Route Suggestions: Oakland to Fox Chapel
So now that the weather is turning, I’d like to start biking to work. I live in Oakland and work in Fox Chapel in the Waterworks Wall. Whats the best route to take do you guys think? The Highland Park bridge seems like it would be a disaster on a bike, but its really the only one I know of. Im also not opposed to going a little out of my way to take a safer bridge.
Highland Park’s not bad.
62nd St bridge is a little more mellow; that dumps you off in the east end of Sharpsburg, so an easy cruise up Main St through Aspinwall will get you there.
Personally, I often find myself using Highland Park outbound, and returning via 62nd St. No real well-thought-out reasons…just kinda works for me.
Highland Park Bridge outbound is not bad. Just be as visible as possible at the merge point of the on-ramp from Butler Street. The bridge also has a slight downward slope in that direction, so it feels a little easier to go a little faster.
I like HPB both directions (in-bound you also have the option of the sidewalk – but watch the glass!). I like the sidewalk in-bound because traffic coming off of 28S really flies onto the bridge and that can be really intense. But we all have our tolerances. For me, depending on the time of day, I’m glad for the sidewalk. Also, the climb up through the zoo is very manageable. Makes a difference at the end of the day.
(PS-Don’t let Reddan fool you. All of his reasons are well thought out. He just can’t always remember what they are.)
I rode the ballast between Millvale and 62SB last week. Bone jarring, you don’t go fast, and there’s always the chance some railroad guy will give you a hard time, but it does help you avoid a lot of traffic.
Once you get to civilization again, duck under the 28 overpass, go left up to 40SB (I ride between the cones until they disappear, then take the left lane), straight up 40th, L Liberty, R Bloomfield Bridge, and then wherever.
I much prefer the 62nd street bridge, though admittedly I have never done HPB. Depending on the time of day, could make a pretty nice trip over on millvale to bloomfield, down through the cemetery, up butler, 62nd street and then through sharpsburg.
The interchange between HPB and main street was dodgy last I went through there, but that was mainly due to my false mental image of what the intersection was going to be. You know what happens when you assume…
Due to service cuts from PAT, I now ride the HPB both ways.In the am because my bus drops me off right under the bridge, I usually ride the sidewalk because it is usually still a bit dark and Im not too warmed up. The sidewalk is pretty clean right now as I recently saw someone with a blower blowing all of the junk into the river. Just be careful coming around the bend on the sidewalk, the fence makes a nice blind spot. I usually yell something as I approach it.
On the way home I started on the sidewalk when I first began about 3 years ago, but that only lasted a few days before I started riding on the road. The only issues I have evr really had on the bridge (besides once having to avoid running over a large sex toy and other various debris at occasional times) is the cross winds.
Otherwise, I never seem to have a problem merging onto the bridge.
i’m not a huge fan of the highland park bridge because of the speed and density of traffic. it’s not that i fear for my safety, really, it’s just that it can be nerve-wracking. i’m riding a bike because it’s the more enjoyable mode, and i don’t want that enjoyment lessened because jagoffs have to cross the river at 60 mph.
on 62nd street, the traffic may reach the same speeds, but i only ever get passed by like one or two cars either direction (granted, i’m usually not traveling through there at rush hour).
the problem with 62nd is, as almklm said, the ride up through the zoo is pretty nice, and you’d have to backtrack to get there.
that said, i guess my preferred route to waterworks would be: ellsworth -> negley -> stanton -> chislett -> greenwood -> morningside -> baker -> butler -> 62nd street bridge -> main -> freeport.
on the return, i’d probably go 62nd -> butler -> main -> liberty, or maybe do a wiggle on hot or tired days.
That’s an awfully big detour with a lot of back-tracking just to avoid the perceived hazards of HPB. Also, Butler Street to 62nd, then Freeport Road back through Sharpsburg is no gimme. That adds a lot of miles, and I would argue the combined hazards of that route easily outweigh HPB.
fair enough. while i ride out there fairly frequently for leisure, i’ve never commuted that way. the extra mile doesn’t bother me a bit. i suppose it might if i were headed to or from work.
main through sharpsburg is a fairly pleasant ride, and butler is one lane each way and wide over that stretch. i wouldn’t necessarily suggest them to someone new to biking on city streets, but they are far less harrowing than the highland park bridge.
i guess one nice thing about that commute is that there are several-to-many feasible routes you can take. it won’t get boring.
My biggest concern is that I usually commute to work at 8 and 5 so I hit the rush hour traffic on HPB.
But you would be going opposite the rush each time, no?
doesn’t highland park bridge have a separated sidewalk? if you’re worried about teh speeders.
I go over the HPB on the sidewalk – there’s a loop at the end – a safe way down to Freeport Rd.
I make maps for group rides and I’ve recently created one that could help you. I call the map “The Zoo and the Fox.” As you can guess, it’s a map that will get you from the Zoo to Freeport Rd. It has turn-by-turn directions.
Yeah hpb sidewalk is cool in either direction. Sometimes I come home to morningside from the strip y way of 31st to millvale trail to railroad bed to main st to hpb then up baker to the morningside steps just for the hell of it and take Anteitam to president way and salmon for a block or two to my house. Nice ride.
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