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Switchback Ramp at Pittsburgh End of GAP Nearing Completion

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Switchback Ramp at Pittsburgh End of GAP Nearing Completion

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Old 05-07-18, 10:52 AM
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Altair 4
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Switchback Ramp at Pittsburgh End of GAP Nearing Completion

Almost Ready To Roll: Missing Link In GAP Trail Downtown Nearing Completion | 90.5 WESA

No actual date mentioned, other than "as soon as possible." This should eliminate road-riding between Point State Park and where the "car-free" trail starts.
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Old 05-07-18, 11:50 AM
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I hate turning the corners on those ramps with a fully loaded touring bike. Just sayin.
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Old 05-07-18, 02:05 PM
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"Opening in August or September" even though the ramp itself is poured and done. Gotta love the pace of public works projects! But it will be a nice addition. I got really lost and confused there two years ago when I started from the Point on my GAP ride.
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Old 05-07-18, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I hate turning the corners on those ramps with a fully loaded touring bike. Just sayin.
Beats this

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Old 05-07-18, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Philly Tandem View Post
I got really lost and confused there two years ago when I started from the Point on my GAP ride.
All you needed to do was ask.
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Old 05-07-18, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
Almost Ready To Roll: Missing Link In GAP Trail Downtown Nearing Completion 90.5 WESA

No actual date mentioned, other than "as soon as possible." This should eliminate road-riding between Point State Park and where the "car-free" trail starts.

Now I am torn between the Katy and the GAP to ride this summer.
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Old 05-07-18, 05:53 PM
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This might tip the balance.
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Old 05-07-18, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
All you needed to do was ask.
I would have, but I didn't see you around when I was lost! ;-)

I went to the Point on a whim; hadn't really planned to do so, but I thought "why not"? I was using my hotel-provided tourist map to navigate there...
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Old 05-07-18, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Philly Tandem View Post
I would have, but I didn't see you around when I was lost! ;-)

I went to the Point on a whim; hadn't really planned to do so, but I thought "why not"? I was using my hotel-provided tourist map to navigate there...
That was you first mistake, Venturing out without contacting me.
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Old 05-08-18, 06:42 AM
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Spinnaker,
Is that you, couldn't resist one of me. Great to have biking and whitewater near Pittsburgh.
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Old 05-08-18, 06:47 AM
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I am not that brave. The run from Confluence to Ohiopyle has enough rapids for me.
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Old 06-15-18, 09:10 AM
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During last evening's ride, I stopped to view and photograph the progress of the switchback. They've got a ways to go to get this finished and even farther to go to make the immediate area visually appealing.


Safety rails need to be installed and grading/resurfacing on the approach are as yet unfinished.



The path section of the Mon Wharf leading up to the switchback is in desperate need of cleaning and replanting. The parking area surface has many wide cracks that need addressing. It has a lot of potential, but I think the summer season is going to be over before this project reaches completion.

It was a beautiful evening for ride, though, with the temperature being 78 and low humidity at 35%. The dew point was in the upper 40's. So pleasant and rare for us!
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Old 08-09-18, 12:34 PM
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Best directions from Pittsburgh Point to the GAP trail?

Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
During last evening's ride, I stopped to view and photograph the progress of the switchback. They've got a ways to go to get this finished . . .
Thanks for the photos in June. Is the new ramp open yet?
Otherwise, I'm hoping for recommendations on the best bike route from Pittsburgh Point to the GAP trail.
Friends and I are planning a September ride.
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Old 08-09-18, 01:28 PM
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It's getting close, they have started putting the fence up. BikePGH thread here.

I'm not sure if this actually gets rid of the Ft Pitt Blvd nightmare to connect the point to the rest of the GAP though. It's hard to see on Google Maps where that trail goes. Now I have an excuse to go ride down there tonight and investigate
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Old 08-09-18, 01:37 PM
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I haven't ridden past it since late July:


How adverse are you to street riding? What day of the week would you be riding in Pittsburgh?

I've shepherded a family of 4 on a Saturday morning from Point State Park's fountain to the dedicated trail using part of the route shown on the GAP's website: https://gaptrail.org/explore/printable-maps . The change I made was making a right onto Smithfield Street, using the bus lane. Then I had them ride out the Eliza Furnace trail (locally known as the "Jail Trail") which is also part of the GAP. If you were planning on riding here on a weekday at rush hour, my suggestion would be different.

There are alternatives, some of which will have you deal with some temporary trails on the Southside of Pittsburgh (across the Monongahela River from the downtown core) due to new construction near Station Square. .
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Old 08-09-18, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by eridout View Post
Thanks for the photos in June. Is the new ramp open yet?
Otherwise, I'm hoping for recommendations on the best bike route from Pittsburgh Point to the GAP trail.
Friends and I are planning a September ride.
Regardless if it is ready or not a better ride will be along the Allegheny River side then cross under the convention center. If the fountain is on you will be in for a real treat. Head toward Grant Street, then take Grant. At the end of Grant there is a place where you can hop on the sidewalk to cross the Smithfield Street Bridge. Grant is cobblestone with just a bit of traffic but IMHO some of the best architecture in the city along that street.

DOn't forget to visit Bicycle Heaven before setting out.
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Old 08-09-18, 06:07 PM
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It looks like all they have to do is put on those two panels of fence on the left and open up the gates at the start and end. I assume they'll probably want to pave the bottom or something before it opens up, though. The ramp is very wide. I wouldn't have any qualms about making that turn fully loaded. It will connect you all the way to the point without having to go on the road when it's done. TBH, there's a place on the trail between this ramp and the point where it gets pinched between a big column and a fence. Probably more annoying to ride through that than anything.


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Old 08-09-18, 08:09 PM
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I think this was a huge waste of money and doesn't serve the city well as far as the GAP is concerned. I would rather see a route through downtown to get from the point to the north side. Pittsburgh has some awesome architecture. Some of the best in the world and it should be enjoyed by visitors. I had a friend come visit from Slovenia and he was very impressed with many of our buildings. That says a lot considering all the wonderful architecture that can be found through Europe and eastern Europe.

It does keep folks off of the streets and on the trails but I can't think of a street in the downtown area were I feel uncomfortable riding even during rush hour.

I just hope this connection doesn't encourage people from taking the direct route to get onto the GAP rather than take a few minutes to tour though on wonderful city and marvel at all of the architecture that you will never see built again.
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Old 08-10-18, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by DIY masochist View Post
It looks like all they have to do is put on those two panels of fence on the left and open up the gates at the start and end. I assume they'll probably want to pave the bottom or something before it opens up, though. The ramp is very wide. I wouldn't have any qualms about making that turn fully loaded. It will connect you all the way to the point without having to go on the road when it's done. TBH, there's a place on the trail between this ramp and the point where it gets pinched between a big column and a fence. Probably more annoying to ride through that than anything.
Agreed on that pinch point! I'd like to see the state park's dumpsters moved out of the way or to a different location as well.
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Old 08-10-18, 11:32 AM
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Huh, I think I crossed at the Hot Metal Bridge both times. Did I do it wrong? Do I have to go again? 3rd time's a charm!
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Old 08-10-18, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Huh, I think I crossed at the Hot Metal Bridge both times. Did I do it wrong? Do I have to go again? 3rd time's a charm!
That's the way I'd go. You get that nice last view of the city skyline and the photo op that way.
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Old 08-10-18, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Huh, I think I crossed at the Hot Metal Bridge both times. Did I do it wrong? Do I have to go again? 3rd time's a charm!
It is a much quieter ride if you take the Smithfield St bridge and take the trail on that side of the river. The 'jail trail" can be very noisy from traffic. I much prefer the south side of the river.
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Old 08-10-18, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
It is a much quieter ride if you take the Smithfield St bridge and take the trail on that side of the river. The 'jail trail" can be very noisy from traffic. I much prefer the south side of the river.
.
Some local took me to what I think you are talking about when you say Jail Trail that I then took to Hot Metal. It was noisy. If I ever do it again I will take Smithfield. Haven't seen that part of the South Side in decades. Used to go to Blue Lou's every once in a while during law school.

Hey, babushka mamma. Take a walk on the South Side. And the Polish girls go do do do do.....
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Old 08-10-18, 01:00 PM
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It is actually even nicer if you take the Allegheny river side bike path and cross under the convention center. Then make your way down Grant St to the Smithfield St. Bridge. Takes a bit of figuring to get on to the sidewalk/path that leads to the bridge but it is pretty much across the the PNC building
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Old 08-10-18, 03:01 PM
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Any updates on getting from Pittsburgh Point to the GAP trail?

Thank you Spinnaker!

Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Regardless if it is ready or not a better ride will be along the Allegheny River side then cross under the convention center. If the fountain is on you will be in for a real treat. Head toward Grant Street, then take Grant. At the end of Grant there is a place where you can hop on the sidewalk to cross the Smithfield Street Bridge. Grant is cobblestone with just a bit of traffic but IMHO some of the best architecture in the city along that street.

DOn't forget to visit Bicycle Heaven before setting out.
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