I'm a resident of the South Side of Pittsburgh and normally when the federal dollars start flowing in my neighborhood, I find it difficult to complain. Except for this time. Why is PennDOT widening Carson Street between 25th St and 33rd St? I just don't understand.
Carson Street is a mess. It's not especially pedestrian friendly - and in the vicinity of the Birmingham Bridge, it's especially pedestrian-unfriendly. I frequently fear for my safety while crossing the street in that area. Yet PennDOT and our generous state senators have won the fight to make Carson Street wider???
I understand that this is a heavy truck route. But I certainly don't feel the need to encourage that the home to "America's longest business Victorian National Historic District" be a more pleasant and convenient truck route.
And is it really in our best interest to enable bar patrons to drive their cars more quickly and efficiently after closing hours at the many bars on Carson St? How about we encourage them to take the bus instead?
Carson Street is not a highway. It's a business district. But if PennDOT and short-sighted leadership have their way, I wonder how long that's going to last. If I had my way, I'd shut Carson Street down between 10th and 22nd Streets to cars every Friday and Saturday night except for public transportation. If Austin, Texas and New York City can do it, why can't Pittsburgh? Heck, in my ideal world, Carson would be shut down every day of the week with walking and light rail being your only option for traveling the street. While we're at it, how about shutting down Penn Ave in The Strip every Saturday?