to a couple of them and their look is a cross between bewilderment and why is this nut talking to me?  I think a significant number of people do not know how to use these traffic circles. With regard to Corrigan Drive, the old road design was done to accommodate traffic back in the days of the Allegheny County Fair.  This new alignment is really nice.  I hope someday, it will connect to other roads.  There is a connection to the Montour Trail but it is not well marked and neither the county or the trail council seem interested in making it more visible.  We lose out on a lot of opportunities with our outlook, sometimes.  Some say it is because there is a big hill to go up and over to make the connection.  However, anytime I ride it, I see other users, especially walkers and runners.  I don't think the trail council or the county should be making such judgment calls.  The connection was made.  Let more people know it exists.
2017-11-05 08:03:12
It would be better if they put up signs, but mentioned the climb on them . Something like "Max 2% grade over 0.7 miles" [numbers invented] maybe. Yes, there's a hill, but every other route from the park to the trail seems to have a hill or two too, plus cars.
2017-11-05 15:30:35
Here is one: 0:12 ---- Departing South Bank T and South Busway station. 1:05 ---- Taking snow-covered gravel path bridge across Saw Mill Run. 1:22 ---- Dismounting and carying bike across bridge and up the steps 2:06 ---- Activating crosswalk button at Midwood Ave. 2:29 ---- I Mount, walk signal comes on. I turn Right onto Saw Mill Run Blvd. 2:38 ---- I am up to speed on Saw Mill Run Blvd., taking the rightmost lane. 3:16 ---- First car passes properly 3:19 ---- Short horn beep. 3:51 ---- Approaching Englert St. 4:09 ---- First semi-close pass. 4:33 ---- Stopping for red light at Overbrook kBlvd. 5:39 ---- Start moving again 5:54 ---- Up to speed, approaching Overbrook Blvd. 5:58 ---- Approaching Maytide St. 6:07 ---- Looking for traffic in next lane left. 6:13 ---- Changing lanes. 6:30 ---- Approaching Glenbury St./Library Rd. 6:43 ---- Turning onto Hillview St.
2018-01-04 21:57:51
Repost. I am in the process of fixing the fisheye distortion from using a GoPRO camera. I just processes the video from the last post. @Erok, Please delete the previous post.  
2018-01-09 19:34:11
Thanks Z, for posting these videos.
2018-01-09 21:11:41
Speaking of Castle Shannon, Where is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Streets? There seems to be a 6th St., but no other numbered streets.
2018-01-11 00:07:13
Some theories:
  1. Early Castle Shannon resident David Sixth lent his name to that street.
  2. In 1917, robbers made off with $18,500 along with six city streets. Only one was later recovered.
  3. Perverse city founders set out to mess with Benford's Law.
(A number of these theories are actually correct. That number is zero.) If you prefer facts, you can see the other numbered streets on this 1905 map. There are a few traces of those streets still. For instance, the dead-end Coveton Street was once 4th Street. Those old streets would have been pretty steep, so perhaps that helped lead to them falling into disuse.
2018-01-11 02:32:09
There still is no 3rd St., But there was an Elwyn Ave. I guess the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon R.R is the present day T as well. Library Rd. was called Township Rd. which seems to have been a common name for various different roads in the region. another "Township Rd." was Negley Run Blvd.
2018-01-11 09:52:34
Interesting stuff.  Sixth is a steep climb.  Some of the streets branching off and others running parallel to it will test one's mettle.
2018-01-11 19:16:58
@Fultonco, Chestnut St. was a tough climb. For that reason, I did not stop at the stop sign before the tracks. I did, however, jump off the bike and walked up the hill to Poplar Ave. Did I avoid any really treacherous sections of Library Rd. by taking the back streets in Castle Shannon?
2018-01-11 19:59:39
That is some tough riding, Z, back in that neighborhood.  And, yes, you did avoid a very busy stretch of Route 88, which does not have much room for cyclists or pedestrian.
2018-01-13 17:52:45
@Fultonco, Are there any other sections I could have avoided without going too far out of the way?
2018-01-13 18:14:16
Hi all, Maybe a little out of scope, but any tips on safest route into Southpointe business park?  Most of commute is on Montour trail, but the last leg into the park is always a little sketchy... Thanks!
2018-01-14 07:32:05
@mcmiceli There was a plan for a connector trail from the Montour to Southpointe, before Frank Lunwin passed away.  I am not sure what is the current status of this plan.  I'll see what I can find out.  I suppose you are currently going as far as Tandem Connection and riding up the Morganza Road hill to Southpointe? My board contact replied quickly:  "...the latest is Cecil Township is still trying to raise the funds since its not an MTC project.  The access is right near the trail, where it goes over 79, toward the garage."  I believe he means under 79 and near the Kurnick Garage, which is about a mile from Tandem Connection.
2018-01-14 11:09:14
Z, there are other options but they do involve neighborhoods and terrain that are similar to what you encountered near the Mount Lebanon Golf Course area.  Here is one possibility:
2018-01-14 11:22:09
@fultonco Thanks for the quick reply, and the information from your contact at the board.  You're right, I've been bailing the trail at Tandem and heading up Morganza.  But the shoulder is very rough, and I expect it will be even worse after this winter. When your contact wrote "the access is right near the trail"...did they mean "proposed access", or something currently there? After posting my question this morning, I took a look at the map.  I think until there is a better solution, I'll keep on rolling past Tandem connection and hop on Papp Rd to Klinger.  Adds another 2 miles or so, but likely much safer. Lots of folks work in the SP complex, and traffic is a nightmare leaving around 5p.  I wonder how many folks like me live within striking distance of the Montour trail and would consider biking if that connector ever got finished.... Thanks again!
2018-01-14 12:50:09
@mcmiceli Yes, it is only a proposed path at this point.   I believe some of the retired guys that work on the trail have moved some big rocks so you can start to see where the connector will eventually go.  The Papp Road options sounds like the way to go.  I'm always a fan of the road less traveled, even if it means a little more distance.  The connector will get done.  The political will seems to be there and Southpointe sees it as a benefit to the complex.  Good luck in your travels!
2018-01-15 12:36:05
@fultonco Thanks again for the information and quick response!  Take care.
2018-01-16 19:52:38
I will try to get some video in the South Hills and upload them to YouTube.
2018-01-19 01:24:25
Thanks Z, for this latest film. I ride part of your route, frequently.  Instead of turning right on Highland, I usually continue on Milford to the top of the hill.  At the crest (Meadowbrook), I continue straight on Milford to Strathmore.  There, I turn right and continue to a right on Graeser and a left on Spartan.  From Spartan, I turn right on Graeser and go down the hill.  At the stop sign, I walk the bike across the tracks and on the pedestrian pathway (with steps) and come out on Donati, where I turn left.  I take Donati to Fort Couch and turn right.  The South Hills Village Station is approximately a quarter mile up a short grade.  This way avoids most of those busy roads you were on.  The exception is Fort Couch, but...  from Donati, if the traffic gets to you, the sidewalk can be used 'til you get to Pro Bikes.  There is almost never anyone walking on it.  You can go into their lot, follow it around and there is a light.  When green, go straight ahead on Village Drive and the Station is on your left.  I think you will find this route to be a bit less stressful. The stretch at the very beginning of your video, on Milford, between Washington Junction and Hillcrest Drive is pretty tough at rush hour.  Drivers go fast, they can't wait to get past you, and they endanger the cyclist, the oncoming drivers, and themselves.  Your video actually demonstrated this maneuver, a bit further on, at approximately 03:19.  There a second car passed you even though there was an unsafe distance of the oncoming car.  That driver lucked out because the oncoming car was turning at Casswell but that wasn't known that when the pass was begun.  I've seen oncoming drivers have to come to a complete stop and try to get off the road, which really doesn't have any place to get off, to try and avoid a person making a reckless and un-necessary pass of a bicyclist. Many drivers do not stop at the sign at Hillcrest.  I've had other drivers try to pass me under the trolley overpass immediately after the station.  Milford curves to the left and the oncoming traffic cannot be seen.  More than once, I've had to wave my left arm frantically to get the pass aborted.  One driver ignored me and almost ended up in a head on collision.  Most of the people doing this do not live in the neighborhood.  They are using this route to avoid a few stop lights on Route 88.  I have never seen a police officer or any sort of regulatory activity there.  Our local police force should be protecting us but there seems to be no sense of urgency.  People should be able to walk and bike Milford Drive but most do not because it is not safe.
2018-01-20 12:20:10
@Fultonco, I was on Milford Dr. today as well, I did a ride from the Rite-Aid in Castle Shannon near the Arlington T stop (Had to alight at Castle Shannon and bike to Rite-Aid via Castle Shannon Blvd., Mt. Lebanon Blvd., and Cooke Lane.) to Library Station. I will upload video once its done processing on the computer. From Rite-Aid parking lot:
  • L to Cooke Lane.
  • R. to Castle Shannon Blvd.
  • R. to Willow Ave.
  • L. to Smith Rd. (Cross tracks)
  • R. to Library Rd.
  • R. to Milford Dr.
  • L. to Brady Pl.
  • R. to Longcrest Ave.
  • L. to Edwards St.
  • R. to Bethel Church Rd
  • Immediately L. to N. Lightwood Ave.
  • Straight onto W. Library Ave.
  • R. to Mesta St.*
  • L. to N. Pennsylvania Ave.*
  • L. to South Park Rd.
  • L. to Florida Ave.*
  • L. to W. Munroe St. (Cross tracks)*
  • R. to Brightwood Rd.
  • R. to Library Rd.
  • R. to Trax Rd.**
  • L. to 1st Ave. Turn around at dead end**
  • go back to Library Rd. and turn right.**
  • L. to Brownsville Rd.L. to Pleasant St. (Cross tracks)R. into Library Park and Ride lot.
*Could have left these steps out to avoid steep hills. ** Just exploring the neighborhood, could have left out.
2018-01-20 17:31:54
Z, to avoid CS Blvd and the narrow section of Willow, from Arlington, go into the T lot for the CS Stop.  Cross the tracks by the "ticket taker booth" and follow the path to and between the two apartment buildings and come out on Bockstoce.  Turn left.  Go to the top, back down, right at the stop sign and then follow out onto Willow (bear right).  Follow Willow all the way to Conner, then turn left (be careful, there is a lot of traffic on Conner - I am not proud and use the sidewalk sometimes).  Go to 88, turn right, go about 1/10th of a mile and turn into the Port Authority Lot and follow the driveway around to Milford.  Turn right. To get to where you were going on W. Library, instead of going up Brady, Longcrest, and Edward, stay on Milford.  Go straight past Highland.  At the crest, take a left onto Meadowbrook.  Go to the light.  Turn left on Bethel Church.  Turn right at the light onto Highland.  Go right on Summit, left on Belmont, left on Center, and right on W. Library.  That way, you've avoided some hills and most of the traffic to that point. If you want to get all the way to Library Station, follow W. Library all the way to a right on Bertha.  Follow Bertha to near its end and cut through the parking lot of Virgili's Beer Distributorship.  Cross South Park Road and go onto Main Street.  Follow it to the end.  Take a right on W. Munroe and the next right on O'Neill.  Go right on Logan, left on Irishtown, and right onto the Montour Trail. Follow the trail to the Library Branch and turn left.  Take the Library Branch across the bridge over route 88 and to the end at Pleasant Street.  Go right and follow Pleasant around until you see the parking lot for the T Station at Library. Very little muss, fuss, and the asshole quotient is greatly diminished
2018-01-20 18:05:40
@Fultonco, Library Rd. south of the southern intersection with Brightwood Rd. Is not too bad. I was also trying to avoid the Montour Trail as it is probably covered in un-melted snow and ice. The video is still processing and I will upload and post the URL as soon as it is done processing. I am processing the 12 Minute chapters from the GoPro with Ffmpeg on Fedora Linux to remove the barrel distortion caused by the fisheye lens. I will also concatenate the resultant .MP4 files into one large one in order to upload to YouTube. I did not go on Connor Rd. due to the lack of a traffic light where Willow Ave. intersects a 4-lane road. Since I was turning right off of Smith Rd. anyway, I thought that would be easier. Descending Castle Shannon Blvd. is not a problem. It would be much more stressful climbing Castle Shannon Blvd. into Mt. Lebanon from Downtown Castle Shannon. Related to Castle Shannon, I read that prior to 2008, there were parking meters in the business district. They were removed as a way to revitalize the business district. I used to hate parking meters with a passion because I thought they resulted in the decline of neighborhoods. Presently, I am all for parking meters and see them as a way to discourage excessive use of motor vehicles. Essentially, If you do not want to pay the parking meter, then walk, bike, or take the T to the Castle Shannon business district. Installing bike racks in the business districts would also be a good idea not only in Castle Shannon, but in Bethel Park, Dormont, Library (South Park Township), Overbrook, and Brentwood. Increasing the number of bike racks in Mt. Lebanon and installing parking meters on Brightwood Rd, South Park Rd., and W. Library Ave. in Bethel Park would be a good idea.
2018-01-20 18:39:27
@fultonco, Regarding Milford Dr. That is not going to save any time vs staying on Library Rd. I think someone should contact Bethel Park police about enforcing the stop sign at Hillcrest St. and maybe adding another stop sign at Casswell Dr. in both directions.
2018-01-20 22:49:23
from Donati, if the traffic gets to you, the sidewalk can be used ’til you get to Pro Bikes.
Actually Donati has a traffic light and you can cross Ft. Couch right there and use side walk to get to the garage. In this case you can use pedestrian walk way to get to the station avoiding garage.
The stretch at the very beginning of your video, on Milford, between Washington Junction and Hillcrest Drive is pretty tough at rush hour.
There is slightly other way -- from Washington junction (south direction) stay on pedestrian way that goes to Mollyhill part and then to Santa Fe. Stay on Santa Fe. Then you can get on Casswell and right on Milford or continue on Santa Fe, left on Conestoga, left on Highland, right on Meadowbrook, right on Strathmore.  
2018-01-22 14:32:12
Wasn't the elevator a valid way to get to the station?
2018-01-22 19:54:20
Is there an easier way to climb the front side of Mt. Washington than P.J. McArdle Roadway, Sycamore St., Arlington Ave., or 18th St.? Is Brosville St. any easier? I know Josephine St. has speeding traffic on it. Is it any easier to climb Southern Ave. than it is to climb Boggs Ave. or Warrington Ave.?
2018-01-25 00:47:10
I will try to comment on some of these previous posts that I am just now able to catch up with. Regarding the broad topic of biking on Library Road (Route 88) and whether or not it saves time, I would say that saving time is not usually something I am trying to do when biking but it's a free country and a wide world of sports so, to each his or her own.  I stay off 88 as much as is possible because it just isn't enjoyable for me.  If someone doesn't mind it, more power to them.  I like knowing all he backroads and alternate ways to get places.  I even use them when driving and often can get around gridlock.  My wife is from Clearfield County and she had a hard time learning Pittsburgh because she says I go a different way every time I go somewhere.  It's because of biking. Regarding that questionable stretch of Milford Drive, it sucks but I've been riding it for years, have attempted to let authorities know, but nobody gives a darn, so I just go about my business and do what I do.  I've ridden through Molly Hill Park on many occasions but it has its issues.  There are steps that, unless you are like Danny McCaskill, a dismount must occur to traverse them.  The main road through the park is a short but extremely steep hill.  It becomes covered with various tree droppings in different seasons and can be slippery when wet.    I've ridden up and down that steep hill many times.  Some days, I just don't have anything to prove, so I take Milford. Regarding the sidewalk options on Fort Couch, point well taken.  The opposite sidewalk slides around right to the T Station and is a good option.  I'm usually coming from the opposite side, the light is usually red, and it doesn't seem to recognize a bicycle.   But I can just continue on up the sidewalk and visit the guys at Pro Bikes.  Their light is usually tripped by the frequent traffic coming from the South Hills Village Mall so I don't have to wait too long. Regarding the intersection of Brookside and Cherokee, I ride back in that area fairly often.  That intersection is a non-issue.  The traffic volume in that area is low and it is usually moving fairly slowly.  If you obey the stop sign, you are not going to have a problem.  I like in Bethel Park, so it pains me to say this, but on the whole, the drivers in Saint Clair are much more courteous.  Most of them wave to me to go and they wait for me.  I thank with a wave and verbally, especially in the warmer months when the windows are down. Happy Motoring !
2018-01-25 19:47:55
@Fultonco, What I was saying is that motorists trying to avoid traffic lights on Library Rd. by taking Milford Dr. is not going to save them any time. In fact, it might take even longer because of the stop signs, lower speed limit, as well as it being out of the way. Speeding and not obeying the stop signs on Milford Dr. is also likely to irritate the people who live in that neighborhood in the same way through-traffic on Western Ave. in Aspinwall bothers me as well as a lot of the residents. Cutting through Aspinwall via 2nd St. is not going to save time vs staying on Freeport Rd. because 2nd St.  has a stop sign at every intersection and ends on Delefield Rd. which dumps you out onto a very congested block of Freeport Rd. anyway. I've seen motorists roll through several stop signs on Western Ave. because there are four of them in a 1/4 stretch of road. About 90% of the time, there is no cross traffic so they just roll the stop signs and speed mid-block to make up for the time lost at the stop signs. I think installing roundabouts along Milford Dr. where there are no stop signs would be a good idea to help calm traffic.
2018-01-26 01:40:56
Wasn’t the elevator a valid way to get to the station?
  Yes but...
  1. Time wise coming from Donati-Ft.Couch on the station side sidewalk it's a couple minutes longer.
  2. You don need to deal with drivers who are not very attentive at the moment -- they are looking for free spot mostly.
  3. During rush hours (T rush hours) elevator carries people and I don't think you can fit bike easily inside of it.
2018-01-26 10:55:51
I just looked on Google maps. At the intersection of Brookside Blvd. and Cherokee Rd. in Upper St. Clair., there are stop signs in both directions on Brookside Blvd., but no stop sign on Cherokee Rd. Isn’t this a recipe for T-bone collisions? There should be a stop sign on Cherokee Rd. and none on Brookside Blvd.
Nope, it's not a recipe for T-Bone. It's actually quite opposite. It calms traffic on Brookside while any turn on Cherokee naturally calms traffic. In addition, Brookside is kind of closed turns in any direction even it looks almost OK at the intersection. If you let people fly there then it's going to be t-bone recipe. People will exceed speed limit pretty significantly.  
2018-01-26 11:12:09
because she says I go a different way every time I go somewhere. It’s because of biking.
I have similar problem with my wife too. :)
Regarding that questionable stretch of Milford Drive, it sucks but I’ve been riding it for years, have attempted to let authorities know, but nobody gives a darn, so I just go about my business and do what I do. I’ve ridden through Molly Hill Park on many occasions but it has its issues. There are steps that, unless you are like Danny McCaskill, a dismount must occur to traverse them. The main road through the park is a short but extremely steep hill.
Well, I use both Milford and Molly Hill park for commuting purposes (coming from home to SHVG or Washington Junction -- I live in USC near south boundary) so I am trying to watch time (just trying to be on time for the train). As a result I am trying to get statistics for different routes and bikes -- road one and folding one.   As Stu sad -- steps are our friends! :) If they help me to get to the end faster -- I use them. But I agree it's something that should be taken into consideration.  
But I can just continue on up the sidewalk and visit the guys at Pro Bikes.
I like to do it too. :) But when I use this route for commuting (bike+train) they are either not open yet or are closed already. I do another trick on my road bike though. If light is red, I'll go left through the parking lot/sidewalk to the beginning of left turn line, cross two lines of traffic and up Ft.Couch again to make a left turn at Donati.  
it pains me to say this, but on the whole, the drivers in Saint Clair are much more courteous.
Thanks. :) I live in USC. And I can tell that given an opportunity -- people will speed up. I use to be involved with local police. And we talked about stop signs placement, round-abouts, etc. They are trying to control this issue.
2018-01-26 12:14:15
motorists trying to avoid traffic lights on Library Rd. by taking Milford Dr. is not going to save them any time. In fact, it might take even longer because of the stop signs, lower speed limit, as well as it being out of the way.
  Zack, you are very correct if road is under usual conditions. But it's completely different story during rush hours. Back street could save you a lot of time. If you know your way. For example, during rush hour and total traffic jam at 88 (Library road) the following route from 51 to USC could save you up to 25-30 minutes: Coming east on 51, don't turn right to  88, instead go to Provost and turn right there. Right at Weyman Right at McRoberts -- be carrefull around Municipal Park since speed limit is 15 and police just around the corner. Leftt at Hamilton. Right at  Marge Left at Lucile Right at Valery Right at 88 Left at Milford Right at Strathmore Left Graeser Left Church Right at Bethel Church Left at McMurray   And this is due to a three-four traffic lights on 88 that you have to sit and wait for multiple cycles.  
2018-01-26 12:38:54
@Fultonco, @Mikhail, Would either of you like to meet me at Washington Junction this Sunday after 1:00 PM? I would like someone to show me alternatives to Library Rd. as well as Milford Dr. during rush hour. It would really be apperciated and maybe we can stop somewhere and get lunch.
2018-01-26 18:21:05
Bumping thread. I need an answer today.
2018-01-27 13:36:58
Bumping again
2018-01-27 15:19:40
Sorry Z, I was helping some family with a home remodeling project and just now saw your post.  We're back at it again tomorrow.  Perhaps next Saturday?
2018-01-27 17:11:26
Regarding Mikhail's comments on motorists saving time by taking residential streets, I agree with all.  Throw in the fact that there is little fear of penalty for not obeying posted speed limits or regulatory signs and the trip becomes that much faster.  So many people have been doing this, and for so long, nearly everyone accepts it as normal.
2018-01-27 17:18:20
@Fultonco, Do you live in the neighborhood through which Milford Dr. passes? If so, One thing you can do is form a group along with other residents who are concerned about the safety and noise of that street. Create signs and put them in the yards of the concerned residents. This was done along Melwood Ave. in Polish Hill. If the weather permits, I can meet you at Washington Junction on Saturday. If it is too cold, snowy, raining, and/or too windy, it will have to be rescheduled again.
2018-01-27 17:35:59
Zack,  I have a club ride tomorrow from 16th street bridge at 1pm. So I am out.
2018-01-28 01:58:13
@Fultonco, So far on Saturday, the high is 30°F. Wind 9MPH, Partly cloudy
2018-01-28 20:05:48
@fultonco, I think I can go to Washington Junction this Saturday.
2018-01-30 15:51:52
Is this a good way to go from Potomac Station to Willow Station?
  • R. Potomac Ave.
  • R. Belrose Ave.
  • L. Hillsdale Ave.
  • R. Dell Ave.
  • L. Kenmont Ave. (cross Bower Hill Rd. where there is no traffic light or 4-way stop)
  • R. Florence Pl.
  • L. Meadowcroft Ave.
  • L. Shady Dr.
  • L. Castle Shannon Blvd. (Opposing traffic doesn't stop)
  • R. Castle Shannon Blvd.
  • R. Willow Station walkway
How hard is it to cross Bower Hill Rd. where there is no traffic light or stop signs on Bower Hill Rd? Is it difficult turning left from Shady Dr. onto Castle Shannon Blvd?
2018-01-30 22:41:20
Actually, on Saturday, I might go to the meeting in Beechview about Complete Streets.
2018-01-31 01:51:59
"Actually, on Saturday, I might go to the meeting in Beechview about Complete Streets." No sweat Z. Regarding your route from Potomac to Willow Station: I would take a left on Florence, right on Lilac, and left on Shady. From Castle Shannon Boulevard, go right on Poplar, left on Cypress Way, and right on Castle Shannon Boulevard.  That part of Castle Shannon Boulevard (CSB) is very busy. Another option, to avoid busy CSB is possible but there is one hill.  Instead of going left on CSB, from Shady, go right.  Then bear left onto Hemlock and go up the hill, crest it, and then go down to a left onto Jefferson.  Bear left on Avon, right on Brucewood, and left on Mount Lebanon Boulevard.  Go past the shopping plaza and turn right onto Cooke Drive, which bears to the left and becomes Bockstoce.  Follow Bockstoce to the end, which is a T.  Turn left, go down the hill, cross the tracks and you are at the Overbrook Junction / Willow Station Complex.
2018-01-31 19:24:56
@fultonco, Where is Lilac St? There is no Lilac St off of Florence Pl. and I still have to cross Bower Hill Rd. where there is no traffic light or stop signs on Bower Hill Rd.
2018-01-31 20:32:04
Lilac Way. I see now. It didn't show up on the map, but I can see the street sign in StreetView. Still need to cross Bower Hill Rd. though. Also, it appears there is a path between the Pennsylvania Blvd. (Poplar stop) and Cooke Ln. (Arlington stop).
2018-01-31 20:34:25
Lilac Way is a viable "way" to get to Shady. Crossing Bower Hill is not that difficult.  Just wait for a clearing and do it.  Some motorists will let you pass. I've never used that path, so I cannot comment.  Looks like it could be muddy right now.  I'll check it out some time.
2018-02-01 17:01:52
@fultonco, I think I'll be able to check out the route and the path this Saturday. I can also check out Milford Dr. as well.
2018-02-01 18:47:34
Earlier would be better for me.  Do you know how to use the private messaging that is associated with this forum?  If so, we can work out the details there.
2018-02-01 19:15:53
BTW, A couple of days ago, I did have a nice chat with Officer Andrew Volchko, of the Bethel Park PD Traffic Division.  The Department is well aware of the traffic on that stretch of Milford Drive and in other areas of Bethel Park.  He was very cordial and understood the problems bicyclists and pedestrians face on these roads.  He did advise that if I would get a license plate and report the incidents, they would follow up.  Certainly, if I or anyone else had video, it could be used and they have used some in the past.  We talked about Molly Hill Park and he told me that just recently, someone drove their car down through there and couldn't go any further because of the steps and the narrow Port Authority walking path.  He asked the driver, "Where did you think you were going to go."  The driver replied, "I guess I didn't think about that."  In all, it was a positive conversation.  I am undecided if I will take the time and/or make the effort to become further involved but am leaning toward finding the time to do so.  Keep the videos, photos, and accounts coming.  They will help.
2018-02-03 09:50:52
Took a ride on "your" path today, Z.  It's rough but could be a viable alternative to Castle Shannon Boulevard.  Looks like walkers use it frequently.  I mapped the route on Ride with GPS and uploaded several photographs.
2018-02-03 12:32:04
@Fultonco, I'll give PM a try.
2018-02-03 16:31:05
Took a short ride into Mount Lebanon this morning before the snow started sticking to the roads.  A photo of Lilac Way and another of Bockstoce Avenue, near the Trolley stops, were uploaded to the route map.
2018-02-04 10:28:16
Why does Bethel Park and Castle Shannon seem to contain sizable amounts of transit unfriendly urban sprawl despite the T going through the two boroughs? There are many residence that are near the T stops on the Library branch, yet the street network makes them artificially further away and less likely for residents to walk to them. I think installing bike racks at Palm Garden, Pennant, Belasco, Shiras, Potomac, Poplar, Denise, McNeilly, Killarney, Smith Road, Casswell, Bethel Village, Hillcrest, Lytle, Monroe (W. Munroe St.), Sarah, Kings School Rd., Beagle, and Library will help bring more ridership to these stops from residences further away. Most of the stops listed are street-level stops which borading and alighting with a bike is not allowed. Allowing people to bike to these stops from their home and/or place of work would allow these existing stops to have a better radius of service and become attractive options for people further away for commuting, shopping, recreational, and other travel needs.
2018-02-11 19:25:22
A book could probably be written on that subject.  Essentially, as we've already discussed, if the roads leading to the station were more pedestrian and bike friendly, at least the opportunity to get there, under one's own power and with a greater degree of safety, would exist.  I used to think that if better conditions existed, more people would avail themselves of them but now, I'm not so sure.  These things are not valued in the South Hills.  What seems to be valued are trails you have to drive to in larger, faster, and sporty motor vehicles that we work all the time to pay for.  Then we go to gyms that we pay for and exercise breathing stuffy air while watching walls of televisions.  But the people who walk and ride bikes to the Trolley Stations are the ones who are eccentric.
2018-02-12 21:47:37
There is nowhere to (legally) park cars near all the stops listed, excluding Potomac, Lytle, and Library. The parking for Potomac is quite limited so most of it's regular users either walk or bike to and from it. The reason why I did not include other stops can be attributed to one or more of the reasons listed below. Also I would like to include a few coat hanger style racks on the premises of Willow and Overbrook Junction as well as eliminate Smith Rd. from the list due to proximity to Willow, Overbrook Junction, and Washington Junction)  
  • Proximity to other off-site Bike Parking (Wood St., Steel Plaza, 1st Ave., Station Square)
  • Proximity to other stops with on-site racks or a listed stop (Stevenson, Arlington, Mesta, Sandy Creek, West Library, Memorial Hall)
  • Stop Located in a dense, walkable neighborhood (Smith Rd., Mesta, South Park Rd.)
  • Stop has on-site bike parking already (Dormont Junction, Mt. Lebanon(Had it since the station was built in the 1980s!), Castle Shannon, Gateway, North Side, Allegheny, South Hills Junction, Washington Junction, South Hills Village)
2018-02-12 22:46:59
Why does Bethel Park and Castle Shannon seem to contain sizable amounts of transit unfriendly urban sprawl despite the T going through the two boroughs?   This cartoon reflects the state a lot of people are in. :) And this if not complete answer then a large part of answer to your question.    
2018-02-13 14:03:52
3:40. That is so funny. Why did the street car open into the median?
2018-02-13 16:31:27
That is a classic!  Thanks for sharing.  Most probably dismiss it as a kids cartoon but there is a lot of truth in that little cartoon.  Love the part at 3:40 where the guy getting off the train was in a good mood while the driver was all pissed off.
2018-02-13 20:41:37