Southside to Riverfront Trail

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orionz06
Participant
#

I commute from the North Hills to a place near the Birminham Bridge. The route from the Riverfront Trail, or actually River Avenue for me, is pretty much set in stone, but I am having a tough time finding a decent way to get from Carson Street to the trail. Going through downtown is meh in the afternoons, but not terrible in the AM (7-7:30), I can take the 10th street bridge and head right up Carson, or head up Forbes and hit the Birmingham, but is there any better way? I am not concerned with distance as much as I am cutting my time down, and waiting in traffic or for walk lights is annoying. Suggestions welcome.


reddan
Keymaster
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I work by the Birmingham (21st and Wharton) as well, and come in from Brighton Heights/Bellevue. Simplest zero-traffic route I know of is trail–>Ft Duqnesne Bridge–>Pt State Park–>Ft Pitt Bridge–>South Side Trail–>18th St.

Fastest route I’ve found is Pt St Park–>Blvd of Allies–>Second Ave–>10th St Bridge.


rsprake
Participant
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Can you get to the strip district easily? This is the fastest way I’ve found across downtown.


orionz06
Participant
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@Reddan: That looks to be a slight tweak on what I have seen as well, I will give it a shot tomorrow or Thursday depending on the rain.

@Rsprake: I can, I need to get to Shaler/Ross/Millvale where they all come together, so I have lots of leeway there. River Avenue appears to be the fastest section for me so far, no traffic and mostly flat. It has also helped me get used to riding in the drop bars.


dwillen
Participant
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Can you get to the strip district easily? This is the fastest way I’ve found across downtown.

That does look fast, you go over those buildings, or right through them? :)


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Two years ago my commute was to Technology Drive off 2nd Ave, from McCandless. By bike, it was a tossup for me whether to take Perry and Perrysville, which is more direct but hilly, or Babcock into Millvale, which added about 2 miles.

Downtown from Millvale, I usually went via river trail, 9SB, 7Av, Wm Penn/Cherry Way, 4Av, Grant, Jail Trail. On Downtown streets I usually took the lane at every opportunity, and adhered to traffic rules mmmmost of the time.

Downtown from the direct route, I usually came across 6SB, wiggled somehow over to 4Av (varied with construction), and then as above.

Afternoons, I just dealt with Grant Street, taking the lane. I figure that anyone caring to go faster than me is also breaking the speed limit, so too bad for them. Except for the rise from Jail Trail to 3Av, it’s mainly flat. Getting a red here and there was simply an opportunity to catch my breath. Otherwise my problem with traffic was me having to wait for them.


sloaps
Participant
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Fastest route I’ve found is Pt St Park–>Blvd of Allies–>Second Ave–>10th St Bridge.

I used to take that route when I worked in the strip. only issue were the pavement craters between the jail and 10th street.


reddan
Keymaster
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@sloaps:I used to take that route when I worked in the strip. only issue were the pavement craters between the jail and 10th street.

Yep. Taking the lane is especially warranted in that stretch by the jail, due to craters and risk of getting doored. The sidewalk there is not a bad option, though, if one doesn’t wish to play in traffic.


rsprake
Participant
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dwillen, Google maps failed me. It should be Penn > 10th > William Penn > all the way across town until you hit Fort Pitt Blvd. Not sure about the other way.


Steven
Participant
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@rsprake: Instead of using Google’s draw-lines feature, give it the start and end points (one way is right-clicking; then in some browsers, press Esc to show Google’s menu) and have it show bike directions. Then drag the route it picks to go the way you want. Example. Draw-lines is OK for drawing a box around a region, but isn’t well suited to drawing routes.


orionz06
Participant
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*Fastest route I’ve found is Pt St Park–>Blvd of Allies–>Second Ave–>10th St Bridge.*

This worked out pretty well, one or two of the intersections was a little sketchy, but I was able to cruise along nicely. The real test will be on the way home.


reddan
Keymaster
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For your return, you might want to try South Side Trail–>Smithfield St Bridge–>Fort Pitt Blvd–>Pt St Park. 10th St to Second Ave to Blvd of Allies in the evening is ridable, but unlovely.


orionz06
Participant
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That was actually what I was planning on. On my car route home I will see some of that and I don’t like being caged in there let alone on a 17 pound bike that is likely to wrap around me in an accident.

I will say though that using a road bike is a hell of a lot better than using my 5″ travel FS mountain bike like I did last year. Day 4 of commuting and I am already feeling like I should be really hammering on it a little more. Once I get my front speed sensor from the company I will be trying to figure out a goal speed and goal cadence to work with.

It does feel like cheating to get exercise to and from work AND enjoy it.


reddan
Keymaster
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It does feel like cheating to get exercise to and from work AND enjoy it.

Don’t forget “save hundred of dollars a year in fuel costs alone.” ;-)


orionz06
Participant
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To be 100% honest, the fuel costs are far down the list vs exercise, ride enjoyment, and time in traffic. Often times the car ride home can take up to 45 minutes. I am at 40 minutes by bike and hoping to shave that down to 30 minutes once I get things sorted out. Again, I hope Sigma sends me a new speed sensor soon, as dumb as it sounds, the number on the computer is a damned good motivator. I was able to do the same commute last year with a mountain bike in 35 minutes, I hope I can get to 25 minutes with a CAAD10.

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