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Author Topic: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)  (Read 11104 times)

1995hoo

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Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« on: August 19, 2013, 03:50:30 PM »

I was looking at a map and then at Google Street View and I noted US-219 Truck near Ridgway, Pennsylvania, which appears to be there as a truck bypass of a steep hill entering the town from the south. Interesting signage on the approach—a "ROAD INFORMATION" sign with a map and then some overhead white-on-black signs (can't really say "BGSs" if they're black!), and then a "NO CARS" sign where the truck route splits off.

It was the "NO CARS" sign that made me curious. The signs direct trucks over 7000 pounds to use the truck route and I presume the "no cars" restriction is rationally intended to keep the way clear for the heavy trucks and to ensure the truckers don't have to deal with oblivious car drivers who don't understand a big truck's limitations. What I found myself wondering is what, if any, sort of enforcement they have for the "no cars" restriction. I assume you could get a ticket for something like failure to obey a valid restriction or the like if you drove on there in a regular car (whereas if you used a pickup or an SUV you might have a colorable argument that you were driving a truck and the sign doesn't prohibit trucks under 7000 pounds). Anyone know if they enforce the restriction? (I assume maybe Oscar has driven it at some point, if anyone has?) It's the type of road I might be interested in exploring if I pass through the area because Google Street View makes it look a bit unique with its single-lane design.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 04:46:34 PM »

If you want to be completely in the clear, bike the shoulder. :bigass:
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 05:35:47 PM »

I find it interesting that this truck bypass is one way—northbound only. So apparently, trucks would be a hazard descending the steep grade into the town streets of Ridgeway, but they're OK to climb that hill. I see there is a truck climbing lane headed southbound out of Ridgway. And even with a more gentle alignment, the truck route still has two runaway truck ramps!

This may be something of an anomaly—I don't think I've ever seen a one-way rural road that was anywhere near as long or close to this level of development. The alignment, grading, and bridges all look like elements from a typical PA freeway from the '60s-'70s era—albeit with one lane.

As to the "NO CARS" bit—I doubt it's enforced strictly. On street view, notice that there's a marked STOP close to the bottom of the hill with a line marked on the pavement, yet the sign still specifies "TRUCKS", even though by this point, trucks should be the only vehicles on the road, and the stop line is in a separate lane on the right—as if to allow cars to drive by without stopping. I'd certainly risk driving on the truck route just for the experience. If you lived in the area, it looks like it would be a very useful bypass route from US 219 North to PA 120 East.

By the way, based on the height of the GSV cam, it looks like their vehicle was violating the "no cars" rule.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 05:42:39 PM »

It's interesting as a single direction route.  There is no Truck US 219 south.

Also I don't see a prohibition on cars taking the route.  Where is it?  There is GSV for the route.  So the Google car drove the route.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 05:45:22 PM »

It's interesting as a single direction route.  There is no Truck US 219 south.

Also I don't see a prohibition on cars taking the route.  Where is it?  There is GSV for the route.  So the Google car drove the route.

There's a "NO CARS" sign on the pole where the truck route splits off.

Alps Roads has a photo on the following page (I am posting via iPad and can't figure out how to do a Street View link on here): http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/pa/us_219/
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 05:48:17 PM »

Also I don't see a prohibition on cars taking the route.  Where is it?
There are several NO CARS signs: https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=41.411063,-78.711891&spn=0.024751,0.056691&gl=us&t=m&z=15&layer=c&cbll=41.411323,-78.712301&panoid=sCQxot8G9obYKKl3rEjt-w&cbp=12,341.25,,0,-6.35
Hard to see there since it's not on the overhead.  And GSV is skewed being's it's from the other lane.  Thanks.
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1995hoo

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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 05:49:11 PM »

If you want to be completely in the clear, bike the shoulder. :bigass:

I'd be more concerned about being on a bike if a runaway truck were behind me than I would be in a car.
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—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 07:36:39 PM »

Interesting though that Google Street View has this listed as "U. S. 219 Alternate", with no mention of its truck-only status.
Anyway, how did the Google car even get on there? I am sure that it, even with all the cameras, doesn't weigh more than 7000 lbs. :)
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2013, 11:13:19 PM »

I've gone up that hill on 219.  Even running "only" 65,000lbs (30,000 in the box), I was struggling to maintain 12mph in 5th on the boards.  'Steep' is a gross understatement.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 11:48:36 PM »

I drove Truck 219 in February 2010 (this was while Washington D.C. was still digging out from "Snowmageddon", and I decided driving north into Canada would be the counter-intuitive way to get away from the snow).  I was driving a full-size pickup truck, and was unsure what its gross vehicle weight would be (its curb weight is well under 7000 lbs.), so I gave myself the benefit of the doubt on the GVW restriction.

It seemed the main point of the one-way truck route was to allow for bigger and better truck escape ramps than could be built on the mainline.  Northbound trucks have to take PA 120 west from the north end of the truck route to get back on the mainline.  PA 120 in Ridgway is no more truck-friendly than the mainline, but at least there's no downgrade to worry about once the truckers have taken the truck route downhill. 
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2013, 12:06:16 AM »

Osterhout Street has recently been improved to take trucks from PA 120 back to US 219: http://www.ridgwayrecord.com/content/new-bypass-opens-traffic
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 03:50:00 PM »

I find it interesting that this truck bypass is one way—northbound only. So apparently, trucks would be a hazard descending the steep grade into the town streets of Ridgeway, but they're OK to climb that hill. I see there is a truck climbing lane headed southbound out of Ridgway. And even with a more gentle alignment, the truck route still has two runaway truck ramps!

A slow moving truck going up the hill isn't really much of a hazard,  Mostly an inconvenience - and, as you mentioned, there is an additional lane there.  And they absolutely would be a hazard heading into town out-of-control.  I'm just speculating, but I wouldn't at all be surprised if something tragic happened to motivate the building of the truck road.

I did have occasion to travel down the Truck route once.  There was some work going on to main 219, and the NB detour was to use the route.  Nothing too spectacular, but in my many trips to Ridgway, it was kind of neat to use it once.

There is GSV for the route.  So the Google car drove the route.

I have a feeling Google could afford the fine.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 04:03:00 PM »

I did have occasion to travel down the Truck route once.  There was some work going on to main 219, and the NB detour was to use the route.  Nothing too spectacular, but in my many trips to Ridgway, it was kind of neat to use it once.
This reminds me of rail mileage collectors who plan trips around detours.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2021, 06:44:37 PM »

Reviving discussion for a bit - does anyone know what the actual grade on 219 is that's being bypassed?

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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2021, 09:32:31 PM »

I just found this interesting, but there is an 'Adopt a Highway' sign going the wrong direction at the bottom of the road.
https://goo.gl/maps/utBrgFwLuZYGQ9TB9

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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2021, 10:37:01 PM »

Reviving discussion for a bit - does anyone know what the actual grade on 219 is that's being bypassed?

No idea, but when we drove through there southbound on the way home from Toronto in June 2019 I was definitely struck by the combination of the grade, the curve at the bottom, and the houses located at the curve in a position where a runaway truck would likely smash right through them. I could certainly see why they had the truck route. Had I had more time I’d have considered illegally driving down the truck route to explore, but it was really important that we focus on getting home at that particular time. Maybe when the border reopens I’ll get back through there.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2021, 11:03:55 PM »


Here's a video of Roadwaywiz driving on the Truck 219.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2021, 08:31:07 AM »

Reviving discussion for a bit - does anyone know what the actual grade on 219 is that's being bypassed?

In Google Earth, the profile of the road from Depot St. (PA 120) to the start of the bypass says it's an average slope of 7.0%


The truck bypass averages out to about 5.4% and even starts out with a 7.0% slope, but has smoother vertical curves and obviously doesn't end at someone's front porch.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2021, 02:37:47 PM »

Reviving discussion for a bit - does anyone know what the actual grade on 219 is that's being bypassed?

In Google Earth, the profile of the road from Depot St. (PA 120) to the start of the bypass says it's an average slope of 7.0%


The truck bypass averages out to about 5.4% and even starts out with a 7.0% slope, but has smoother vertical curves and obviously doesn't end at someone's front porch.
Thanks! That fits my impression that you really aren't getting much of an improvement on the truck route, it's mainly to take trucks out of the town should their brakes fail.

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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2021, 05:57:12 PM »

More importantly, the truck route has modern runaway ramps instead of sand piles or double as someone's driveway.
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Re: Truck 219 (Ridgway, PA)
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2021, 06:43:24 PM »

More importantly, the truck route has modern runaway ramps instead of sand piles or double as someone's driveway.

Run Off Road—indeed.
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