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New signage, better route to improve Glassport trail

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 1:06 a.m.

A designated bicycle trail linking the Great Allegheny Passage in McKeesport with the Montour Trail in Clairton is about to get a more streamlined route and clearer markings in Glassport.

Glassport council on Tuesday approved rerouting the trail known as the Clairton Connector onto the borough's main business thoroughfare, Monongahela Avenue.

The trail has existed for years but it has utilized side streets that run parallel to the business district and require riders to cross Monongahela Avenue several times. The route is marked with signs inaccurately identifying it as the Steel Valley Trail.

“We are looking forward to rerouting it down the main street,” said Councilman Dave Kowalski, who believes the revised route can bring new business to the borough. “I'm just glad it's happening and people will have the chance to experience Glassport and visit our businesses.”

The Steel Valley Trail Council held a special meeting in the borough last month, attended by trail officials and community leaders from Glassport and Clairton.

Steel Valley Trail Council board member Jim Taggart, who attended the meeting and was at the council meeting, said the changes to the route will benefit the borough and trail users.

“It's a better route,” Taggart said. “It goes through the center of the community instead of the back roadways.”

Taggart said more signs and road markings indicating the presence of a dedicated bike route will improve safety for cyclists by signaling their presence to motorists.

Signage will be upgraded from the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge to the Glassport Clairton Bridge.

The connector route will go from the Great Allegheny Passage trailhead in McKeesport to an access point for the Montour Trail along Route 837 near the Clairton Municipal Authority treatment plant.

Taggart said the action by council coincides with recent sign improvements along the Montour Trail. There is no firm deadline on when the new signs will be up for the connector route.

Solicitor Gary Matta said the board's approval of the changes is pending his final review of the agreement with the trail council.

Steel Valley Trail Council will provide signs and road stencils. Borough employees will do the stenciling.

The 46-mile Montour Trail runs from Moon township near Coraopolis to Clairton. The Great Allegheny Passage is a continuous 150-mile bike route that goes from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md., passing through McKeesport. In Cumberland the trail connects with the C&O Towpath, which extends 184 miles into Washington.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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