Route Advice: Commuting to/from Greentree
I took *THIS* route last weekend out to Greentree.
Can anyone improve on this? This may be my regular commute in the near future between 0600 and 0700 in the mornings. Back into town I was thinking of staying on main street in the West End, navigating through the Circle and hopping onto the sidewalk at West Carson.
Depends on how you feel about another hill. You could make the left on Greentree and shorten it up quite a bit. But it’s a climb, no doubt about that. And I don’t know what the traffic is like up there in the morning it’s deserted on weekends at that time, but probably not during the week.
I’m interested in which is better for biking – Greentree hill, like Stu suggests, or the route you mapped?
I’d be tempted to go down Brosvile to the trail, then hazard West Carson and the West End Circle.
But I haven’t done WEC during rush hour. If I did, I might change my mind.
Whaddaya want? We got nasty traffic or killer hills. Take yer choice.
What constitutes “better for biking?” Better for commuting I’m not sure because I haven’t ridden out there during the week. Greentree is steep, and you’ll probably be passed by a lot of cars, but that might be true of Noblestown as well. Which is less steep but longer.
@sloaps–If you like the Nobelstown route did you notice that you can continue on Noblestown through Crafton and make a left into Foster Plaza on Holiday drive from the other side? Not sure what Poplar was like but I point it out. Holiday is undoubtedly a climb up as well from there. And I see School Street on the map. Poplar is the main route up and down to the Parkway isn’t it?
Edit–@mick I was talking about the West End of this, I too wondered about taking West Carson Street to the WEC. But once you get into the West End it’s either Greentree Hill or Noblestown Road.
Woof. Mt Washington every day, or twice a day… You’re going to need custom tailored pants.
How about taking the T to Beechview? Head down Wenzell and up Carnahan to Greentree.
Or this? Crane from 51 to Beechview is a steep hill and a little narrow but ridable. There’s a school there, not sure about traffic in the morning.
A fun way if you don’t mind an extra big hill is to take Kearns. Its a right from Poplar just before NoblestownRd. Its about as big a hill as Shaler, but after you get to the top its closed to traffic! (It looks like the road started to slide away, its not maintained at all so there’s debris and what not to deal with etc). Its probably not something you’d want to do everday, just as a diversion sometimes. I only ride out here sometimes, If I rode out this way all the time I think I would do like Pinky , I think, on the message board does, the WEC but cross at the crosswalk and down the steps at the West End Bridge. Here’s a streetview shot of Kearns where its closed :
A block up Greentree from Woodville, is Kearns ave. It comes out right on popular near noblestown. It’s a goat trail of a road, and I havent been on it in a few years, but it’s covered in trees and low volume.
Kearns == fun.
I suspect, however, that Kearns in winter == hazard to life and limb. The closed bit had some really sweet sheer cliffs sans guardrail, the last time I ventured there-wards.
@myself Greentree hill, like Stu suggests, or the route you mapped?
Kicks self in head. Kearns is really cool.
Wow, I’ve always looked into Kearns and wondered about it. Now here, in the space of 5 minutes four people tout it. Going to have to check that out. And remarkably, I only noticed Shaler Street up Mt. Washington today for the first time. Have to check that out too.
For the record, it wasn’t me who made any suggestion concerning Greentree Hill. West End Circle maybe, West Carson maybe, and rail-to-trail suggestions near the Wabash Tunnel, but I’ve never been up in the Greentree area on a bike.
Shaler has a nice sidewalk you can ride up without worrying about getting run over…
I’d go through the West End Circle. The route I’d use would be East Carson, go through Station Square (exit E. Carson at the Exxon) to the lower exit. At the stoplight, get onto West Carson (or use the sidewalk) and take it to the West End Circle. Tough part is getting into the left lane. Then go through the West End getting on Main St. and either a left onto Wabash and up Greentree Road or just go straight and make the left onto Noblestown.
That way the only hill you’ll have is Greentree Hill. You shouldn’t find it too much more difficult than all that up & down riding on Mt. Washington. Plus there’s the added bonus of not having to replace your brakes every week because of going down Shaler St.
I scoped out a few routes last week in the evenings and chose Noblestown to Poplar to Mansfield because all were either very wide or had good sidewalks.
Noblestown is wiiide and 35 mph. Poplar (30mph) has a nice sidewalk upto the intersection with mansfield. From the pedestrian signal at the intersection, I can take the lane and zip down to Foster Plaza in the mornings and take the sidewalk up to the intersection with Poplar in the evenings.
Greentree Road – I would prefer Greentree Road, but I am leery of the width because I don’t know the traffic conditions. If anyone can confirm that traffic is low volume that early, then all the better.
Crane Avenue – Same issues as Greentree, and I have to navigate 51 for a short stretch between Warrington and Crane. Even at 0600 the traffic is fierce.
West End Circle – I don’t know the traffic volume outbound in the mornings. So for now, I’d like to avoid it in the mornings. For whatever reason I think I’ll be okay in the evenings, inbound.
Traveling further down Noblestown instead of making the left onto Poplar wasn’t a better option in my opinion. Noblestown narrows, the pavement gets sketchy and the grade up into Foster Plaza is nasty. Also, my left off of Noblestown and onto Poplar is through the gas station before the traffic light.
Whether it’s Greentree, Noblestown or Crane, the trip home will follow Main Street through the West End Circle and onto West Carson. I don’t want to haul up Shaler in the evenings – that’s like Sycamore and I don’t hate myself enough. I figure in the mornings I’ll accept the climbs up St. Thomas and Beltzhoover for the ride along Grandview.
Here’s my experience commuting between Crafton and Downtown. Coming from town to Crafton, I take the Ft Pitt Bridge walkway to the sidewalk. I carry my bike up the West End Bridge stairs – I just don’t have the gumption to ride through the WEC with traffic.
I then walk my bike through the crosswalks, which puts me on the Main St sidewalk. That swoops down under the ramp that connects Steuben and Main. After Artifacts, I get on Main St proper and follow Noblestown Rd.
If you go straight onto Crafton Blvd instead of making the left to follow Noblestown/50, there’s less traffic and a nice tree-shaded section downhill.
You can then go left on Baldwick (take the lane) and straight up School (neighborhood) and then from there onto Poplar and Greentree.
On opposite commute, once you hit Carson St you can cut left at Station Square and use that handy little trail. Since I work near the Point, I need to be up on the bridge by then.
One thing to watch in West End on Main St – the cops come FLYING out of their parking lot and don’t look carefully. I now ride past there assuming that a car is coming out after having two days in a row when I had too-close calls.
I can tell you about traffic volume in WEC in both mornings and evenings if you let me know which way you are planning to go and what time.
Noblestown is super fun to go down, and generally forgiving on the way up. It’s long and nice and wide, but not super steep, so you’re not gasping the whole way up.
West End Circle outbound at six in the moe’nin is pretty easy, inbound at six in the eve’nin is… interesting. Some days there’s a break in the outbound traffic that allows me to hang a left onto the sidewalk by the fueling station, but other days I ride the centerline upto a signaled intersection and turn there.
Friday I got from my office in Greentree to the Strip District (mango slushie) in 30 minutes – I was flying down Noblestown(!).
I was flying down Noblestown(!).
I love that banked left turn and the run underneath the trees, just before you get to the West End proper.
I tried the Main-thru-the-WEC-onto-Carson-inbound on Sunday morning. Very light traffic, nobody following me down the ramp. I ducked across outbound WCarson to the sidewalk at first opportunity.
Scary as hell. I wouldn’t *think* of doing this at rush hour.
I think trying to get over to the right shoulder would be even worse, since you can’t see them coming up behind you.
I’ve battled outbound McKnight. I regularly tangle with the PerryHwy/GreenBelt intersection. I duke it out with the Calif/PA65 merge point from time to time. Downtown traffic doesn’t even faze me. Hell, I’ll even battle outbound Liberty in the Strip from time to time.
None of that compares to trying that ramp for the first time. There just isn’t *anywhere* to go, and everyone is f’n flying.
Haha Stu – I used to do that during rush hour and riding on McKnight (or Ross/McCandless in general) still seems way more insane to me. So, I guess it’s all a matter of perspective and/or what you get used to.
FWIW, I only tried getting into the right lane once, that was enough. Seriously, the way to do it is take the lane down the ramp and ride the double-yellow until you can make a left – usually the light when traffic is heavy, sometimes I could sneak right into the gas station.
Bump – Noblestown Road is closed to traffic because of a landslide. Hubby and I may try Kearns this week. Does anybody know what the conditions are like lately?
no idea about kearns. greentree road was swept late last week, though.
I heard about that landslide this morning, but I didn’t ride today.
I’ve never been down Kearns, so, no help. When I do ride in I’ll prob just stay on Steuben to Neidle.
Edmonds, do you go home that way too? And then just ride Steuben the whole way through Crafton?
Today we went a crazy way home that I mapped out for maximum Pittsburgh alley action and monster hills. It was like Neidel to something to something to something that put us out on Stratmore.
Hubby wants to go his way next time We both commented on how flat the top of Crafton Blvd looked after Neidel.
I usually go all the way out Noblestown to Crafton to Hawthorne then poke into Carnegie to Campbells Run and home. If I get a chance to ride this week I may need to try an alternate.
Hm, never had a problem with WEC. Inbound or outbound. Go the West End Overlook from Three River Heritage Trail. During lunch time I go often from TRHT to WEC, turn right at bridge and the either right to exit to Reedsdale or left to get to California.
If I need to turn left from West End Bridge then I go to Steuben, left on short and left on ramp/
Here’s what the landslide looks like today:
We asked nicely and the DPW guys let us through. We’re still going to try Kearns on the way home though – just for fun.
It finally fell… that section has a constant stream of water flowing down to the street. A poorly conceived swale to divert the water and Sawhorse-type barriers along the shoulder; attributing to severe icing conditions in the winter.
There’s another landslide slumping a section of noblestown further down the inbound lane. That’s where I thought you were referring to…
Yeah it was only a matter of time before it came down. I posted a picture of this area for the Wheelset game when the topic was mysteries – and the mystery was “Why is there always water even at the height of a drought?”
I have to wonder if what’s up the hill from it contributes? Check out the satellite view: http://goo.gl/maps/KnYf2
Nice landslide. Right where I guessed it would be. ^What sloaps said. As long as it didn’t take out the whacky decorated house it’s ok.
That is very cool that you commute together.
Let me know how Kearns goes.
From the info I received, they anticipate the repair to take most of this week. The high water table has been there since I was a child (folks had small farms in Elliot in those days). I have been taking Herschel to connect with Steuben, a bit of a drudge, but am curious about Kearns as well.
We took Kearns tonight and it was super fun. The road surface is bad, but not impassable. The road is steep, but not as bad as Niedel was yesterday.
The only scary thing is that right at the top of the closed bit, there are two giant dead trees leaning on the power lines. You can easily get through without being in danger, but it’s disconcerting.
Here’s the route we took from the North Shore to Crafton:
The dirt piles and heavy equipment were gone this morning, hoping the road will be officially open this afternoon.
Yeah they’ve made good progress so far. It’s amazing how they had to completely reshape the hill.
I’ve been cutting through, slowly and while waving at the DPW guys, since it closed. The low traffic is so nice – I might be a bit sad when it reopens.
I rode through there Saturday, impressive. From below the slide looked perilously close to the base of the huge cell tower, but hopefully an illusion.
probably the shortest route – not necessarily the flattest
Right on 51
left on Crane
Up Crane again
right onto Carnahan
I’d map it out but I dont know how to save the map in google maps
btdt: use the chain icon on the sidebar–next to the printer icon–to get a link to recreate the map. with a little experimentation, you can even figure out what extraneous stuff google sticks in there that you can get away with cutting to make a shorter link. if I understand your route right, i can cut the link for it down to:
the important parts here are saddr= (start address), daddr= (destination address, and every control point en route), and via= (which points are en route, which are destinations).
dirflg=b sets ‘use bike directions’ (use =w for walking, =r for transit), lci=bike shows the bike routes, paths, etc.
and yes that is the route
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