Bob is making a bike map too
I’ve added my version of Bob’s fabled “north-west passage” from Bakery Square to Shadyside to that other map (though my route will actually take you from Howe to Beechwood).
I’m looking forward to Bob’s Tour de Pittsburgh, but I sure hope I don’t have to be a Cat 2 to make it all the way around.
Just saw an article on the post gazette’s website about Bob Firth and his upcoming bike map.
I’m curious to see what the crossover between this map and the bike-pgh map is going to be? He’s clearly trying to target a specific type of rider with this map. His site is at http://www.bobsmaps.com
“I did the entire circuit in under two hours, including time for lunch” said Mr. Guy, a category 2 rider. That’s two steps down from pro. “It’s about 40 kilometers.”
He gives the distance in km’s! Obviously paying attention to that Velominati’s rules.
How are Bob’s other maps? I don’t ride a car enough to judge them.
He gave “12 steps to a life with less car in it.”
They ranged from some so sensible that it could literally be a crime that they aren’t implemented (putting bus schedules up at bus stops), to ideas that are totally wack -“Rail trails and river trails are boring.”
I suspect that his bike map would be similar – half the routes one might chose from it would be sensible and half would be idiocy.
I’m thinking Bob Firth is about self-promotion first with everything else a distant second.
“putting bus schedules at bus stops”
Seriously, why don’t we have this? Even at the shelters and other major stops? Is it really that expensive for PAT to laminate a schedule and post it or are they just too afraid people will just steal them?
I remember hearing a reason once. Was it because they needed the advertising dollars and didn’t have the space to spare at the bus stop shelters? Something like that.
Someone taped up a new, plain old paper, 28X schedule at the airport. I thought that was nice.
I think the bus shelters are actually owned by the advertising company, so PAT would probably have to pay them if it wanted to display the schedules?
Forget bus schedules at bus stops. Why don’t we have an official BUS MAP? On that same topic, could one of you direct me to the third-party one that came out late last year…
his maps are…. intensely colorful. i like pink, but ouch!
Wow, a map with recommended bike routes around Pittsburgh. I’m glad he thought of that.
There were a few schedules for the T taped up at one of the stations a little while ago. I want to say it was Mount Lebanon. There are a handful of shelters with schedules taped up, including some by Pitt.
Edit: OK, his maps actually look pretty cool. I’ll be interested to see what he comes up with. That said, the Howe Street connection is a useful shortcut I use from time to time, but hardly a Northwest Passage.
Most of buses are not on schedule anyway, why do you want to know the time at which the bus is supposed to come, knowing that either it already came, or that it will within the next half hour?
Well, there are busses that only run at certain times of day, or that stop running earlier than others, or that don’t run on weekends, etc. Even if the times aren’t particularly useful, the routes surely are, especially the ones that are different depending on the time of day.
“There were a few schedules for the T taped up at one of the stations a little while ago. I want to say it was Mount Lebanon”
Yeah, Mount Lebanon T pretty much always has the red line schedule taped up on the cashier booth.
@lulu I like to know the frequency, and I also like to know if I get on an unfamiliar bus opportunistically, will it take me to Shadyside, or will it hare off to the south or north, that kind of thing.
I think the schedules are posted on most of the fare booths on the T.
so the port authority can’t post schedules because they don’t own the shelters? didn’t they think of that before they signed the deal?
I love businesses that are near bus stops that post ad-hoc schedules out of the goodness of their own hearts. I just wish this was standard practice at every bus stop where there is a business nearby with a window…
ohmygod, Stu, that map (publictransitguide thingie) is what I’ve been waiting for for like 10 years. That’s fantastic. I never knew I could get all the way out to Natrona Heights! This is so awesome!!!! I feel like someone’s just given me a map to the New World and now I get to go exploring
yeah, I’m completely going to go buy a pass MONTHS ahead of my previous Car Elimination Plan schedule. I’ll probably get one for September and fart around with swapping my commute from the company shuttle to the Warrandale Express from downtown. I had totally been putting it off until I was forced, because this map was missing. How do we tell everyone it’s there? Like EVERYONE should know about it. I dont’ want to crash the poor guy’s server, but that map is huge. Literally and psychologically.
I used the “Northwest Passage” today. It would be great if we could get a more official trail route through it with an actual paved road and not grass. I get to skip the light at Shady and Fifth which is probably one of the most dangerous intersections I encounter daily.
Yeah Stu that’s the one. Massive PDF that crashes my computer
I love the bus stop @ Carson & 22nd. It has a number to text twentytwoout to and it instantly texts you which buses will be arriving in the next hour.
Should be one at every major stop imo
The text thing repeats a bus schedule to you.
What would be really nice is http://www.nextbus.com which tells you when the next bus will arrive, not just when it is supposed to arrive. It only takes me an hour to walk home from work. If my bus is stuck in the snow or something, it would be nice to know that so I don’t wait there hoping it might come rolling by. A bus schedule or PAT customer service can’t seem to tell me that.
PAT bus drivers have objected to GPS on buses as they believe management will use it punish them for not being on schedule. Way to go, PAT management, for creating such a supportive workplace.
Having said that, you might consider using http://www.google.com/transit to give you the next *scheduled* buses for your route. I find it helps to show up at the stop maybe 5 min beforehand. (Don’t get me started on that SMS-based service… why do I have to key in those ridiculously long and otherwise meaningless alpha codes. By the time I get it right the next bus has arrived.)
The new fare box upgrades include GPS. From PAT’s Public Relations folks at http://transitpgh.blogspot.com/2010/02/lets-talk-twitter.html
The ideal would be to provide real-time information, but at this time we’re missing a link in the technology needed to provide that. Our vehicles are getting GPS, but we don’t have the equipment to use the data. Getting real-time information up and running is one of our goals, but like many things in the world of transit, it all comes down to funding. We have applied for grant money to make real-time a reality for Port Authority and we’re hoping we get it.
Google maps also has a public trans option in the direction along with car bike and walk. I find it a good source of information (if a little wonky as it told me to take a bus to get the several blocks across town to pick up another bus instead of walking. ) but like the rest of the directions, with a little thought and common sense they are a great starting point.
Hopefully the new fare boxes work better as GPS units than they work at taking money.
GPS: The buses (most of them, anyway) have GPS receiving equipment, but none have the ability to send that positioning data back to HQ. Hence, no way to tell your iPhone that the bus you want is about to arrive vs. already went by vs. stuck in the snow.
They will probably get that when they replace all the radios. Just like analog TV, their frequencies go bye-bye in a year or so.
Shelters: The ad companies signed the deals with the city and boroughs. Port Authority may have had no say in the matter.
@Ahlir: I don’t disbelieve you but I had not heard that.
+1 on what rsprake said, and I’d also like to know for sure if it’s legal to ride through there. There is a chain at the southern end.
On one of the corners there’s a gigantic (width of the road) puddle that’s been there for 2 days and shows no sign of dissipating.
I like not having to make a left from Penn onto ELB though.
@salty: The chain is likely there to prevent cars from passing, a Good Idea. If the passage was meant to be closed the barrier would extend all the way across. Also, I don’t recall a “No Trespassing” sign.
As near as I can tell from the official city map, that stretch is actually a public right-of-way. Beyond that, the alley appears to be part of the Reizenstein lot (ie, the public school).
You can verify this from either http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/cp/maps/map_page.asp?blocknumber=084 or from Google Maps (which follows the lot map, but you also get to look at the satellite image to confirm the layout).
The puddle is a major pain though there is a shallow path through it. Then again, you do have fenders on your [commuter] bike, right?
From that map it looks like there’s no way to get past the armory without going on either its lot (204) or the school’s (175)?
I have no fenders on my normal commuter, only on my MTB (backup/winter commuter). I just cut through the grass.
Well, I plan to keep going that way until I hear otherwise, and I know a few of my coworkers are doing the same, so we’ll see.
The puddles are mostly gone. I have taken that route every day since I learned about it and I love it.
The puddles take a few days to dry out after a rain, but it is a good shortcut.
i was apparently the only one who used this shortcut? also, there’s a little gate in the schenley parking lot that is a lot more convenient when it’s open.
How hard is that, really?
Whoever signed the deal for the shelters with the ad companies should have required they post schedules. A while back, CMU Student Senate bought ad space at the shelters around campus and posted schedules there. It was great.
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