Advice on route from Morningside > Millvale
Hey! I just got an internship in Millvale, and I’m having trouble finding a good route from Morningside that isn’t obscenely steep or really dangerous. I’ve tried google maps, but most of the routes go too close to biking on 28 for comfort, and have you take the 40th st/Washington Crossing bridge, which I’m not sure is even currently open. Does anyone have any advice?
So sorry in advance if I’m posting this in the wrong section!
there are a couple ways to go. the least traffic filled way is probably to cross the highland park bridge (on the downstream sidewalk), make a left toward sharpsburg then go under the 62nd st bridge toward the river and hop on the access rd next to the tracks. stay on that road and it will take you right into the riverfront park in millvale.
you could also follow the google directions and take the sidewalk on the upstream side of the 40th st bridge and wind up right in millvale.
if you want a really long but pleasant ride you could always take hampton/highland/elsworth(via the pedestrian bridge behind trek)/neville/boundary to junction hollow and then to the jail trail to the point and take the ft dusquene pedestrian bridge over to the northside and then take the trail out to millvale.
fyi, the trail along the north side of the river goes right under 28 but is very much separated. google isnt really trying to put you or your bike on the highway.
31st St Br is definitely closed. 40th St Br is definitely open. Both sidewalks are usable, but upstream sidewalk is preferable. Watch for pedestrians & slow down if you get to one, either direction. There are also a couple of road signs that squeeze on space but not particularly difficult to get by.
On the north side of the river, going toward Millvale, you can use the road, which is quite wide, or the sidewalk. I prefer the road, since it’s downhill, sight lines are excellent, and it is very wide. At the bottom, you have to merge into traffic anyway, so you may as well be part of it to start with (plus there’s a painted-off part at the top so you’re not really “in” traffic anyway).
Going back TO the 40th St Br, you have to negotiate getting across traffic coming down off the bridge. For this, I take the lane. Just have to be very visible, very predictable (i.e., signal first), and just do it. You get a left-turn lane, as if to go under 28 to get to the river trail (which is an option, as cburch notes), but if you’re headed for 40StBr, then yes, get across the ramp from the bridge but definitely use the sidewalk going back up.
Careful at the very top of the sidewalk, making the transition to the bridge sidewalk. It’s narrow, and blind. You don’t have to deal with traffic, but neither you nor an oncoming ped/bike can see one another right at the top.
Hope this helps. I’m providing a lot of detail, but in the general scheme of things, this one is fairly easy to deal with.
also, if you really dont want to ride down (or up) baker or one wild place there are steps (a little over 80 total i think) on witherspoom between the ends of chislett & antietam that take you down to baker at gallatin, just around the corner from the zoo entrance.
1. Take Baker down to Butler towards the city.
2. Right on McCandless and first right at an auto body shop (Harrison)
3. Go through that parking lot at Goodwill and over a speed bump.
4. At the “T” you will see a little driveway to your right, go through there and it will drop on onto some street, I don’t know the name.
5. You will come to another “T” and it will look like you have to take a right, but DON’T, take that left over the tracks to some fenced area and you can ride through a huge parking lot all the way down to 43rd Street.
6 Right on 43rd St to the small trail on left.
7. Take your first possible left on that trail, it isn’t all that far.
8. Take 40th Street up to the right on the bridge. Cross bridge on sidewalk and Boom you are there.
Piece of cake.
Oh wow, thanks for the quick replies! I hadn’t thought of biking along the rail access road. It’s probably the most convenient way, definitely better than Friday rd., which is really unnecessarily hilly.
Have any of you ever biked on the 62nd st. bridge? Sidewalk or road? I see bikes on it once in a while, but the lane change crossing over towards Etna seems pretty nerve wracking.
I hate the 62nd st bridge. I only do it with groups. Isn’t there a sidewalk (that may involve stairs)? If it was me (and it is going to be today), I would get over to liberty by way of negley and Baum, take 40th across the bridge (sidewalk likely) and make aright into Millvale. When I ride there is usually not a lot of traffic.
i only ride 62sb in groups. and i almost never do group rides.
Downstream sidewalk, north end, yes, there’s a staircase.
I’ve biked the 62SB, not very often as I don’t go over that way. Southbound, definitely use the sidewalk. Northbound, I’ve biked the road a couple of times. Not for the faint-hearted. You take the lane, again be very visible and signal your intentions clearly, and let traffic back up behind you. It’s downhill, so you’re moving pretty quickly.
People in general tend to slow down in tunnels and speed up on bridges. Basically, don’t let the bastards get to you. They’d do 60 if they had the chance; you’re just holding them closer to the legal speed limit, and there’s nothing wrong with driving *gasp* under the speed limit.
62nd St. Bridge has a sidewalk with stairs on the Sharpsburg side. The sidewalk is almost always clean due to the design of the fence and its natural slope, which is a bonus. If you don’t mind carrying your bike, or if you are a mountain/bmx rider that just rides down them, it is an option. I certainly wouldn’t cross any of those bridges to ride down the tracks from Sharpsburg to Millvale unless I had a good set of tires. It is pretty rough around Sharpsburg, but does get better as you go south. I prefer my route outlined, but it isn’t super simple if you don’t know the streets. It is a safe route for the most part. Just two blocks in Lawrenceville that are a little tight.
Yeah, I’m not super concerned with rough terrain – I usually describe my bike as a mountain bike that wants to be a road bike. Steel/aluminium alloy road bike-esque frame, mountain bike handlebars (which will eventually be changed), and knobby mountain tires, which I realize makes me a bike pariah, but a) I’m too broke to replace something that still works and b) the roads around where I usually ride are pretty chewed up, plus my bike has no shocks, and I worry thinner tires will give me an even bumpier ride.
But yeah, tl;dr: biking through potholes and gravel isn’t really an issue.
If you’ve got the tires to handle the railroad stone, it’s probably preferable to dealing with traffic. I’d probably also do Baker/Butler/62SB to the railroad if my bike could take it.
On my own road-bike tires, I’d probably take Butler down to 40th, then ride the bridge sidewalk as Stu describes.
I’d recommend going down and crossing the 40th st bridge.
To go from morningside to millvale:
– Negly to friendship (or penn), down 45th to davidson, to 43rd to foster to the pedestrian sidewalk across 40th st bridge. The pedestrian / bike path on the right hand side of the bridge is open and connects to the riverfront access road. You can go from there to cross traffic via ped signal to grant st (the main street of millvale).
To get home:
Cross the 40th st bridge again via the pedestrian sidewalk.
Now, depending on how much you like hills there are a few options on getting back, up to bloomfield
-39th st (easiest, further away), you’ll probably want to make a left off foster street after geting off the bridge and going under the 40th street bridge through the parking lot of the business on the riverfront and then exit the lot on to 39th st. Cross butler and go up 39th street to penn ave to friendship ave. You could also cross friendship to howley and then zig zag across main to howley st again (between rite aid and shure save) to friendship ave. Ride friendship to negley and you know where to go from there.
-Fisk (via foster st, then 41st st, then cross butler with a little zig / zag and climb up). It’s a bit steeper, but not terrible. You can take garden way over to 44th st to avoid the intersection at penn and main and hop on to penn or friendship to get you home.
-44th st – It’s long and steep, but it’s most direct.
Worth studying & practicing: Wiggling your way through the side streets like Hatfield and Willow or Foster to miss a lot of trafficky Butler.
Isn’t Stanton recently repaved? Also the “Lawrenceville Wiggle” is worth knowing about, as is the cemetery, when open.
Just options I’m throwing out there. Try different things, see what works.
Just have to remind folks that riding the ballast from the 62nd street bridge or Sharpsburg to Millvale is technically illegal. So, if someone yells at you, be nice about it. You are trespassing, and they are doing their job.
99% of the time they wont even acknowledge you outside of maybe a wave though and the 1% of the time that they do say something they have little to no intention of actually doing anything about it as long as you just give them a good “oh? i didn’t realize! i’m sorry, and ill get right out of here!”
for what its worth ive been using this route for over a decade and have entered and exited both ends of the road in front of all sorts of contraction, law enforcement and railroad personnel as well as ridden alongside trains (at a safe distance) moving in both directions and have yet to have anyone do anything more than wave to me when i smiled as i road past.
Technically it was illegal to use the trail from the River Rd ramp to the 31SB Bridge to the Millvale Ind’l Park for a long time, and the No Trespassing sign might still be there. It was definitely there back in July, and how long has the officially rebuilt bike bridge been in place?
But yeah, technically from Millvale to 62SB, every once in a while you run into a snooty railroad person. Just be nice and contrite, and then come back tomorrow as if nothing happened.
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