Friday, January 30, 2009

Feeling Kinda Friday

Everybody's gearing up for the big game around here, and the news front is pretty quiet here if you don't care that Ben got caught stretching and more snow is falling.

A chink in Cranberry's armor has appeared though. I'm not too sad. I find that there already enough malls in the area that I avoid like the plague. But I've also never actually gotten off the highway in Cranberry. It's not too surprising that PennDOT is taking the blame in this failure.

Does PennDOT actually want Western Pennsylvania to fail? Between closing the major artery to Oakland for a year to planning mass devastation to Route 28 to now preventing a new shiny mall in Cranberry, it sure seems like it. There has got to be a way to reconstruct Route 28 without literally shutting down parts of this major artery for 6 months. Crawling through rush-hour traffic on Route 28 last night, I day-dreamed about a commuter rail on this artery. Instead, we'll be spending our stimulus money on wreaking havoc on commuters while we build more lanes. Thankfully, I work from home, so it's hard to get too angry. My ire is mostly reserved for the nearby evils like the Department of Public Works.

This whole post is feeling like a day-dream. I guess it's the lull before the Super Bowl storm.

Go Steelers!


n'at said...

The bureaucracy of PennDOT is pretty sweet. District 11 likes to hoard the federal and state funds for maintenance and pet projects, and away from the municipalities and allegheny county. Local and state reps are happy to oblige.

It will be interesting to see what Orie and Metcalfe do in this situation. District 10 is following the plan set by Harrisburg. It doesn't have the money to make all the necessary changes to 228. Unless the local politicos step in and do what's "best" for their district.

Harrisburg doesn't allow as much funding anymore to capacity projects, i.e., more roads and more lanes, because they realized a while ago that they cant afford to maintain all the roads they've built. So money is diverted to maintenance.

All districts will tell you there is no money for capacity projects, yet District 11 continues with the widening of 28.

There are nearly 75 years of history (L.A., N.Y.C., D.C., ... Atlanta, Houston) which disprove the theory that more lanes equal less traffic.

There will still be gridlock.

n'at said...

And another thing:

The city has more miles of road than allegheny county and penndot district 11, combined. Additionally, traffic volumes on the penndot and county roads are significantly higher than the city roads. Whereas, the snow will not melt as fast on a deserted, salted road, than on a salted road carrying +5000 vehicles a day.

How's the 311 system doing in Monroeville, Cranberry or Washington?

illyrias said...

Really on the traffic? I would be very interested to see some documentation there. From where I look from my vantage point (my deck overlooking the city), there's a LOT of traffic on city roads.

By the way, I'm not originally from pittsburgh and your talk of district numbers leaves me baffled. I don't even know my ward number or district in the city.

Agreed on the more lanes != less traffic which is why I'd rather see the money spent on a commuter rail enhancement.

n'at said...

PennDOT district Map:

PennDOT traffic counts:

The city and the county do not post their traffic counts in the public domain - you have to call the mainline and pray or know someone . The vast majority of county roads - in the south hills - receive thousands of vehicles a day, while the city's are in the low hundreds to double and even single digits.

Comparatively, the vast majority of the city roads are traveled as much as the average township road, which are bedroom communities for the most part consisting of collectors and locals. While the county and state roads are primary and secondary arteries connecting the townships and cities.

illyrias said...

I'm sorry I think you lost me back there.

Are you saying that you're defending the city DPW folks because the smaller roads don't get a lot of traffic?

My ire is largely that I live in the South Hills and last winter my street was one of those that was not even on the routes. This year it's thankfully on the routes, but the trucks seem afraid to actually make it to the bottom of the street - where my house is.

Yes, smaller roads have a lesser priority, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored or poorly treated for days after a storm.

And one of the main points of contention was regarding South Side Flats roads by Bruce Kraus and those roads certainly get a good amount of traffic.

n'at said...

Defending DPW? Yes, but because they're understaffed and unequipped to perform the tasks effectively. How do we solve this? moar munneh, fwend...

or city tax breaks for residential salt boxes.

EdHeath said...

"Comparatively, the vast majority of the city roads are traveled as much as the average township road, which are bedroom communities for the most part consisting of collectors and locals. While the county and state roads are primary and secondary arteries connecting the townships and cities."

I am absolutely sure that there are City streets that receive as little traffic as a township road (particularly the street where I live). But a fair number of City streets lead somewhere, and so are traveled by people trying to get to other places. Particularly because there is no specific beltway around our compact City, people traverse through Highland Park, Squirrel Hill, Friendship, Point Breeze, Oakland, the Hill, Uptown, the near North Side, the South Side, Brookline, etc etc. all in attempts to get to the Parkway, 28, the Strip, Downtown, parts of Oakland, etc etc. Granted, most people who cross the Highland Park bridge don't know enough to jump into Stanton Heights to avoid the particular hell that is Negley and later Fifth Ave to get to Oakland. But I have to disagree about the City streets not being used. And also that driving on them helps them melt. Parts of Shadyside never seem to get cleared.

Sean said...

I hope your feeling kinda Sunday now.

I don't think Cranberry has much to lose by Simon Development's waning interest. In fact, they're idiots for withdrawing, given that Westinghouse is moving their headquarters (a thousand employees) just north of the same intersection.