Photo: Melissa McMasters/Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Road Biking Routes in Pittsburgh

Low Traffic Routes

These three rising areas offer a quieter, safer, and less stressful spin.

The roadways in the Pittsburgh area can be a stressful place to ride a bike, even with the massive improvements over the last few decades. Much of this is due to the hard work of Bike Pittsburgh and its dedicated membership. (Join, donate, or volunteer to get involved.) Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to add new routes to your weekly program, here are some lovely, low-traffic options. 

Photo: Jeremy Marshall/Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

North Park

North Park has a dedicated bike lane on a few public roads, creating a clockwise loop around North Park Lake. This flat 5-mile loop has only 64 feet of climbing, which is a bonus if you’re looking for a mellow ride, but might not be challenging enough for riders seeking a tougher workout. Most of the loop has separate lanes for walkers and bikers, but the lines are considered more of a suggestion than a rule by many users, so pay attention (the path can be busy with bike and foot traffic on weekends, so go midweek if you want the quietest experience). Cars are usually respectful and traveling at a reasonable rate through the park.

More Info: AlleghenyCounty.us

Highland Park

Highland Park has two separate areas that are great for getting out of traffic and putting in some miles. 

The locally famous Bud Harris Cycling Track is down on Washington Boulevard next to the Zone 5 police station. This half-mile track has banked turns and long straights with a slight rise to the finish line. The “Oval” hosts regular crit and fixed gear races, but when not closed for competition, it’s open to the public. The Oval has become more popular over the years, with the infield providing a safe place for young kids and the main track offering a training area for ambitious cyclists. 

You can also find a longer loop around the reservoir here (it’s almost exactly one mile). It runs counterclockwise, and the bike lane is on the left side of the road with no possibility of cross-traffic or cars pulling out. The 61 feet of climbing doesn’t sound like much, but there are two noticeable climbs on the loop. You don’t have to worry about cars here, but there can be a lot of foot traffic and plenty of bikes. A bell is your friend.

More Info: PittsburghParks.org

Riverview Park

Cars are rare in Riverview Park as its curvy roads are not a shortcut to anywhere. Marked bike lanes and some recent repairs to the road surface have elevated this from a good to an excellent place for a road bike. 

The best loop starts below the observatory near the playground at the three-way intersection (all ways are Riverview Avenue). Take the fork headed west. The road descends steadily for a mile, then curves its way back up to the three-way intersection. There are a few streets that meet up with Riverview but just stay on the main road, and the 2.1-mile loop is easy to follow. Each lap has 185 feet of climbing; throw in an out-and-back up to the observatory for an extra 70 feet of climbing and an additional half mile. 

More Info: PittsburghParks.org

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.