Developments I'd like to see by 2020
Extending the Southside trail from Station Square to Neville Island to get cyclists safely to the Montour Trail in the Coraopolis/Groveton area.This is also the missing Pennsylvania link, of the future Great American Trail.
Allegheny River Trail extended north up through Etna, Millvale, Sharpsburg
Other side of Allegheny River Trail extended up through Lawrenceville
Duck Hollow Trail connected on both ends to Carrie Furnace site and new Hazelwood Trail.
Carrie Furnace Hot Metal Bridge connection to GAP
Completion of Montour, gaps remaining include last piece into Coraopolis (in progress), and segments in South Park. Current trailside development is adding trail near Library T stop, bid requests just went out for remaining section on Piney Fork (by my read this will go up to but not include the Green Man Tunnel), and final section along Peters Creek Road will likely remain on-road for foreseeable future since current road is using old railroad right of way.
Completion of Clearview Trail and west end trestle and tunnel rehab with new bridge over route 60 and rehab of bridge over 376 in preparation for eventual connection to Ohio River Trail or bike lanes along 51 to McKees Rocks and hopeful (!) opening of Wabash Tunnel lane to bikes in future. This won’t happen by 2020 but I would love to see some planning taking place by then.
Complete link from Mon Wharf to the Point: ride it for the first time a few weeks ago after utilizing the new switchback and it’s shabby to say the least. Gets the job done but we can do better as we plan for the future.
Create legal connection from Junction Hollow trail into schenley park.
Connect WHT to GAP via Turtle Creek trail, as detailed in other thread.
And my personal pet project idea, connect Houston/Canonsburg PA to the Montour Westland Branch (ergo to the entire trail system) utilizing old rail bed that runs along route 519 from Houston Borough to Westland. I’d love to start a Montour Trail type group to get the ball rolling on this but so far I’m the only one who thinks it’s a good idea 😜
1. Chute replacement. Be able to get 50 bikes a minute from one side of that intersection to the other at any time of day.
2. Connection from upper dead end of Saline St in The Run to the Pocusset Trail.
3. Connection from upper dead end of Saline St to Greenfield Rd on the park side of the Greenfield Bridge.
4. Reconfigure the traffic light at First Avenue at Grant St to have a dedicated 15 seconds to allow bikes to get from trail to Grant St, with a light pointed specifically at them. I will remind everyone that the traffic light at Perry Hwy/Perrymont/Rolshouse has a dedicated phase for a private driveway. If PennDOT can make an allowance for one house, I think they can do the same for the hundreds of us cyclists.
Do those four things and we will see an order of magnitude more cyclist commuters.
Status on a few of these things:
- A trail along the south bank of the Ohio up to Neville Island and beyond remains in the very long range planning stage. The railroad owns most of the area where this would go, so development of this is several years out.
- According to one of their recent newsletters, the Montour Trail connection to Coraopolis will be completed next year. This section is currently rideable but its more of a dirt track. The final section will be paved, as this is a flood-prone area.
- The Point Connector from the Mon Wharf to Point State Park is in the short range pipeline. Per recent-ish news articles, construction is expected to begin either this year or the next.
- I thought there was work being done to connect the Montour Trail to Southpointe, but it doesn’t appear to be complete. I assume a Canonsburg/Houston connection would follow.
- The Allegheny river trail is seeing progress through Etna, Sharpsburg, and Aspinwall, but the link from Millvale to Etna, through Shaler, appears to be going a lot slower.
The trail along the South bank, heading north to Coraopolis ,will also be an important section of the Great American trail that’s heading into Pittsburgh and out to Ohio and West Virginia.If the railroad won’t let a trail go through,I’m wondering if Sharrows will be on Carson Street from Station Square up to Neville Island??
Those sharrows already exist on West Carson. Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t ride on West Carson between Mckees Rocks and the Fort Pitt bridge; traffic is too fast as the 35 mph speed limit is uproariously laughed at by drivers. Beyond that, riding on the street is OK.
The Great American Trail is a nice, aspirational thing. But I doubt it will spur any momentum into building the Ohio river trail. Not only do you have to deal with the railroad, but you also go through three municipalities (Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks, Stowe Twp.), each with their own ideas of how this should be done.
In short, I wouldn’t hold my breath on this trail happening any time soon. And believe me, as I currently commute from downtown to Neville Island, having said trail would make me immensely happy.
Why do people drive so fast if there are traffic lights? They should time the traffic lights so that if you speed, you will hit a trap of red lights that will last two minutes each. Maybe install some rumble strips across Carson St. west of Fort Pit Bridge to Stanhope St. so if someone is driving too fast, they will get a jolt. Repairing the sidewalks under the West End Circle will also help a lot.
They drive fast because there are long stretches with no red lights, no side streets, and no places for cops to hide. The road basically encourages speeding and PennDOT didn’t help when they updated all of that a few years ago and didn’t add anything for bikes, knowing this was a crucial connection.
The other side of the river is a huge challenge as well. Eventually something will have to give, likely in the mid to late 2020s when hopefully the rest of the trail network is basically complete and this gap is even more glaring than it is now, and government and business will find a way to cave to public pressure to get this link done.
Regarding the Southpointe connector, apparently that was the brainchild of Frank Ludwin and after his death a few years ago the idea kind of died with him. Not sure if there is any plan to get that moving again, now that Southpointe development essentially abuts the trail near 79, it’s just cutting a path up that hill and you’re in Southpointe. Of all the local trails, the Montour is the most impressive in their diligent efforts to make progress every year and they have an army of donors. They have put in so many new bridges through Cecil and Peters townships over the past decade I’ve lost count.
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