Riding on roads in PGH



B

Brett Simmers

Guest
Does anyone in Pittsburgh know if it's legal/OK/accepted/whatever to
ride on roads like 5th ave and Forbes ave around CMU? I was just out
riding and I see plenty of other cyclists on the road, but it seems
like a lot of cars were honking at me and the sidewalks aren't usually
big enough for pedestrians and bikes. For the most part I was keeping
up with traffic at ~20mph so I wasn't really holding anyone up, and
it's also two lanes wide where there isn't construction, leaving plenty
of room for faster traffic to get around bikes. Most of my ride was on
Beechwood Ave which has a nice wide bike lane, but I have to ride 2
miles to 5th to get there so I do have to deal with it at least a
couple miles per ride.

Brett
 
B

Bluetail

Guest
Brett Simmers wrote:
> Does anyone in Pittsburgh know if it's legal/OK/accepted/whatever to
> ride on roads like 5th ave and Forbes ave around CMU?


Of course you can ride on 5th & Forbes!! i live in Squirrel Hill, ride
these & other roads frequently, & try to minimize driver hostility by
being visible, predictable, etc. You have every right to be on the
road--whether or not there are 'bike lane' markings--but all of us have
responsibilities, too.

Bluetail
 
Brett Simmers wrote:
> Does anyone in Pittsburgh know if it's legal/OK/accepted/whatever to
> ride on roads like 5th ave and Forbes ave around CMU? I was just out
> riding and I see plenty of other cyclists on the road, but it seems
> like a lot of cars were honking at me and the sidewalks aren't usually
> big enough for pedestrians and bikes. For the most part I was keeping
> up with traffic at ~20mph so I wasn't really holding anyone up, and
> it's also two lanes wide where there isn't construction, leaving plenty
> of room for faster traffic to get around bikes. Most of my ride was on
> Beechwood Ave which has a nice wide bike lane, but I have to ride 2
> miles to 5th to get there so I do have to deal with it at least a
> couple miles per ride.
>
> Brett


Good luck with the buses on Forbes.
The main problem I see with that area is the large percentage of
elderly drivers that may have a relatively larger amount of difficulty
in seeing a cyclist.

Those lanes on Fifth are narrow.

Back in school for a break from studying (late), I used to ride down
Fifth and back up Forbes as the lights are timed for 25 mph (both one
way near the towers).

This has links to manuals, but nothing that I saw referred to bicycles
in particular, except for helmets for children 12 and under:
http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/drivers_manual/index.shtml

hth.

-bdbafh
 
C

Chris BeHanna

Guest
On Wed, 30 Aug 2006 17:45:59 -0700, Bluetail wrote:

>
> Brett Simmers wrote:
>> Does anyone in Pittsburgh know if it's legal/OK/accepted/whatever to
>> ride on roads like 5th ave and Forbes ave around CMU?

>
> Of course you can ride on 5th & Forbes!! i live in Squirrel Hill, ride
> these & other roads frequently, & try to minimize driver hostility by
> being visible, predictable, etc. You have every right to be on the
> road--whether or not there are 'bike lane' markings--but all of us have
> responsibilities, too.


What Bluetail said. That, and riding on sidewalks is officially
discouraged, according to the Pgh. bike trail map hanging up in the
office. Not only that, but riding on sidewalks is *dangerous*, partly due
to the pedestrian/bicycle speed differential, but also partly due to the
fact that cars do not look for and do not expect bicycles to be coming
down the cutouts into the crosswalks.

I've not ridden 5th or Forbes. I've only done some riding around
Squirrel Hill (Hobart/Beacon, on my test ride before buying the bike) up
in that area. Mostly, when I ride into town, I do it through North Park
to Babcock, Duncan, Thompson Run, Siebert, back to Babcock, up Cemetery
Lane, onto Perrysville, and then down the back side of Riverview Park to
Beaver Ave (I work in the Cardello Bldg., near Heinz Field). I also rode
on Smallman, Penn, and Butler Street during last year's Pedal 'n' Party,
and I took the lane when there was a line of parked cars.

I'm troubled by bike-pgh's agitation for bike lanes, though.
They're pushing for one on Liberty in Millvale, and I'm not at all keen on
the idea that car drivers are going to expect bicyclists to cozy up in the
door zone.

As for riding on 5th to get to Beechwood, you might consider a parallel
(and thus quieter) street for as much of your route as you can. IIRC,
Bayard runs parallel to 5th for quite a ways, but it's been too long since
I used to go running that way for me to remember.

You have a right to take the entire lane if you feel it is necessary to
do so for your safety. DO NOT RIDE IN THE DOOR ZONE. Riders have been
killed that way.

What I'll often do is take the lane to pass parked cars, and then if
there's a big gap in the parked cars coming up, I'll move over and let a
bunch of cars pass before I take the lane for the next batch of parked
cars. Most of my experience with this is on Perrysville up above
Riverview Park, on the ride home, heading up towards the bridge over 279.
I'm grinding uphill at this point, and I've not had problems with irate
drivers there.

--
Chris BeHanna


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C

* * Chas

Guest
"Brett Simmers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Does anyone in Pittsburgh know if it's legal/OK/accepted/whatever to
> ride on roads like 5th ave and Forbes ave around CMU? I was just out
> riding and I see plenty of other cyclists on the road, but it seems
> like a lot of cars were honking at me and the sidewalks aren't usually
> big enough for pedestrians and bikes. For the most part I was keeping
> up with traffic at ~20mph so I wasn't really holding anyone up, and
> it's also two lanes wide where there isn't construction, leaving

plenty
> of room for faster traffic to get around bikes. Most of my ride was

on
> Beechwood Ave which has a nice wide bike lane, but I have to ride 2
> miles to 5th to get there so I do have to deal with it at least a
> couple miles per ride.
>
> Brett
>


Learn the phrase " HEY YOU JAGOFF!!! @&$#^&**%)&^* " and the appropriate
hand gestures to go with it! ;-)

Good luck!

Chas.