Moving from Sq Hill to Dormont. What to know about biking?
For the past 4 years, I’ve been in Squirrel Hill. Though it was a little scary biking here at first, over the years, I learned the trails, the bike paths, the dangerous roads, the safe roads, the Oakland shortcuts, the hills, etc. Now I feel pretty confident in my ability to get from my place on Murray all the way to the Point barely being on any roads with cars.
I’m moving to Dormont, where I’ve never lived. I still want to keep biking recreationally.
Any insights? What is the local attitude towards cyclists there? Roads to avoid? Best way to get to the river trails? I am near the T, any advice on taking on a bike? Is taking the T to station square or downtown the best way to get to and back from the trails?
I haven’t biked much in Dormont, but I have a lot of friends there. It’s truly my favorite Pittsburgh neighborhood! I’m actually interested to hear how the move goes, and to hear what others have to say about cycling in that area. Thanks for starting this thread!
I’ve biked there a couple of times. Having to climb Mt. Washington in each direction can be some combination of difficult, annoying, time-consuming, make-you-not-want-to-bike, whatever. I would keep tabs on the Wabash Tunnel thread, and other plans to make it easier to get into and back out of town easier.
I live in the East End, but I’ve biked in the Dormont area a few times. The quickest and safest way to get to the river trails is probably the T to Station Square.
The bike routes are either hilly or high-traffic or long, as far as I know. One route: Brookline Blvd-Breining-Glenbury, then N on Saw Mill Run Blvd for a few blocks (on sidewalk?), Overbrook-Brownsville-Churchview-Glass Run Rd (nice downhill)-Baldwin Rd to the GAP trail. Becks Run Rd is also an option, although the trail access there involves carrying your bike over the RR tracks. Or you could bike south to the Bethel Park Spur and connect to the Montour Trail, for recreation.
This map from Strava suggests that a lot of people are biking on Liberty Ave (but I don’t know if I would do that, because of all the cars) http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#13/-80.03069/40.39536/gray/bike
Also, info on bikes on the T in the south hills: “Bikes are allowed on the Port Authority’s light rail system – commonly known as the T – at all times in either direction. Riders may load/unload their non-folding bikes at high-platform stations only” http://www.portauthority.org/paac/RiderServices/BikesonTransit.aspx
Dormont will be fine. Not all that different really. There’s a great network of back streets that are designed not to be very fast for cars so there are plenty of bike friendly routes around.
Getting to downtown you can ride down W. Liberty. You have pretty good parity with cars. Then take Bausman or Southern/Boggs to get over the ridge.
Coming back I’d take the T. W Liberty is not that great heading up the hill. If you’re determined then take a right on Cape May to Broadway and continue.
The T is pretty good for the most part. The drivers are generally rude but at least it’s not directed at cyclists specifically any more. Learn how the thing works (where to pay, how much) and you’ll be fine.
And swing by W. Liberty Cycles. You couldn’t ask for a better resource or shop to have.
I live in Baldwin (a hill over), and Dormont into town kinda sucks if you are trying to avoid traffic. The most direct route is to take Liberty Ave (route 19) to just before the tunnels and make a left – right onto Warrington Ave. Then you can either stay on Warrington until it intersects with Arlington and take that to SouthSide, or turn on Boggs Ave. and work your way over to McArdle or Sycamore. It a climb either way. And its a double climb coming back to Dormont (Mt Wash then rt19). And this time of year in the snow gets quite interesting. But there are those like ajbooth who do it daily.
Edit: Argh, Chris beat me to the submit button
I know the tunnels are posted for motor vehicles only. Can you skirt that and get a reasonable enough not to be super-stressful uphill pace for west liberty with an electric assist?
I wouldn’t bother with e-bikes as an east-ender, but going to the south hills it would be on my mind.
Wouldn’t connecting to Brownsville via Brookline be the easiest? Then shoot down 18th? I know there are more direct routes, but Brownsville down to other roads such as Whited/Brookline or Baptists is nothing worse than in the East End.
I live in Mt Lebanon, commute three days a week (straight down Washington Road/West Liberty Ave) and try to do a longer ride on the weekends, out in the Cecil/McDonald/Midway area. Would love company on any of those trips.
Also, check out the Mt Lebanon Cycling and Caffeine Group. They ride from Coffee Tree Roasters in Lebo every Saturday and Sunday at 7:00 AM sharp. Great group of guys, and welcoming to newbies!
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