This afternoon I made a trip to Monroeville, attending the calling hours of a former co-worker. The funeral home was maybe 200 yards from my eye doctor's office, to which I had traveled by bus and bike on a nice day in October.
By contrast, today was snowy and sloppy, not unlike the conditions for my January 2 trip Downtown by bike, but I had no burning desire to douse my $90 dress pants in slush and slop. Instead, I simply walked a mile from bus stop to funeral home in my $90 dress pants, along Routes 22 and 48, after earlier hoofing a mile and a half to catch the bus into town, and another almost half mile Downtown transferring.
Amazingly enough, my pants stayed clean and dry. Chalk it up to a lot of experience dodging puddles and slop. Yes, it can be done. Having sidewalks makes it easier. PA48, though, is plust jain mucking fiserable. At one point, you have a choice between thick mud, or walking in the posted-45 driving lane.
I am blogging, though, to tell you about the bus connections. I got there; I got back. It wasn't pretty. I didn't spend a pile of time ahead of the trip trying to figure this out in exquisite detail. I just knew to get Downtown on a 12A, see if I'd just missed a 67A, and if I had, to catch an EBA to Wilkinsburg where I could catch that same 67A.
It almost worked. Almost. What I did was 12A-EBA-67A, but the EBA I caught got stuck in a driver changeover at the East Liberty Garage, making me just late enough to miss the 67A in Wilkinsburg. Had I caught the 68D that zinged out the busway that preceded the EBA, and gotten off at the first non-Busway stop in Wbg, I might've made it. Oh well, live and learn.
Going back, I got a ride from the funeral home to my old dear stop at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, from which I'd caught hundreds of HP Holiday Park Flyers over the years. Despite the park & ride lot being closed, I boarded with two other people there -- for an afternoon inbound trip -- so it's still a popular stop.
The unforeseen problem with the normally placid HP was having to get booted off the bus at the Herron Avenue stop on the busway because the bus lays over 15 minutes prior to arriving Downtown. Oh bother, that didn't used to happen! So I stood in a drippy snowy rush hour greyness waiting for yet another EBA to ferry me the last two miles into town. This delayed me maybe another 10 minutes. Grumble grumble. All this time, of course, there must have been 15 buses flying inbound on the busway, either not yet in service, or other inbound expresses, none of which could be expected to do the EBA's work. I can understand this, but it's still damn irritating. I'm just glad it wasn't a minus-ten chill factor.
Anyway, once Downtown, I simply hiked over to my usual 13C stop and caught my usual 5:20 trip home. I was the last one on, so stood all the way to the park & ride, but I didn't mind. At least that was a known devil.
Total trip time traveling to there: Left at 12:25, arrived 3:25, most of an hour being spent at the Wilkinsburg Library, writing. Total trip time back: Left at 4:25, home 5:55, almost ordinary considering that I used to do this daily for four years. I think the median trip time then was 89 minutes, so that's right on schedule. I just zone out and read the paper or study or pay bills or something.
Anyway, the trip was do-able, just not very pleasant on the mid-afternoon part. We need sidewalks everywhere. The trip home was spot-on unchanged from 1992, perfectly acceptable in my book.