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Eliza Furnace Trailhead -3Hr Parking Limit

Pittsburgh Parking Authority is now enforcing a 3 hour parking limit at the Eliza Furnace Trailhead parking lot. I arrived at 9am and cars were already being ticketed. The 3 Hr limit will be enforced Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm, so it looks like this is going to make it unusable for any of us who commute from here to downtown.
2014-07-28 08:41:39
I dont recall seeing any signs with a time limit down there. However there is one sign that says for recreational use, but how is that defined? Did they put up new signs?
2014-07-28 09:18:33
New signs are up, but don't know when. I didn't see any on Friday, but they are all along the fence by the UPMC lot now.
2014-07-28 09:21:56
Wow, that is sad. That was a nice park and ride for people on bikes. Why would they do that? (insert money here) One would think this region would promote health, but I guess not! I see a lot of people parking in Millvale doing the same thing, but I don't think the city can do anything about that nice park. Is there any alternative for people wanting to ride the trail into the city?
2014-07-28 09:25:39
I still see people park there in the morning and commute in even after the signs went up. That is dumb if they are ticketing.
2014-07-28 09:42:11
Bummer. I wonder if this has anything to do with preventing people from parking here now that the saline st parking is being removed for the bikeway?
2014-07-28 09:52:55
I noticed the other day a sign (which must have been there for a long time) that said the trailhead parking is for RECREATIONAL users--not that it would be easy to enforce that. I suspect with the protected lane going in on Saline and the lost free spaces taken by UPMC employees there, they are expected to fill the trailhead lot--and this is an attempt to 'make them honest.' Some recreational user (myself included) will spend well over three hours...And if the reason is to keep commuters out, then six hours would still keep them off--hell, 8 hours would keep them off. Though I think commuters who are legitimately using the trail (not the parking lot)--to walk/bike/blade/fly/... along the trail to Town should be allowed to use the lot. Lately the lot has filled up very early, and possibly there were complaints. I figured that the nice weather attracted more people to the trail--and it sure looked like a lot of bike racks to me.... With the three hour limit, the lot will be empty during the day. [I haven't been down there yet, but suspect the limits are till 5PM???] I wonder if there are restrictions on the SS trailhead under the Birmingham Bridge. FYI: You may have noticed gates installed at the Pumphouse--that is so they can restrict parking when they have events. But there is an official Waterfront trail access parking lot at the Ladle Car between TGI Fridays and Uno.
2014-07-28 09:54:40
I guess the parking in this lot is in flux with the elimination of the parking along Saline Street (in order to put in the cycle-track). It would be very tempting for a person to park at the trail head and hop on the UPMC shuttle so I guess enforcement of a time limit might be needed at the moment. Maybe we should have a larger discussion with the city about the need for “park & ride” options for cyclists. (What a great problem!)
2014-07-28 10:00:06
And I will again raise the issue that if there was a ramp structure at the top of Saline St, near the Greenfield Bridge, to allow a direct connection from Pocusset -- and half of the East End -- that there would be decreased need for commuter parking. That new structure in Manchester at Chateau-Beaver-Island is exactly what I am talking about. We need another one to connect Saline to Greenfield/Pocusset in the same manner.
2014-07-28 10:20:28
I haven't seen the new signs lately, but I remember reading one of the signs in that lot the other week where it said it was for recreational and commuter use only. I distinctly remember the commuter use only part as I considered it to mean the parking was for use as a biking park & ride and could see confusion when Saline St. parking closes.
2014-07-28 11:11:48
The best long term answer to scarce parking is to make parking less necessary. But this one is really ashame... loosing low stress starter option WILL mean fewer people biking. And I've told a lot of people about parking here and riding in so now I have to make sure they know about this. I think it makes more sense to just charge something nominal and if there's money for it (or money becomes available from charging), gobble up some spots from the UPMC side.
2014-07-28 11:13:32
to be honest, this is news to me. as far as i know, this is unconnected to the saline stuff, but i have some inquiries in.
2014-07-28 11:40:52
"But this one is really ashame… loosing low stress starter option WILL mean fewer people biking." This is no doubt a byproduct of a three hour limit. Three hours is so short. What if someone wanted to spend the day riding and going out to eat in Pittsburgh via bike? Guess they can't even do that anymore, or they will get a ticket. Shame! Does UPMC have anything to do with this? Are they possibly to blame? I don't know the lay of the land down there. UPMC wanted to put in a parking lot in Aspinwall's Marina. They certainly don't think of neighbors in their area. Thankfully Friends of the Riverfront got it and it is now a park.
2014-07-28 12:44:25
Does the idjit who was busting into cars in this lot a couple of years ago, who has a vested interest in something nearby, have anything to do with this? Sorry, I'm too lazy to dig up the details, but IIRC he had it in for cyclists.
2014-07-28 14:44:34
This seems to fall in line with a lot of other things the Peduto administration is doing. They really seem to be trying to come up with money wherever they can. I have seen tons of examples, but parking is one of them for sure.
2014-07-28 15:37:09
This is insane ? we need a F@#%$^^% YOur 3 Hr Ride
2014-07-28 17:13:44
it's kind of a fascinating problem. So the core-city trails and bike infra are successful enough, and have (or are about to) displaced enough car parking spots, that the first-tier trailhead parking lots have insufficient capacity for demand. Imagine if everytime somebody wanted to build a trail, the books said: sure, but you have to provide sufficient parking. Hah. So the tragedy of the commons strikes, and perhaps some commuters who approach from that direction will park at the PumpHouse instead of the JailTrail lot. Oops, that's getting crowded and gated also. Well, over near EatN'Park, for a while. When more people learn they can park under the Birmingham Bridge, or up at Western Penitentiary, or Millvale and bike into Downtown and save $10/day, those places will see the same thing. This is kind of (short-term painful) good news, right? It means things are going the right way, I think. It's not too big a stretch to see places like Bicycle Heaven offering parking/coffee/bike commercial services in new places around that first tier zone. Then we'll see bike commuter facilities that won't be competing with avid-drivers for parking. Hey, Bicycle Heaven, you got your ears on? People could leave their bikes at B-H after their commute, they wouldn't have to take them home on the back of their cars every night. B-H could be the Drive-Bike Coffee Concierge. It would reduce downtown congestion, etc.
2014-07-28 20:37:38
The signs are not quite consistent. One says: "This lot is reserved for recreational bikers. This is not a UPMC Employee Lot. Please use a UPMC designated lot." Another says; "For Trail Recreational and Commuting Use Only" And of course the three hour limit limits recreation and prevents commuting. If the City wants to raise money, they could easily meter the lot with the new meter system... So I think the Junction Hollow lot by the soccer fields will be next....I didn't check--maybe they have three hour limit signs as well--anyone know...
2014-07-28 22:11:49
The Birmingham Bridge has nothing to do with this topic and of course you shouldn't park there if they are repairing it. Overspray on a car? Anyway, back to the subject, I feel metering at a lower rate could be an option, but I personally don't want any meter and feel the city should encourage cycling. Just the health benefits alone. I am pretty disgusted about this. I never used that lot, but I want to see encouragement for those that want to try cycling. It leads to riding a bike from home. There needs to be a stepping stone and a park and ride is great for that. Now it is gone!
2014-07-28 23:32:38
I use that lot as a park-and-ride 2-4 days/week. I wrote a letter to Corey O'Connor, District 5 Councilman (for Greenfield/Hazlewood) and also the Chair for Urban Recreation. I referenced this thread, so hopefully our concerns are voiced and considered. If I receive a reply, I will post it!
2014-07-29 07:41:49
Thanks Iguana, I was unaware that the 18th street lots were going off line and although I dont use them it's good info to know. And dont forget that the area also lost the lot at the bottom of the Duqesene incline which was recently converted into payed parking. Granted this lot is not owned by the city, but it does contribute to the problem of being able to drive to the edges then bike into the city. Just like PAT has the park-n-ride lots to facilitate transit use, we need to have established parking lots near the trails that will facilitate car-n-cycle commuting, not just weekend recreation.
2014-07-29 08:07:36
Yes, to reiterate for anyone not often on this board: **Keep cars out of downtown!!** ANYTHING to get people to get downtown without dragging a two-ton tin can with them, helps everyone. You WANT people to park way out (like here) and bike in.
2014-07-29 08:33:52
Just like PAT has the park-n-ride lots to facilitate transit use, we need to have established parking lots near the trails that will facilitate car-n-cycle commuting, not just weekend recreation.
And bike infrastructure going out of the city way into suburbs. Then people would ride more during weekends and use it during commuting. It's pretty amazing to see how many people ride on weekends on those trails but afraid to use roads. PS Someone is counting people on EFT. :) Would those numbers be released to the public?
2014-07-29 09:54:32
Just got a reply back from the Mayor's Office this morning: "Thank you for your feedback for Mayor Peduto. We have discussed this with the Parking Authority. They are enforcing this because the lot fills up everyday by 9am with commuters and leaves no room for those that want to use the trail mid-day for recreational purposes. We hope to discuss alternatives that allow for both uses." Got to love the logic here.
2014-07-29 10:10:19
Not much logic. 3 hours? There are countless recreational users that would be gone much longer than 3 hours. Don't they know people ride a bike to a restaurant and enjoy a meal and then casually ride back? Seems they are taking money out of restaurant owners pockets as well. What an odd thing to do!
2014-07-29 10:23:51
I can understand some of the logic here. The parking along Saline St. that will be eliminated for the protected lane is full of people who parked there for free in order to take the bus into Downtown. With the loss of that parking, I would imagine there'd be a huge push of those displaced commuters coming into the EFT lot to park and take the bus in. Ideally, this lot should exist for anyone riding a bike on the EFT for any length of time and for any purpose. I don't know how to enforce that though. Letting the EFT lot become a park-and-ride lot for people who don't want to pay to park downtown is a bad idea. It would be nice if there were some mechanism that could allow only bicycle commuters and recreational riders to use the lot.
2014-07-29 10:50:18
Was the lot filling up before they got rid of the Saline St parking? If I have to choose between a bike lane I didn't need in an area where I've never encountered hostile traffic or longer than three hour parking for people riding their bikes, I choose the latter
2014-07-29 11:43:02
Again, putting a bike-climbing ramp in at the top of Saline -- like the north end of the Fort Duquesne Bridge, like the new one in Manchester at Beaver/Chateau/Island, like the one over to Washington's Landing -- would open up much of the East End to direct travel downtown. Can someone figure out where all these people are coming from? Solve the upstream problem. Seems there would be plenty of space all over Hazelwood to warehouse a few dozen to a couple hundred cars for a few weeks until we iron this out. If there are legitimate reasons not to, then please spell them out.
2014-07-29 11:49:53
They haven't even gotten rid of Saline St parking yet. The only influx I have seen is just weather related (ie summer = more bikers). Nearly all cars I've ever seen parked there have bike racks on their trunks. 3 hours clearly is not enough time.
2014-07-29 11:56:03
Maybe somebody could figure out where else folks commuting downtown can park and ride in, and print up some flyers. We have enough of a trail network that I would guess other lots might be accessible -- right?
2014-07-29 12:19:55
I'm surprised by how few points I've seen for on trail parking. Doesn't have to be free (though it helps!), but attractively cheap, at least, is vitally important. Would be a good public service to map those out, I'm sure there are more than I know about. Park and bike in could be a pretty major mixed mode option here if given a little intentional support. A lot of people don't mind riding a bike if they're not battling hills and dodging cars.
2014-07-29 12:43:21
I feel like I'm missing something here but can't this all be fixed by modifying the begin-end time of the 3h parking to something like 9-5, or 10-4? Maybe even make the period 4h. People who use the lot for workday parking will be suitably inconvenienced and will have to park elsewhere (since they will always need ~8h of parking) but weekday recreational riders should do ok (well, as long as they're back by noon or 1pm, or don't get there before 1-2pm). Paid parking with the first 3h free also sounds good. For that matter, why not make only one side of the lot restricted? Recreationals get their daytime access and commuters have to get there earlier or simply park elsewhere. But I'm not a traffic engineer so I may be missing something. I sympathize with commuters who would like to park there and bike in, but that's not the purpose of the lot. There are nearby options: Saline goes up a ways and though I haven't looked recently it never looked all that parked up. So why not there? (Unless it's already permitted, I suppose.) The park'n'bike issue is a separate one that the city (and adjoining districts) need to address directly. Another random idea: Sandcastle has a huge parking lot. Why not turn part of it into weekday paid parking? It's right on a trail. And probably could contribute an order of magnitude more parking spaces.
2014-07-29 13:06:46
i have a feeling this has more to do with UPMC employees who (i believe) have to pay to park in the UPMC lot to take the shuttle, and are opting to park in the "free" section because they know there was no one enforcing it. The city needs to figure out a way to designate between "trail" users and non, so adding a time limit is probably the easiest way to do this using the tools that they have.
2014-07-29 13:48:34
If it is UPMC commuters that are eating up the spaces, then the UPMC shuttle driver could enforce it by making sure all the passengers have paid to park in their lot.
2014-07-29 21:08:47
My friend and his 78 year old dad regularly park and ride more than 3 hours. This also kills revenue for businesses that stand to profit from People riding the trail and stopping Along the way and eating or buying Things.
2014-07-29 21:26:46
So far the Junction Hollow lot is not restricted--it's about .5 miles from EFT--I wonder if that is too much for the (health unconscious) UPMC employees to walk. Also street parking in the area away from the new protected bike lanes. Riverfront Park and the Waterfront--though possibly less inconvenient for some--could take up some of the slack--I used Riverfront Park today. And keep in mind that the trail is multi-use and that some of the users (recreation/commuters) use the trail for running, blading. and's not all bikes...
2014-07-29 21:30:32
steveo, that is what came to my mind on my earlier post. Lots of people make a day out of the trail/city, so the 3 hour limit is a killer for enjoying the city on bike from that spot. It is STUPID all the way around. Why don't they discuss these things with the cycling community before spending money? Last I checked, brainstorming and less chest pounding brings a good result, instead of total stupidity! Sorry that your 78 year old friend can't enjoy the city anymore. I guess that is what the mayor calls progress!
2014-07-29 22:46:46
I'm all for this parking lot not being abused by people parking all day every day so they can park for free for work. I also understand the idea of not being limited to a three hour ride downtown and around everything else to be enjoyed by others. But really, I think there are plenty of alternatives for those looking for a long term parking arrangement. I'm pretty sure the run has plenty of parking and is not permit. This is similar to the Panther Hollow parking lot. The lot at the EFT trailhead is small. Can we make the lot for the trail bigger or just ease access to the trail from other parking alternatives (not that I'm advocating using residential parking but it appears there is more parking available in the run than is required by the residents.) I think only one of these options is feasible considering who the other section of the parking lot is for...
2014-07-29 23:12:23
When I want to ride on the EFT I ride my bike there.
2014-07-29 23:34:54
This morning there were a lot of cars parked in front of the no parking anytime signs across from that building on the dead-end portion of Swinburne near the lot. I don't recall seeing that before. I wonder if the employees working in that building were parking in the trailhead lot as well.
2014-07-30 08:43:39
A week or three ago I rode through the parking lot at around 10:00 AM; the lot was packed and someone was parked blocking one of the trail entrances. I didn't complain to the city when I got to my office only because I had forgotten about it by then, but it wouldn't surprise me if some people did report it and if it happens on other days too. The enforcement could easily be a response to complaints by trail users. If so, it's a good sign. It's a small lot that can't serve its purpose if it becomes a park-and-ride. Regarding Saline, they're putting one of the green lanes there because the neighborhood already has a problem with people using the area as a parking lot (and apparently dumping trash). I don't think moving that problem deeper into the neighborhood is going to make those residents happy. I sure as hell would not want my neighborhood treated that way.
2014-07-31 12:15:52
The tickets (or at least the one I was shown) is just a warning...see attached image.
2014-07-31 23:23:04
I have started to notice some vehicles in the panther hollow lot now when I go through at 530am. I hope this gets worked out. It is bullshit. It can be figured out if people want to figure it out
2014-08-01 05:57:26
The ticket says 8:43 AM - which means that the officer was checking which vehicles were there at sometime before 5:43 AM? Or maybe they just gave warnings to everyone to start off the morning.
2014-08-01 08:18:50
Also worth noting is that downtown parking rates went up today. Some garages now charge $18/day to park. That is going to increase pressure to park in distant areas like this and bike in.
2014-08-01 08:42:38
"$18/day to park" Wow. That's a case of beer per day! Two if you're buying PBR. And that's not even including gas, registration, and wear & tear. Or: $18 * 5 * 50 = $4,500 JUST TO PARK!
2014-08-01 08:56:01
I'm sure a parking lease cuts that cost in half at least.
2014-08-01 08:59:47
The need for "park and pedal" options is well recognized locally. There are some options available. But, that does not mean that every (free = unpaid) parking lot needs to become one, or remain one in perpetuity. If the use of the lots by commuters has resulted in inavailability for recreational users, there is an over demand issue, and both needs can no longer be met at this location. I'd be interested in knowing the breakdown of lot users who are a) downtown commuters (via the trail), b) Oakland Commuters (via Junction Hollow) c) UPMC employees catching the shuttle and d) recreational users of the trail. I support the idea that individuals can choose to park their cars in non-downtown locations and walk or bike in from that location -- as long as the use of these parking options to do not limit use of that facility by its more local constituents or intended use. Chateau Trail parking is extremely limited as a commuter option, as there are local businesses that use those streets for employee parking. The trailhead lots remain available, but increased commuter use will result in similar restrictions being imposed there. The trail parking lot north of River Avenue near Washingtons Landing is vacant most days, however, and has no neighborhood demand. From the east, there are few obvious answers. Local demand for parking is high, and those users should get the first right to the parking available. Use of a trailhead for parking should go first to the people who are actually using the trail for 70%+ of the time they are parked there.....ride a couple of hours, grab a meal, etc., but your primary use is the trail. Compare that to downtown commuters who are on the trail for less than an hour (20 minute commute each way) but occupy the parking spot for 9 hours. It was nice to have had this commuter parking option for as long as we have. But, now it appears to be gone. Is there an option that can be developed as part of the Hazelwood Trail/Almono development? Or can the Second Avenue parking associated with the Tech Center be encouraged to permit free/very low cost parking for cyclists (or others choosing NOT to use their shuttle?)
2014-08-01 09:58:15
It's true that nothing sells like free, and losing that here really is a shame, but was probably inevitable. I think it's wasteful and crazy to try and draw lines and make rules saying this is for X, this is for Y. You can't please everyone, and the more you try the clearer that becomes. Where things start getting scarce, the most logical step is to price to demand so there generally is (a tiny bit) of availability everywhere, for the right price. Charging by the hour like you do for normal parking, that already puts recreational cyclists at a big pricing advantage, relative to commuters, just by the length of time they're in the spot. And it's only fair, they're blocking out other users less. But I don't think there's any reason to say that recreational use is better (or worse) than commuting intrinsically, it's just different. And being non-prejudicial about things gives you better info from a public policy standpoint. Information ideally you could use to prioritize your next step in building out this wonderful dual purpose transportation/recreation infrastructure.
2014-08-01 11:03:51
And again we come back to the drum I've been pounding for over two decades, that people do not use the transit system that is available to most of them, or do not know how to make best use of it. This is a separate and distinct argument from those for whom it is not the most convenient, e.g., Highland Park to CMU, Squirrel Hill to Manchester, Glenbury/Aaron part of Brookline to just about anywhere, etc. I'm talking about the people who live two blocks off of Brownsville Road and can't figure out how to use the 51 Carrick to get to Terminal Way on the South Side. I don't know if it's laziness, apathy, out-of-date information, or willful ignorance, but there are a lot of potential riders out there who are plugging up parkways and parking lots because they don't/won't ride the bus.
2014-08-01 11:29:04
It's a shame there isn't some huge, flat, underutilized piece of property anywhere near where the demand for parking is.
2014-08-01 11:49:56
BTW, does anyone know what's going on with that? They're doing a lot of construction over there, digging stuff up, etc. Who's building what?
2014-08-01 11:56:49
Looks like 700 spaces in that paved lot across 2nd Ave. That gets full?
2014-08-01 12:11:19
YAUPMCPL = yet another UPMC parking lot
2014-08-01 12:33:58
Alomono. A shimmering vision or our future... Were I asking Jon's question I might have phrased it as "When the ^%& are they reopening that @$! bike trail already?".
2014-08-01 14:58:44
I don't get over there all that often. Is there a cogent reason for that trail to be closed 24/7? I mean, hell, that whole time they were working on the 31st Street Bridge, the river trail was open. Machinery moving through there all the time. Bikes sometimes had to stop for a crane lift or to let heavy equipment past. Sometimes we had to get re-routed by a plastic fence a few feet over. Sometimes we were riding on dirt. Big deal. But the trail was never closed. Put a couple of flagpeople on it and let us get through! Being able to park down by Hazelwood Avenue would be an acceptable alternative.
2014-08-01 15:30:25
2nd Ave has been nicely refurbed, including a new RR crossing. But there's now a locked fence in the middle that prevents continuing on to Hazelwood Ave. The old trail was nice and all to have, but why can't we simply use the street for now?
2014-08-01 15:44:36
$18/day to park. How outrageous! <--- sarcasm. When I was in Philly this year, I parked in a garage across from my hotel for under an hour to unload bikes and it was $18 just for an hour.
2014-08-01 20:31:56
FRom The off-site lot is located off Second Avenue at Swinburne Street. Parking at this lot is available either by lease or parking coupons. The lease cost is $45 a month through payroll deduction. The daily rate is $6.00 per day, payable through Parking Coupons. No cash will be accepted. The lot will be open Monday through Friday, from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m. Shuttle service to Magee will be provided by UPMC shuttle buses. Shuttle schedules are available in the Parking Department. UPMC security is on-site. Questions? Call the Parking Department at x14904. The schedule shown there is 'Effective Date: May 1, 2006' .... Also of interest is this from Kordite: ... It turned out to be the owner of the neighboring lease parking lot, Mr. DePasquale. He was apparently still disgruntled that the City had condemned a corner of his property and then built a parking lot on it for trail access. Commuters were parking there and riding their bikes into work instead of ponying up the money to park in one of his lots. On November 6th he stood in court and faced charges of harassment...
2014-08-01 21:45:20
Having a name helps. OK, here are Kordite's two previous posts on this board on this subject, one from 2010, one from 2009. His photo from 2006 on is still up and running. So again, I wonder, is this DePasquale guy still pissed enough at bicycles to be behind all this?
2014-08-02 22:25:59
What if the Junction Hollow parking lot by the soccer fields was designated as official long-term "bike commuter parking." and the current lot remains the new short term use. For Oakland commuters, it will be easier, for downtown, it isn't that much further (plus encourage more use of the physically separated lane)
2014-08-05 10:47:54
It looks like it has become a de facto one. This AM there were 5-8 cars in that lot compared to the extremely empty trailhead lot (2-3 cars).
2014-08-05 11:12:38
@erok, do you know if "the chute" will be redesigned during the lane construction? It's a pretty crappy connection right now and will only become more so with increased bicycle traffic. I know the underpass cant be changed, but the roadway certainly could use a diet & give cyclist a little more room along 2nd ave. Edit: It could use a regular sweeping too.
2014-08-05 11:48:32
Whoa! Cool news ( To keep encouraging biking the city is planning to expand the number of parking spaces in the lot at the Eliza Furnace trailhead, and mark them only for weekday bike commuters. For those seeking to use the trail for mid-day exercise, parking at other spaces in the trailhead lot will remain restricted to three hours. That work may take several weeks to complete so the city is providing another parking option immediately: Bike commuters may also park their vehicles at the soccer field in Junction Hollow, on Boundary Street just north of Saline Street. From there bicyclists can connect with the Eliza Furnace trail to get Downtown or go the opposite direction to travel to Oakland.
2014-08-05 11:51:08
Can we quickly get the lane sharrowed under the bridge, on 2nd before the driveway to the trailhead, and up the driveway? Make some of the low stress preference riders feel more comfortable? Nobody should be going quickly through the chute anyway but it would be nice if we could make this the dominant pattern so it's a little more functional.
2014-08-05 12:02:37
no immediate plans for the chute that i'm aware of. but i get the feeling that it's days may be numbered now that there's some new tools in the toolbox. that darn underpass is still an issue.
2014-08-05 12:15:35
Does anyone know if rebuilding or modification of the the bridges adjacent the cattle chute in the plans for almono site development or other future improvements from the state?
2014-08-05 12:53:56
Seems like their plans are on the other side of the street from it. However, I would imagine the influx of residential/business would push for more rehab of that area over time. I'm totally for fixing the cattle chute situation, as well as that rogue giant trash can in the middle of the sidewalk.
2014-08-05 13:07:16
Does anyone know if rebuilding or modification of the the bridges adjacent the cattle chute in the plans for almono site development or other future improvements from the state? I have heard that the bridge that goes over second ave to said parking lot is being looked at to accommodate a trail that will connect to Hazelwood. Don't know the feasibility, but it would rule
2014-08-05 13:15:45
Feasibility seems higher the earlier the right folks hear just how big a win this would be from a biking standpoint, and how important supporting biking is generally. I'd say that any new developer looking to make the most of limited land, but for something on the river, near downtown, and on the the heaviest trafficked trail in Pittsburgh... whoa. So, there's this: Anything better focused?
2014-08-05 13:28:43
I have heard that the bridge that goes over second ave to said parking lot is being looked at to accommodate a trail that will connect to Hazelwood. Don’t know the feasibility, but it would rule There's an access road that starts at the end of the parking lot and eventually drops to 2nd. It's a pain of ballast but could probably be easily upgraded. My own dream solution for that area is to have an underpass from the EFT directly to Saline. No need to get all those drivers riled up by fighting for road space. (Laying down a trail along Swinburne up to the JHT would work but somehow seems like more money.)
2014-08-05 16:33:18
Well, the plan-pgh project list had a project to route a trail along the west side of the railway under the Frazier st bridge, to connect to the junction hollow trail, this would bypass the need to cross the tracks. It would need to go behind the DPW building next to the upmc lot and stay along the hillside adjacent to the tracks till they crossed the bridge over boundary st. This project was said to need modifications to the Frazier at bridge to give enough space between the tracks and hillside. I doubt this is likely unless the Frazier st bridge is replaced or has a massive rebuild effort.
2014-08-05 17:54:21
Regarding the speed of bikers in the chute...There are signs on both ends that require bicycles to be
2014-08-05 22:50:44
I'm aware of the signage and ignore it as do 99% of others. Just go slow, super slow through the blind corners and announce you presence as you get close. Would help to have mirrors.
2014-08-06 05:54:35
You're supposed to 'walk bicycles' around the chicanes by keystone metals. I almost never see people do it. I do think it has the intended effect of getting people to slow down so they don't get hit by a dumptruck accidentally. The cattle chute, that's just asking for trouble. I'm usually yelling something or whistling to announce my presence near the turns.
2014-08-06 07:49:37
The solution to every problem for bicycle traffic is for cyclists to walk their bicycles. I was near DC a couple of weeks ago and we were instructed to walk our bicycles where the trail crossed streets in the suburbs. No one did there, either. It is a stupid idea. Kind of like, say, telling motorists to run around the car at stop signs, to make sure they stop.
2014-08-06 07:56:21
It is a stupid idea. Kind of like, say, telling motorists to run around the car at stop signs, to make sure they stop. Well, I dunno; kinda makes sense to me. And there's health benefits. Though I agree that making bikers "walk" instead of making the necessary improvements is not much of a solution.
2014-08-06 08:48:02
I wouldn't characterize it as stupid. And most cars stop at stop signs, so there is no need to require drivers to 'run around the car.' As we know many bicyclists don't stop at stop signs that cross roads...
2014-08-06 08:52:05
I find that most places where there is a stop sign, it is safe for bicyclists to treat it as a yield is the law in Idaho. Though while biking we have 'all the rights of the road'...same as cars...there are exceptions..(stay to the right appropriately, etc.). And I can become a pedestrian very easily by dismounting...and have all the rights/responsibilities of a pedestrian. And given our (usually) slower (than cars) speed, I think yielding at stops is safe and appropriate and allows the biker to keep momentum and needless unclipping (for those with clipless pedals). My $.03
2014-08-06 09:13:10
OK, I withdraw the troll comment. I just didn't want to get into a discussion whether motorists stop at stop signs or not. Please, no...
2014-08-06 09:18:33
Back to the last (slightly less afield) topic. I think it's worth doing an incremental improvement here to acknowledge the stupidity of bidirectional traffic through the chute and that nobody walks their bike. Get rid of the walk your bikes sign. Mirrors as I said, but also it's important to attempt to bring as much of the traffic winding clockwise up to the EFT out of the chute. Right now, and I think (unless Erok is alluding to something) that means into the road. At the very least, some sharrows for starters. I think this is a great place for a very prominently placed sign about cyclists sharing the road and reduced speed limit and some speed humps (with cut-outs for cyclists) to go with. Taken together, I think you get about 15% of the benefit of doing this thing right, for probably about 2% of the cost. So, mixed feelings about it in the sense that it is not even close to the same as doing this right and would prompt grousing "hey, we've given you annoying cyclists something, will you please shut up now?", but it strikes me as more realistic than the things we'd really wish for.
2014-08-06 09:24:56
There is good reason that the chute is 'walk your bicycle' is used by pedestrians and is 'stupid[ly] bidirectional'...and the signs indicate bicycles are pedestrians expect that...Much as I expect cars to obey signs, speed limits, and obey the four foot rule, etc...and why I whine when they don't....just as pedestrians whine when we don't...Yes, I'm naïve.
2014-08-06 09:49:17
Don't you take up more width of the narrow chute/sidewalk if you walk your bike? I never dismount there but when I do come across pedestrians/people waiting for the bus I just slow down or skateboard kick around them.
2014-08-06 10:00:18
rgr, I do the same. The chute is so thin that it's not so much the width, but the speed one is going that limits reaction time. I go around those bends slowly, shouting, ringing my bell, flashing my light, praying to.., and have had a few narrow escapes...but one really should walk there...
2014-08-06 10:31:25
And so you actually do the same (sane) thing as everyone else. Bravo! Can we move onto the process of how we create less conflict there?
2014-08-06 10:37:49
@byogman, yes, please. I like the idea of mounting these at the corners of the chute. They are stainless steel, unbreakable, and designed to be used where vandalism would be a problem, as it probably would be.
2014-08-06 10:45:43
In May 2012, I 311'd a request for the city to install a mirror on the cattle chute. In July 2012 I got a response: Summary of action taken: WE DO NOT HAVE CONVEX MIRRORS -- R. CALABRESE 7/12/12 But there's a new mayor, and maybe such a request would be more effective now.
2014-08-06 11:52:08
There used to be a mirror there...
2014-08-06 12:09:02
for about $500 the city could purchase the mirrors. I assume that installing them would require a study at a cost of no less than $1.2 billion.
2014-08-06 12:16:16
They certainly didn't need to yell...
2014-08-06 12:20:29
I 311ed it, with a link to stainless steel mirrors. Will let you know if I get anything.
2014-08-06 13:42:07
The best solution would be to make 2nd two lane road from HMB to Greenfield. Make one lane completely bike one -- the one close to the trail, use two other ones for traffic. Traffic in under bridge should be rearranged in a way that lane closet to the chute should be bicycle only, the middle lane should be for incoming traffic and the farthest one for outgoing -- both to Grienfield and to 2nd. Then we don't need the chute.
2014-08-07 01:48:24
The bail out solution would be to have another chute--one for each direction....i.e. a pair-a-chute(s)... (~~~~) ( ) ( ) ( | ) \ | / \ | / \ | / +/ O--O
2014-08-07 02:35:52
FWIW, I use the chute regularly and don't think it's that bad. Granted, I don't use it during commute times, but still. At some point, maybe two or three years ago, the chute was actually widened, so it's not as thin as it used to be. I used to take the train tracks, but the grade has actually been getting steeper and the height difference between the tracks and ballast has been increasing, which led me to take the chute. When I was going to work downtown, I would just take 2nd Ave, but now I'm going on the trail, so don't really bother getting on 2nd Ave for that short bit. I ring my bell, don't really run into any problems
2014-08-07 11:52:02
My theory is that the parking restriction is intended to make it easier for people to use the trail? It sounds likely that UPMC employees were parking there and then walking over to the shuttle. With enough people doing that, the lot fills up with people not using the trail. Not to say this is a good or bad policy, but that seems like the line of reasoning.
2014-08-07 14:09:24
I have been using the chute now because I have a bike horn. I still don't like it much, but when I am lazy I will use it on my commute home.
2014-08-09 15:00:34
I prefer to avoid the chute; the traffic light timings leave enough time to get through (though at times you end up waiting a while).. The chute would work a lot better if the width at the corner were increased by 1m or more: you can't pass there yet you somehow have to figure out that there's someone approaching. (Yes a mirror would be nice, but you still need to stop in time. And wait.)
2014-08-09 17:46:22
I know this is an old thread, but couldn't one park at the 2nd Ave parking lot near the jail and then bike the rest of the way to their place of work?
2018-09-20 19:14:57
@eric, is it less expensive then Downtown lots?
2018-09-21 12:33:41
According to Eric's link, it is currently $9 to park in the 2nd Ave. lot on a weekday.  I don't think you can find parking cheaper than $12/day anywhere downtown in 2018, but most of the lots on the outskirts of downtown have similar prices to 2nd Ave.  The Station Square lot is $8/day and so is the strip district lot by the 16th Street bridge.  The north shore and arena lots are similarly priced, and those areas have so much parking that there are different tiers (so that if you are willing to park in one of those area's more distant lots then it can be a buck or two cheaper than the closer ones).
2018-09-21 14:11:24

By comparison, all day parking  at the U.S. Steel Bldg garage is $26.

2018-09-21 17:33:46
That can give people an incentive to ride their bike between a more remote paid parking lot and their workplace. The parking lot on 2nd Ave. could also be used by people commuting to Oakland or the South Side from areas south, north, and west of Downtown. The lot is close enough to Downtown that commuters to Downtown can park there coming from any direction.
2018-09-21 23:58:21
Then again, Steel Tower is one of the least bike friendly buildings I know of. Together inside and out, there is bike parking for only about 40 bikes for a building of 8,000 people, and they’ll cut your lock and confiscate your bike if you try to lock it anywhere else. There’s space (and probable demand) for 200 racks in the garage. Nor can you bike down the ramp into the garage; you have to go in via the wheelchair entrance and the elevator. This may explain why you don’t see more bikes downtown.
2018-09-23 04:33:51
I worked at the Steel Tower up until 2 years ago and never once had a problem with parking inside.  If racks were filled, I'd park my bike in a fenced area away from cars and pedestrians then go upstairs and tell security where it was parked and if the location was acceptable.  They never asked me to move it.  On the occasions that I'd forget my key or lock, they'd let me take the bike up the freight elevator to my floor.  The key is to communicate with the security staff and you are less likely to have problems.  Yes, they told me to stop riding the ramps.  The ramps are really greasy and can become quite *slippy* when wet.  That's the reason for using the back doors.  I don't find that a real terrible ordeal.  I agree that there could be more parking, I disagree that they are not accommodating.
2018-09-25 10:43:26
To me, accommodating would mean allowing bikes on the parking garage ramps and not needing to talk to security.  If the pavement or design of their parking garage is unsafe for cyclists, that is the exact opposite of accommodating.
2018-09-25 15:52:16
I worked in that building for almost 8 years and had the same experience as Gerry - there could be more parking, but the building as a whole was sufficiently accommodating. The only problem I ever had was selfish, entitled cyclists abusing the parking-garage racks by leaving bikes there for days and weeks at a time, as though it was their private indoor storage facility, thus leaving no room for genuine commuters. As noted, the spiral ramps are completely inappropriate for bikes. They are steep, slick, and are basically a long-running blind corner - a perfect environment for unskilled cyclists to crash, or to get hit by cars, or both. The steep, straight exit ramp isn't much better. If I were the building's lawyer, insurer or property/risk manager, I wouldn't let bikes on any of them under any circumstances.
2018-09-25 17:45:21
There is inside parking for 12 bikes, but 5,000 work in the building. Union Trust Building, just up the street, has inside parking for 65 bikes with 1/5 the population, and yes, you roll right in and out with the cars. An entirely different world. I might go back to parking at Union Trust. Even with the walk, it would take less time.
2018-09-26 07:22:33
Is there inside bike parking at the Mellon sq garage like there is in the 3rd Ave garage near point park?
2018-09-26 07:45:58
I think so. I used to tie up there all the time but haven’t used it since they did all that renovation. The entry was on the Smithfield-Oliver corner.
2018-09-27 13:00:30
@Stu, There are free racks by the 9th and Penn parking garage and by the Gateway T station. Park your bike at one of those racks, and ride the T to Steel Plaza.
2018-09-27 23:08:02
Not my point. But back to the point of this thread, there’s no sense in trying to drive your car to the EFT trailhead to bike downtown if there’s noplace to tie up the bike once you get there. It’s easier and takes less time to drive your car to Steel Bldg garage than to drive to an outer lot and bike in, and I place the blame for that squarely on Winthrop Management, property owners for Steel Tower.
2018-09-30 16:36:31
Did you ever ask about taking your bike into your office?
2018-09-30 19:06:20
Can’t in Steel Tower. Can in a few other places. I personally will be moving to a different building in a few weeks, so I’m not too interested in fighting this. But if anyone else cares to deal with it, I have all the contacts necessary.
2018-10-02 06:05:01
Does the building you are moving to allow taking bikes into the office or provide ample bike parking?
2018-10-02 13:04:08
What's the latest on the three hour limit at the trail head?  I visited the lot today for the first time in years, and the donate seems to have changed. There's a the hour limit sign at the lot entrance. There are three hour limit signs along the UPMC lot fence. And trail commuters only signs along the other fence.   The trail commuter signs really have me confused.... Can bike commuters use half the lot unrestricted now?   Slightly of topic: I also noticed that the junction hollow lot (near the soccer fields) was completely empty!  What's the deal with that?  I always remembered cars there in the morning.
2022-06-13 20:00:49
I imagine that UPMC employees are, as erok suggests, the issue. I don't think asking the UPMC bus drivers to enforce parking would be effective. The city could put a 6 or 7 hour parking limit there with a high fine, then enforce it rigorously between 3 pm and 6 pm on weekdays.  That would fix the UPMC part of the problem. There still could be an issue with folks that want to park and bike for more than 6 hours, but that could be worked around by having the daily 6 hour checks being at 9 am and 3 pm.      
2022-07-19 16:15:25