ShareThis Page
Bike trail to airport could be reality |

Bike trail to airport could be reality

Bonnie Pfister
| Friday, June 6, 2008 12:00 a.m

The dream of linking the Montour Trail to Pittsburgh International Airport could move closer to reality today.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority board will vote whether to allow 4 miles of a 6-mile trail extension from Enlow Road in Imperial onto airport property, connecting the facility with the popular trail system leading to Washington, D.C.

The extension — proposed nearly a decade ago but delayed by post-9/11 security concerns — could be open to hikers and cyclists by summer 2009, officials said. That could boost the region’s growing recreational tourism.

Tim Killmeyer, the council’s liaison to the airport, said his group fields three or four inquiries a week from cyclists wanting “to fly in here, get on their bikes and ride the trail to Washington, D.C., or come back from D.C. and get on a plane.”

The 47-mile Montour Trail connecting Coraopolis to Clairton will be completed this September except for a few miles in South Park Township, said Dennis Pfeiffer, former council president. Just a few miles up the Monongahela River in McKeesport, cyclists can pick up the trail of the Great Allegheny Passage to Cumberland, Md., and from there the old C&O Canal towpath to Washington.

“Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the U.K., Germany, Australia and Mongolia,” said Linda McKenna Boxx, listing some of the international inquiries she has received from cyclists wanting to bike from Pittsburgh to the nation’s capital. McKenna Boxx is president of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, a coalition of seven trails making up the passage. She said 750,000 visitors used the passage last year.

“Finally having that access directly from the airport … is going to be tremendous,” she said.

Randy Forister, the airport’s senior director of development, said final access to the terminal beyond the gate at old Highway 978 will be restricted only to those cyclists with business at the airport.

“There’ll be a route to get to the terminal, but if you don’t have business here, we don’t want you riding around in the terminal roadways,” Forister said. Access would be restricted if airport security levels are raised.

The county’s Department of Public Works is applying for about $58,000 from the Allegheny Regional Asset District for signs and flashing lights marking the trail as it intersects with the airport access roads, said project manager Dave Wright.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.