Monday, March 9, 2009

Squeaky Wheels

In Pittsburgh city government (and perhaps everywhere), there is no truer adage than "The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease." If you whine to the right people, you can accomplish anything. Similarly, if you have '311' on re-dial (and request a ticket number), you can fix the city of Pittsburgh one pothole and streetlight at a time.

Paving for McArdle Roadway (that scenic pothole-filled byway up to one of the best skyline views in the country) was literally passed over until this blog entry and some accompanying begging. 2 weeks later, the Post-Gazette informs us that McArdle will be paved post-haste.

Public Works Director Guy Costa said the city has hired Mackin Engineering for $170,000 to study the drainage problem and develop a solution. Its report is expected within a month.

But don't stop squeaking now. If the drainage problem is not fixed, the city will continue to waste upwards of $300,000 at a pop to re-pave this major artery every other year or so. And if the wheel stops squeaking, this report will get tossed under the rug for another few years.

And if McArdle isn't your pet project, call '311' and insist that your project get fixed, too. Or make some friends in high places, but I think the phone is easier.

1 comment:

Bram Reichbaum said...

It's good that the study is being done -- but I'm concerned that the "remilling" of the asphalt or whatever is not going to keep the thing in decent shape. Everything seems to indicate this may be a bigger job than, frankly, city government is equipped for.

Haven't we discovered that we generally have been utilizing lower-quality asphalt instead of the good stuff or concrete? Maybe this thoroughfare would be a good opportunity to run a pilot project on using the good stuff. That may not address the landslide and drainage issues, but it could keep the thing in decent shape for a factor of X longer.