Thursday, July 23, 2009

Priorities in the Face of G20

My street is on the paving list for this summer, but unless some hotshot is blindly following their GPS on the way to the South Side for a Primanti Brother's sandwich photo-op, no one of any political importance is going to drive down it this September. Does that mean my street is going to get pushed to the bottom of the paving heap? Should it?
"Mr. Ravenstahl said the city will plant trees throughout Downtown, and Public Works Director Guy Costa said sections of streets including 10th Street, Oliver Avenue, William Penn Place, Sixth Avenue, Forbes Avenue and Market Street will be repaved. Railroad underpasses on Penn and Liberty avenues will also be cleaned."
If these items were on a priority list already, I'm all for them. But let's try not to "reddup" Downtown at the expense of everybody who actually lives in the city. I understand that people want to get gussied-up and show off our fair city to the G20 officials that are stopping by. But Pittsburgh was picked for the G20 for its positives and its negatives, for its tumultuous history. Nobody expects to see an immaculate Disney World. Get an army of volunteers to clean up litter and paint over graffiti if you want, but leave the Department of Public Works to do their job. It's far more positive to stick to a sensible, fair plan of paving streets, fixing potholes, and painting sign posts, than to allow line-jumping for a one-weekend event. And it serves the residents of the city the most.


Bram Reichbaum said...

"Stick to a sensible, fair plan of paving streets, fixing potholes..."

Stick to a sensible, fair plan? The district represented by Patrick Dowd, whom our Mayor has not forgiven and is still giving the silent treatment, is scheduled to receive just 5% of the total paving mileage this year. The average city district receive over 10%. You do the math.

(No wait, I just did the math. I don't suppose that adage really applies. But it sounds good.)

Paz said...

"Nobody expects to see an immaculate Disney World."

You hit the nail on the head with the thing that makes me queezy. There is an extreme insecurity that these little blemishes are going to ruin it for us. For godsakes, the G-8 just met in a city that was half rubble from their recent earthquake! People know how cities work- they aren't perfect, sanitized versions of themselves.

It's a little regretable that it takes an international gathering to get this place spruced up. Didn't the furries deserve no potholes?!