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Riding the GAP: Pittsburgh hotels: safe bridges?

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Riding the GAP: Pittsburgh hotels: safe bridges?

Old 04-11-18, 07:53 AM
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eridout
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Riding the GAP: Pittsburgh hotels: safe bridges?

Looking for a Pittsburgh hotel prior to riding the GAP trail, maybe the Priory on the Northside. But wondering whether it's possible to ride safely across any of the Allegheny River bridges through a Monday morning rush hour?
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Old 04-11-18, 08:00 AM
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There are two hotels on Smallman St. near the train station. Would eliminate the need to cross the river. I stayed at the Hampton Inn. No problem brining the bike in the room.
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Old 04-11-18, 08:14 AM
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The Roberto Clemente Bridge has a bike path But you really don't need it . Even times of worst traffic in the city, I feel very comfortable riding on most any street in the city. In fact I think the bike paths are far more dangerous than riding in traffic.

In addition to the hotels Indy mentioned. There are a couple right on the bike path (or near it) on the Southside. PM Tarwheel for his opinion. But it looks like a great hotel, I can try and lookup the name if you don't hear from him.

If you are coming in at night, I advise against taking the bikepath to the Southside. Lots of homeless and signs of gang activity. If coming from the train station, I would take Grant to 2nd Ave then cross the Mon at the Hotmetal Bridge.

FYI. If you are renting a car, you have the option of dropping the car at the airport. You can then take the Montour Trail from the airport to the GAP. Let me know if you are interested and I can detail that option.
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Old 04-11-18, 12:43 PM
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There's Hyatt and Spring Hill Suites in South Side Works. and a Sheraton in Station Square. Is your goal to leave from the Point or just make the ride? If you're just riding staying in the Waterfront in Homestead might be cheaper. As for crossing bridges I wouldn't worry too much about it as there are plenty of options. You can always cross on the Ft Duquesne bridge from the north shore or the Ft Pitt bridge from downtown. I commute from East to West through Pittsburgh rush hour frequently and my only advice would be to stay off Carson St as it can be frightening... Also depending on when you come the switchback to the Smithfield St bridge might be done. It looks like they're readying to pour the concrete, though they don't have guide rails up yet.
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Old 04-16-18, 01:34 PM
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Hotels

We’ve stayed at the Spring Hill Suites, which is right next to the Hot Metal Bridge on the south side, both times we rode the GAP. Although it’s a little pricey, the cost was reasonable because we were sharing rooms and they provide a very nice breakfast. It was about a 20-minute ride in the dark from the Amtrak station downtown.
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Old 05-05-18, 07:31 AM
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Is there a traditional start point in Pittsburgh for the ride? I booked a hotel on the south side, which is right by the path. Does the ride traditionally start north of the river?
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Old 05-05-18, 08:52 AM
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The ride starts where yous begin.

But Mile 0 is at the point.
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Old 05-05-18, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
The ride starts where yous begin.

But Mile 0 is at the point.
The Point park.
Zooming way in on Google Maps with the Bicycling option shows the trail names repeated down the green lines. It appears that Google shows the trail as Three Rivers Heritage Trail, becoming the GAP trail where it passes by the Glenwood Bridge.
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Old 05-05-18, 09:51 AM
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.Google is wrong. 3 Rivers Heritage trail is part of the GAP. The GAP is not one contiguous trail. Telepathically it is made up of lots of smaller trail segments that have been joined together to form the GAP. Just ask the volunteers the a section of trail is called that put their hard work and sweat into the section they maintain.. You might be surprised of the answer.

And there really is no link yet from the point to the rest of the GAP. Concrete for a new ramp has been poured on the downtown side but work remains to link it with the point along the Mon. This should be complete "later this year". Options are to take street level on the downtown side or cross the Ft. Pitt Bridge to the South Side. Fort Pitt Bridge has a narrow walkway so if you are towing a trailer it could be problematic. It is a bit of a squeeze with panniers especially if someone is coming the other way.

You will want to go into town anyway to see Bicycle Heaven.
https://www.bicycleheaven.org/
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Old 05-05-18, 10:02 AM
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The Montour Trail is also considered a part of the GAP system.

Montour Trail ? A multi-use rail-trail in Allegheny and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania

Mile 0 there would be at the airport or Coraopolis. .

Last edited by spinnaker; 05-05-18 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 05-05-18, 01:10 PM
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Technically, the name of the park is Point State Park. Fine place to start.
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Old 05-07-18, 02:10 PM
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I stayed at the Pittsburgh Sheraton on the river, right across from the start of the Three Rivers Trail. A good experience. Easy to get across the river via the bridge right there. I rode there in the dark at around midnight, due to a very-late Amtrak train. No issues at all, maybe a 8-10 minute ride? The next day was a workday (Friday), and it was no problem to ride from the hotel to the Point and then back via surface streets to start on the Three Rivers Trail.

My review on Tripadvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...nsylvania.html
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Old 05-08-18, 05:25 AM
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As we drive to Pittsburgh I was planning to Hotel in Cranberry 20 miles north of town, drive in Saturday morning and long term park at the Greyhound/Amtrak station which is just north of the Point.
When we Amtrak back, we’ll be at our vehicle.
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Old 05-08-18, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by capper66 View Post
As we drive to Pittsburgh I was planning to Hotel in Cranberry 20 miles north of town, drive in Saturday morning and long term park at the Greyhound/Amtrak station which is just north of the Point.
When we Amtrak back, we’ll be at our vehicle.
The Amtrak station is east of the point not north.

Weekend parking in that garage is very reasonable. But weekday parking can be expensive.

If you are staying in the area first and last night, you might want to contact one of the north or south side hotels and see if they will let you park your car while you are gone. The ones near hot metal bridge might be the best chance of that happening.

It is not a big deal to drive to south side at night, if you stay on surface streets and do not take the bike path.
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Old 05-08-18, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
The Amtrak station is east of the point not north.

Weekend parking in that garage is very reasonable. But weekday parking can be expensive.

If you are staying in the area first and last night, you might want to contact one of the north or south side hotels and see if they will let you park your car while you are gone. The ones near hot metal bridge might be the best chance of that happening.

It is not a big deal to drive to south side at night, if you stay on surface streets and do not take the bike path.
thanks for the information. Looked into it and the hotels on the south side both have small lots and charge for parking. Looking at the map I see that there is 'Hot Metal Parking Garage' on Sydney Street. Being at the Hot Metal Bridge will mean 2 things: 1) needing to back-track to the Point to start the trail at 0 miles; and 2) working our way from Amtrak to the hotel at night.
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Old 05-08-18, 02:06 PM
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It is not a big deal if you stay on the surface streets. It might be cheaper to park on the south side.
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Old 05-09-18, 05:25 AM
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If you want to truly say that you have done the entirety of the Pittsburgh – Washington (GAP/C & O Trail) ride, start at the fountain in Point State Park ( with the obligatory photo of the fountain in the background). The Grand Wyndham Hotel literally is across the street from Point State Park. Although there is no actual bike trail in the park or downtown until you cross Grant Street, you can leave the park via First Avenue, crossing Grant Street after seven or eight blocks and the beginning of the so-called "Jail Trail" ( it actually commences at a PNC Bank operations Center building on Grant Street and a couple blocks letter passes the Allegheny County Jail). This will eliminate any bridges, other than bridges with dedicated bike trails. as you head east out of the city.
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Old 05-29-18, 11:39 AM
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Just finished the GAP. Parked at the Grant Street Transportation Center (1162 Penn St). Left car at 10:30 Saturday picked it up Monday just before midnight. Cost $31. Shares the same corner as Amtrak. Very easy.

Found it it confusing to get from Point Park to the South Side Trail but that’s another issue.
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Old 06-01-18, 10:27 PM
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Being from PGH, I just have to say I ride the trails at night all the time and have never had any issues. Yes there are sometimes homeless people sleeping, but they don't bother anyone. Drunk drivers on E. Carson St. in the South Side are way more dangerous than anything that will happen to you on the trail at night.

P.S. it looks like the South Side hostel just opened up! I can't post links, but Google South Side Traveler's Rest. I'll have to go check it out.
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Old 06-02-18, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by DIY masochist View Post
Being from PGH, I just have to say I ride the trails at night all the time and have never had any issues. Yes there are sometimes homeless people sleeping, but they don't bother anyone. Drunk drivers on E. Carson St. in the South Side are way more dangerous than anything that will happen to you on the trail at night.

P.S. it looks like the South Side hostel just opened up! I can't post links, but Google South Side Traveler's Rest. I'll have to go check it out.
Advice from someone called masochist.
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Old 06-02-18, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DIY masochist View Post
Being from PGH, I just have to say I ride the trails at night all the time and have never had any issues. Yes there are sometimes homeless people sleeping, but they don't bother anyone. Drunk drivers on E. Carson St. in the South Side are way more dangerous than anything that will happen to you on the trail at night.

P.S. it looks like the South Side hostel just opened up! I can't post links, but Google South Side Traveler's Rest. I'll have to go check it out.
LOL! If you want danger on the river trails in Pittsburgh, try riding along the North Shore before a Steeler game. The number of inebriated people is staggering (as is their ability to walk). Do it once and you'll always check your game schedule calendar to make sure you never do it again.
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Old 06-04-18, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Advice from someone called masochist.
It's only when I take on bike mechanic work more complicated than I can handle. I'm not trying to do the Dirty Dozen or anything!
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