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Reply to Pittsburgh long term Parking

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Reply to Pittsburgh long term Parking
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Anonymous on 4/1/2021 8:11:54 PM:
Hi GAP and C and O bikers. We are biking both trails in June. We need to secure long term parking in Pittsburgh for the time on the trail. We have a reservation at the Hampton Inn, Homestead (pittsburgh) for prior to our biking departure and they allow GAP/ C and O bikers to park for free while they are on the trail. However, I have read at least one review on Trip Advisor for this hotel which stated that their car was broken into while they were parked there. Wondering if the downtown long term parking options (Grant Street Transportation Center) would be a safer bet? It is not unreasonably expensive as weekend rates are 5 $ / 24 hours. Weekdays are 13 $ per 24 hours. Airport parking is likely pretty secure as people are in and out all of the time, but the airport parking would add inconvenience to our trip (out of the city, need to arrange transporation back to the city, what do we do with the bikes, etc.). Anyone have advise about long term parking in Pittsburgh? Safety is our priority (don't want our car broken into). Thank you!!! Can't wait to ride the trials!!! ;)

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 4/1/2021 8:43:08 PM:
Ive had ride partners stay there from out of town and leave their cars there for a week, no issues. I’ve heard of many other people staying there and beginning their tours at this hotel, telling the staff at the Hampton Inn they will be leaving their car behind for a GAP trip and they are very accommodating. Don’t be put off my a random comment on TripAdvisor. These things (random breakins) could happen at any location a person parks. Grocery shopping, a day at work, staying at a hotel, etc. I have not heard that this is any kind of a persistent issue at this hotel. In fact that’s the first time I’ve heard of a break in there. Like anywhere, don’t leave anything of value visible in your locked car. Put your bike rack in your trunk or in your back seat and cover with a blanket. I think parking there is free, so that’s always a good thing. I would avoid the airport, like you’d said, you’d need to arrange transportation. You could park at the parking lots downtown around PNC Park but those are downtown daily rates. Their prices will be similar to the Grant Street prices you mentioned. Have a great trip! John

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 4/1/2021 9:35:33 PM:
I live in Homestead and worked downtown for 20 years and currently ride through town two or three times per week. The downtown parking lots are not generally policed and pedestrian traffic therein that might dissuade potential thieves is significantly less now during the pandemic due to many fewer people parking downtown. Thus I don't consider the risk of break-ins to be any less there than at the Hampton Inn in Homestead and certainly not at the expense of week long parking fees. As with parking at any public location, your risk of break-in would be reduced by parking as near to and within site of the main entrance to the hotel, if possible. Further, as John W notes, remove any valuable items from sight within the car. Removing your bike rack which intimates you may be remote from the hotel might be another risk avoidance idea. While I hadn't considered this before and it is admittedly a little off the wall, you might look into parking your car at the Homestead Police Station. It is only a short ride from the Hampton Inn and just a couple of blocks off the GAP Trail. You might check with the Homestead Police and see if they would allow you to park there. Its not that busy or congested there.

Anonymous on 4/3/2021 9:55:14 AM:
Thank you all for your help and comments! If there are others who have advise, please continue to comment!! thanks much again!

Anonymous on 4/12/2021 8:36:58 PM:
I live about 4 miles from the trail at Homestead and helped someone out years ago with parking before the trail actually made its way all the way to downtown Pittsburgh. The streets around here are safe (I've never seen a break-in, although anything is possible) for street parking, and there are some streets that do not have street cleaning. If you park at the airport, there is a trail that goes all the way out there and connects to the GAP in McKeesport, although there are some road sections on that trail as well as 4-5 miles between the two trails. https://montourtrail.org/

Anonymous on 4/18/2021 4:51:20 PM:
thank you!!! We are still investigating down town stay and paid parking in one of the overnight ramps (grant street for example). this way we can start the trail at the park instead of having to skip the first several miles (by starting in Homestead) or doubling back (if we are very intent on "doing the whole thing"). Anyone have info on the safety of the overnight ramps downtown? --the pittburgh parking authority advertises two overnight/ long term ramps. one is Grant street and the other escapes me now. Thank you!!!!

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 4/18/2021 7:34:13 PM:
Here’s one thing to consider that might make you think about staying in Homestead. If your intent is “doing the whole trail” (most of us do), one way you could approach this is to check into your hotel in Homestead the afternoon/evening you arrive, drop off all your gear, and ride light and leisurely to Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh. Find the medallion which is the terminus of the trail, then ride back to your hotel. You could now consider this the beginning of your ride. Yes technically you’re doubling back but you’ve done it with no gear and also knowing you don’t have to do big miles on this day. I think it’s 9 miles out and 9 miles back. Then in the morning, just start from your hotel and get on the GAP where you left off and begin your journey to DC. You've knocked out the first nine or so miles, all on paved asphalt, and still covered every inch of the GAP so far. Also leaving your car at your hotel in Homestead is free and that’s a plus. It just depends what you think is better/easier for you. Just something to consider! I’m sorry that I have nothing to add about the downtown ramps as I’ve never used them for overnights.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 4/18/2021 9:21:37 PM:
I'm not aware of a Pittsburgh Parking Authority garage (ramp?) on Grant Street per se'. However there is one whose entry is on Penn Avenue at/above the Greyhound bus station about a block off Grant Street and maybe only two blocks from the Amtrak train station. (Not sure how you are getting back to Pittsburgh from DC.) Of all the downtown garages, that one may be the most active/used since foot traffic in the garages around the downtown offices is much less with the pandemic. Hence, it may well be the safest of all the downtown garages. Another thought is perhaps to look at hotels across the Monongahela River from downtown in the so-called Southside area of Pittsburgh. There's a Sheraton and a Holiday Inn Express there with outdoor gated parking areas. I don't know what their parking rates are however. Like the hotels in Homestead, they may let you park there for much less if you stay there for a night as both are not very busy now. In each case you are just a short bike ride across either the Fort Pitt Bridge or the Smithfield Street Bridge to get over to Point State Park and the beginning of the GAP Trail at the convergence of the three rivers. Here's another option depending on your interest and schedule. If you'd like to stay and park at one of the Homestead hotels, I'd be more than happy to take you, your bikes (maximum of two with my bike rack) and your gear from Homestead where I live to Point State Park downtown to begin your trip. The catch is that I'll be riding across Georgia one week and on an Ohio trip another in June. So it would depend on when you arrive in Pittsburgh. If its while I'm home, I'd be more than happy to make that happen.

Kurt from St Paul, MN on 5/10/2021 11:21:29 PM:
I know I'm a month late answering but just in case you see this I thought I'd give my perspective. I parked at the Homestead Holiday Inn Express last year with no problems. I parked my truck conspicuously in the front lot and backed so the front was facing the main door. I also checked twice to make sure absolutely nothing was visible in the cab. Thieves look for change, electronics, and will sometimes take a chance on clutter. I think you'll be fine if you use some street smarts! I'll be doing the ride again this June. Best of luck to you!

Anonymous on 5/11/2021 7:53:22 AM:
thank you!

Anonymous on 5/11/2021 10:27:39 PM:
hi and Thank you Rivnuts! Really kind of you to offer a ride and thank you for all of your advise! We have figured out our dilemma and a solution that we are happy with. Now we just look forward to the ride! Enjoy yours!

Kathye on 6/9/2021 12:33:30 PM:
Just a follow-up, Courtyard Pittsburgh West Homestead/Waterfront said you can park your car there for as long as you need (I mentioned 1-2 weeks) and said "no problem" when asked. As of today their rates are somewhat less than Hampstead Inn but still near the GAP. I just made a reservation and plan to ride to DC and back. Does anyone have experience with them?