Here are three runs from December 29, 2021. I had taken off work and had the day free to run, so I covered streets in Oakland, Westwood and Mount Washington.
I started on Frew Street in Oakland. I was hoping that the construction on Hamerschlag was open enough for me to slip by. Alas, it wasn’t to be. The area under a giant crane was well-blocked off.
Grudgingly, I moved on to Skibo Street. It is a small street and soon devolved into sidewalks between apartments.
Covering that little bit, I moved onto a rather new “street”, Staley Family Plaza. It was behind Central Catholic High School. Honestly, it shoudn’t have been listed as a street by City Strides since it just a small plaza behind a building on Central’s campus. That campus is really getting squeezed by new CMU construction. I wonder if footballs ever hit the windows of the new Tepper building? Oh look, a balcony! Seems like a kicking target to me.
I finished back at Frew, two streets done.
My second run of the day took me further afield, to Westwood. Prior to doing this project, I wasn’t aware of Westwood. Westwood is tucked against another forgotten Pittsburgh neighborhood, Ridgemont and abuts Crafton Heights and Greentree. It’s a decent little area. There might be a hill or two, but it’s filled with well-kept houses and conveniently close to the Parkway West. AND, I saw Elmo, apparently waiting for the school bus while keeping an eye out for something. Eagles maybe? Giant squirrels? I didn’t ask.
Moving on, I crossed Noblestown Road (carefully, looking in both directions) en route to Milnor Street. Milnor Street is one of those fractured Pittsburgh streets, a section here, a section there. The section I was trying to finish could be an alley, or maybe didn’t exist. I wasn’t sure.
It was an alley, some paved and some just a grassy path. I wonder who mows it? After documenting Milnor Way, I continued down Harris and up Mueller. That little section of Mueller was the steepest section of the run, with grades from 9% to 36%, but generally around 18%. For comparison, the Negley Hill Strava segment averages 15%.
From here, I went up Cumberland Avenue then scooted left on Steuban Street; a border between Pittsburgh and Crafton. The next left took me up Ridenour. Ridenour dead ends for cars but becomes a footpath which connects to steps and pops up on another segment of Ridenour. The wooden steps were passable, but not in great shape.
Finishing up Ridenour, I trekked back to my start. I don’t remember seeing Elmo, so maybe his bus came. Or he was carried away by an eagle.
From Westwood, I went directly to Mount Washington. I intended to finish up Wyola and then catch a couple of streets at the bottom of Beltzhoover. I parked on Bigham and turned down Piermont. Piermont, like most of Mount Washington, flow up and down the hills like waves. I turned on Wyola and followed it past new townhouses to the encircling Emerald View Park.
I retraced my path back to Bigham, where I made a left and headed to Grandview Avenue. I made my way to Bailey Avenue and thence to Estella. The top of Estella is rather nice, but literally and figuratively heads downhill as it enters Beltzhoover. Beltzhoover is a large area and improves slightly as you get away from East Warrington Avenue and Beltzhoover Avenues. However, it never really blossoms.
The two streets of my desire sat at the bottom of the Beltzhoover, near the T-lines. The first, Buffington Avenue, is a dead-end street at the end of an alley. It was blocked off for cars, but there were no “No Trespassing” signs, so I continued on the grassy street. At the end was a communication tower, bristling with antennas.
Emboldened with my success on Buffington, I went a couple blocks over and went down Schuck Street. It should have been called “Oh Schucks, My Garbage Blew Around and No One has Picked It Up Street”. But that would be silly, that’s way too long for a street sign.
From here, I climbed back to Mount Washington. Over six miles and my third run in a day!