Saw Mill Run Blvd
So let’s say I take a Y-forty-something bus out to Glenbury, the last stop on the South Busway, adjacent to the 51 and 88 intersection. And then let’s say I jump on my bike, make a left, and start riding inbound on Saw Mill Run Blvd.
What are my chances that I will actually make it, intact, to the West End Circle?
Does anyone feel like joining me? I plan to take the lane for the entire trip.
I could do this Sunday, May 5. Or pick a date.
“What are my chances that I will actually make it, intact, to the West End Circle?”
Stu, there was a 18-month period where I took a temporary assignment in West Mifflin that would seem to require a daily drive from the Pkwy West down 51 and I decided that driving Route 51 in a car put me at unacceptable risk and I found alternative routes.
Here’s what I’d like to ask: In a world with resources and assets, what’s the safest way to do this, while still advancing the point you’re trying to make?
I wonder if the answer isn’t with a car behind you, flashers on, protecting you from other cars; on a Sunday morning.
I’d be happy to drive behind you when we coordinate schedules, and I think that might have a better outcome.
But I acknowledge that involving the car might be outside the Rules of Engagement.
I decided not to do this today. But I am not against employing use of the car. Heck, I do drive, I might just take the car out there myself sometime, put the blinkers on with the GoPro sticking out the back window, and intentionally drive from 51/88 to W.E.C. at 9 mph.
Again, though, I do wonder, why is Saw Mill Run worse than McKnight?
And I do tend to agree, yes it is worse, as I have driven 51 and ridden McKnight a bunch of times. I just don’t understand why.
I think the experience will be much worse than Mcknight road for sure. I’d suggest trying it in a car doing the posted speed limit first. That should put you in the proper frame of mind for judging risk of doing it even slower without the metal shell. I would also think that a weekday morning would be safer due to the enforcement of lower speeds due to all those cars sitting behind each other -with one occupant- on their way into work.
StuInMcCandless wrote:Again, though, I do wonder, why is Saw Mill Run worse than McKnight?
Just tossing this out, this is a quick thought that just popped up, no analysis done, so feel free to rip it apart. But, in that particular compass direction, there is a combination of dense third and fourth tier suburbs, along with no viable limited access highway alternative. So people are literally trying to use this narrow secondary road with driveways every hundred feet, to haul ass out to (and in from) Jefferson Hills, Elizabeth, etc.
Also it seems like the near suburbs dumping on to Saw Mill are denser than those dumping onto McKnight.
I don’t know what you do about that, that’s just my “why”.
You’re probably right, Bill. My wife had a job in a private home up on the top of the hill on Glenbury for a couple of years. That whole chunk of the city by Glenbury and Aaron is essentially a second-tier, post-WW2 sprawl suburb, two cars per household, zero transit use, near zero transit availability, no way out other than by car. And this is IN the city. Heck, even in Fineview, with similar mountain goat topography, there’s not just one route but three (8 Perrysville, 11 Fineview, 15 Charles), and steps all over the place. Glenbury and Aaron, you have one set of steps (Jacob Street, to Central on the South Busway) and the T is not-gettable-to at all. Or a mile walk to the 39 Brookline, or a half mile hill down to the Busway at Glenbury.
Beyond there, the transit routes scatter worse than the houses. If it was possible TO get to a bus, people might use it, but there aren’t enough routes, not enough service, zero park & ride, and very poor walkability. I’ve walked 51 from about Whited to about Stewart Ave. Just horrible. I don’t know how people would manage to live out there with cars not being a viable option.
I am less familiar with the ‘burbs beyond the 51/Brownsville corner, but I just don’t see how anyone can ride a bike out there. I can’t imagine doing what I do from north, from there.
It occurs to me that instead of the zombie Mon-Fayette stupidity, PennDot should have just started acquiring the property all along 51 (edit: at least) from the Fort Pitt tunnels to 88, elevate and replace all the cross streets with bridges and ramps (not very many), and install a bike/ped route alongside. No neighborhoods destroyed, and all the businesses through that stretch are all low-grade fugly BS anyway.
So I guess thinking about my “why” led to something anyway.
1) The low grade fugly businesses probably have enough influence on the politics to prevent this.
2) How different is this from the the zombie Mon-Fayette? Wasn’t going down Saw Mill Run one of the options considered?
Here is a sampling of Post-Gazette articles on this stretch of road, which has been a mess for half a century.
When I was racing motorcycles I bought most of my parts & supplies from the Yamaha shop on 51 in Brookline, which is a very nice business. Getting the parts was about as dangerous as racing the bikes!
Today, I did a short ride on Saw Mill Run Blvd. and Library Rd. from the South Bank T station to the McNeilly T Station. I made it to McNeilly intact through the fustercluck near Rite Aid, but I had to cut through some parking lots and hug the shoulder on Library Rd. out of fear. I wore a bright orange vest over my jacket. Here is a link to a video.
P.S. The neighborhood along Saw Mill Run Blvd. near Overbrook Blvd. is cute. I didn’t see anything “fugly” In this area.
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