Here’s the rte. I use, off google. Distances are from Forbes/Craig to Freeport/Fox Chapel Rd.
S Craig St
1. Head north on S Craig St toward Filmore St 0.2 mi
2. Turn right at 5th Ave 472 ft
3. Turn left at N Neville St 0.4 mi
4. Turn right at Centre Ave 0.3 mi
5. Turn left at Morewood Ave 364 ft
6. Turn right at Baum Blvd/PA-380 0.6 mi
7. Slight left at S Negley Ave 1.6 mi
8. Turn right toward Mellon St 0.1 mi
9. Turn left at Mellon St 430 ft
10. Continue on Hill Rd/One Wild Pl 0.1 mi
11. Turn left to stay on Hill Rd/One Wild Pl 0.6 mi
12. Turn right at PA-8/Washington Blvd 0.1 mi
13. Take the ramp onto Highland Park Bridge 0.6 mi
14. Exit onto Freeport Rd 1.6 mi
Freeport Rd [6.5 total miles]
I generally take the sidewalk on HP Br, though I think most bicyclists don’t. If you take the rd, make sure you take the 1st exit (Aspinwall)! If you take the sidewalk, slow down through the left turn and take care for traffic coming up from Sharpsburg at the other end.
Why the rigamarole between Craig and Negley. I usually just took Ellsworth between the two. Direct shot, and can’t be any worse traffic wise than Center or Baum.
This would just be Neville to right on Ellsworth (one block north of Fifth), to left on Negley. I realize the intersection at Baum/Center leaves something to be desired, but you’re already mostly there on your directions.
Just an opinion, based on my belief that Ellsworth was/is one of the more bike friendly routes in the east end.
Ellsworth would work just fine; I avoid it ’cause my childhood house is just off of it and it’s odd-feeling passing it by. Plus Baum seems a little quicker to me.
Oh, and I’m not all that sold on the Waterworks parking lot: sure, cars are moving slower, but IMO less predictable. Give cars asphalt in every direction and you get some crazy driving! (Not to diss lfb011089; just not my preference).
Although this post is kind of old and you have probably have found a suitable route by now, I thought I would respond with a little anecdote of my own.
Many moons ago, in 1991 I beleive, I worked at the Sunoco gas station at the bottom of Fox Chapel Road and lived on North Craig Street. I depended on the 500 bus, which at the time ran once per hour, to get me to and from work so if I missed it I would be dreadfully late for my minimum wage job. One day after receiving my pay in cash I started to walk towards the bus stop only to see the bus speed by. Now since this had happened too many times to count, and I was once again stranded for an extra hour in Fox Chapel, this was the last straw for me. I took my $250 pay, walked into Dick’s sporting goods and laid down $200 on a brand new Team Murray mtb.
Those first few weeks riding back and forth on that sub standard (even for those days) bike were difficult to say the least. But soon my legs got stronger and I found a relatively safe route and my confidence and ability increased. This led to my love for cycling as an adult and soon I quit my job at the gas station and took a job as a Triangle messenger. Ah the awesome power of cycling!
Incidentally, from experience I can tell you that the route Lyle suggested above is the best if you can stand the traffic. The only thing I would do differantly is I would jump off Fifth on Hamilton and take Negley Run down to Washington Blvd. as this eliminates most of Washington Blvd.’s hectic traffic. Good luck and keep your head on a swivel!